Coffee Shops Pittsfield MA
Healthy Joe to go
Maybe it’s the whole what-I-like-must-be-bad-for-me mindset, but the way
By Eric Schneider
Although enthusiastically consumed for centuries around the globe, coffee often gets a bad rap. Cutting down on coffee is a familiar resolution for many Americans, and the model unhealthy diet of “coffee and cigarettes” taints its reputation like second-hand smoke. In recent years, however, coffee’s standing has been significantly elevated, not only by the proliferation of cafes, both chain and local, but also by studies revealing that drinking a cup of joe may have a surprising number of health benefits.
One of coffee’s key traits, of course, is its ability to increase alertness. Various legends surround its discovery as a stimulant. An oft-cited tale refers to a wanderer in ancient Ethiopia who noticed unusually lively goats in the countryside and tried berries from the coffee bush that they had been nibbling on, only to feel the same rush of energy. Subsequently, monks and other religious devotees began to chew coffee beans to stay awake during long bouts of prayer, and coffee came into prominence as an eye-opening brewed beverage during the 15th century.
More Than Just Caffeine
As modern society is keenly aware, coffee’s invigorating quality comes primarily from a substance called caffeine. Joe Vinson, PhD, a professor at the University of Scranton’s Department of Chemistry in Pennsylvania and a leading researcher in studies on chocolate and coffee, notes, “Caffeine, short-term, will boost your brain function. It will make complex tasks easier. I always tell my students to have some caffeine in their system when they take a test, especially in the morning.” On the other hand, Vinson adds, the effects of caffeine—raising blood pressure and heart rate, albeit temporarily—are somewhat muted when coffee is present. “So there’s something in coffee that opposes caffeine” when it comes to the blood pressure and heart rate increases, Vinson concludes.