Somehow, I think I was born with the love of coffee. It’s in my genes.
When I was a baby, my Great Aunt Annie took care of me one time and couldn’t get me to stop crying. So she fed me “coffee soup” (milk laced with coffee).
After that, I was fine.
Both of my parents loved coffee. And it was a bitter pill for my father when, after a 1959 heart attack, his doctor advised him to drink Sanka. I think he would have lived longer and happier if he could have continued drinking regular coffee.
Born into this family of coffee drinkers, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough for real coffee.
At first, my mother served me half a cup with lots of cream from our own cows. But when I began teaching in a country school at age 18, I decided I should be treated like an adult and receive a full cup of coffee.
As an adult, I had coffee in the morning at home and a cup on my desk at work. When I cleaned house, I carried a cup to each room with me and then had coffee to relax when the work was done.
I never finished any cup, only sipping. But I probably overdid it anyway. And I always felt terribly guilty—as if I was ruining my health with my habit. At least, my husband was of that opinion.
After my stroke in 2000, he pushed me to leave it alone. But I went back to coffee with more moderate amounts and no guilt at all!
Many recent studies have shown that coffee in moderation actually is healthy!
It may reduce the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and gallstones. And coffee has been proven to help relieve asthma and headache.
It also can make you more alert—and even can help prevent dental cavities.
Researchers at two Italian universities credit trigonelline—a compound that gives coffee its aroma and flavour—with anti-adhesive and anti-bacterial qualities that help prevent dental cavities from forming.
Of course, coffee is not for everyone. For example, people with osteoporosis and certain heart problems should avoid it. But the rest of us can enjoy our cup of coffee without guilt.
In fact, Reuters reports that Cooking Light magazine lists coffee as one of eight foods to love in 2008! Also on the list are health foods, such as salmon, flaxseed, and kale, as well another of my favourite foods: chocolate!
Food should be a fun part of life, so Cooking Light offers eight suggestions to make life a little healthier and more interesting in 2008.
Among the suggestions are:
1. Learn to cook healthy—the first step to eating well is cooking well.
2. Travel the world through your pantry. Learn to cook international dishes.
3. Take time for yourself. And if you eat by yourself, cook as though you were cooking for company.
4. Share your food with friends and neighbours. Start a supper club.
As you open this New Year, why not resolve to enjoy your food more—whether you are eating on your own or with family and friends.
And kick off your resolution with a guilt-free cup of healthy coffee!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.visit-snider.com
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