By Jo Ann LeQuang
The world has always had a love-hate relationship with coffee. First cultivated in the fifteenth century and brewed in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa (which may be the source of its name), coffee’s spread throughout the Middle East, Near East, Europe, Africa, and the Americas was always punctuated by fits of enthusiasm and then official bans by authorities who feared its stimulating effects. Back in 1600, even the pope was asked to resolve the ongoing dispute as to whether or not Catholics ought to be drinking coffee (he said yes). In the seventeenth century, much European trade came through Italian ports, so it is no mystery why Italian coffee drinks still abound. The first coffee house in Europe opened its doors in Venice in 1645. Coffee is a strange mix of health benefits and risks. Studies have shown that moderate coffee drinkers (defined as three to five cups per day) were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease than those who abstained from coffee or drank just one or two cups daily. Women who drink three to five cups of coffee a day live longer than women who drink less or more coffee than that (the same results do not apply to men). It did not seem to matter if the coffee was decaffeinated or not. Coffee may also inhibit or prevent gallstone formation, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, cirrhosis, gout, and certain types of cancer. Caffeinated coffee consumption has been found to benefit the heart. Coffee is not only all that, it’s a bag of additional nutritional benefits.
Here are 10 tips for using coffee in a healthy way:
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