Showing posts from November, 2010

Coffee Prices Explode & Global Coffee Gratitude

At the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of how grateful I am for coffee. Not only for its rich, soothing, energizing effects---but also because of its health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. I am also grateful that increasingly the medical evidence is documenting these benefits with amazing contributions from European and American universities! I am also grateful that most of the coffee-drinkers I know can still afford to drink coffee and enjoy its benefits. That is not insignificant, especially when you consider that coffee prices are at an all-time high for the past 13 years. In fact, coffee futures have increased 44%. According to pundits, a constellation of factors are contributing to coffee's sky-high prices, including bad weather in South America and low stockpiles in the United States. But, there's something else: Increasing demand from coffee drinkers in emerging economies. The largest increase i

Coffee: The Great Equalizer That Reduces the Risk of Stroke

The connection between coffee and the brain is taken for granted. Coffee is a major stimulant that speeds up reaction time and improves short-term memory, primarily by acting on the prefrontal cortex. But coffee’s effect on the brain goes beyond caffeine-induced stimulation. In fact, there is one brain-related benefit associated with all types of coffee---caffeinated, decaf, instant, or ground coffee. Regular coffee-drinking reduces the risk of having a stroke by about 27%. Researchers think that this is because of the antioxidants in coffee (the #1 source of antioxidants in the American diet), which can lower inflammation and improve blood vessel function. In a 12-year observational study led by Dr. Yangmei Li at the University of Cambridge in England, the coffee drinking habits of more than 23,000 men and women (aged 39 to 79) were tracked. Coffee drinkers fared much better than non-coffee-drinkers when it came to stroke--- the leading cause of disability and the 3rd leading c