“You’ve already had a cup of coffee today. You can’t have any more.” I can’t be the only one whose parents have admonished her to stay away from too much coffee, but now scientists are telling us that coffee is good for us, and that we have every right to enjoy it. At the same time they remind us of possible side effects, which might outweigh the benefits. It’s a fantastic source of antioxidants, but a potential cause of palpitations? It can prevent heart disease, but lead to headaches and insomnia? It might protect us from certain cancers, but irritate our stomachs? Then scientists go ahead and mention that coffee could help prevent Parkinson’s, depression, and all sorts of ailments. In any case, call me an addict, but it makes my headaches go away, rather than triggering them.
So which is it? Should I splurge even more on Starbucks, now able to call it medicinal? Or should I continue being careful with my caffeine intake?
Well, here’s another. Surely all that talk about antioxidants and reservetol means those Cambridge students slurring their words with the red wine-stained lips “increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and protecting against artery damage” (MayoClinic). While research suggests that the reservetol in red wine is what reduces bad cholesterol and prevents blood clots, scientists (who must laugh in the faces of D.A.R.E. officers) even say that white wine, beer, and liquor might be just as heart-healthy.
I guess it’s just a matter of what will get you first, the heart disease or the liver cirrhosis (although if you keep drunkenly eating those fries, I think the effects on your heart might just equal out).
Not that I’d stop indulging if Mother Nature wasn’t kind enough to make chocolate good for you! Good for your heart? Check! Digestion? Check–it prevents diarrhea apparently. OK, but excuse me if I don’t think about that when I’m stuffing my face with fudge. Which, by the way, is all right, because chocolate can reduce the risk of diabetes (so the sugar can’t hurt, right?). Also, it stimulates the brain in a number great ways and helps coughs!
I suppose those chocolate binges weren’t particularly healthy, of course, but it’s comforting to know that I can call chocolate a health food.