Through my practice working with clients, I’ve gotten a lot of them off caffeine and onto more natural substitutes (like dandelion and barley) because of the negative effects of drinking too much caffeine.
Now recent studies are beginning to show that there may be some potential benefits to drinking coffee.
Apparently, when research was carried out in the past, they often looked at just the question of “is coffee healthy” by itself and didn’t necessarily look at other factors like smoking, lack of exercise or a high stress lifestyle in people who also drank a lot of coffee.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Is coffee dangerous?
Modern research makes these adjustments and seems to find no correlation between coffee consumption and risk of heart disease, stroke or cancer (at least drunk in moderate levels). In fact I’ve seen some studies showing a decreased risk of these diseases in moderate coffee drinkers.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. It also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.”
Caffeine for pregnant women
However, it’s important to understand that coffee is both a potent drug, and a whole food provided it’s organically grown, and the drug element of coffee can present problems for pregnant women.
One of the downsides amongst others is that it can be very dehydrating, and a pregnant mother needs to consume more water during pregnancy.
Caffeine is able to pass freely through the placenta, which can significantly impact the growing foetus. As caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby but could cause potential hazards, I would recommend pregnant women to avoid caffeine all together.
Unfortunately, most people (pregnant or not) use coffee for its energy-boosting properties, which ends up serving as a temporary solution for poor nutrition. If you’re getting the nutrients your body needs, you really wouldn’t need the extra energy boost.
If this sounds like you, you may want to consider taking a look at your dietary and lifestyle habits.
Proper nutrition clearly becomes even more important when pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
In a research study carried out in 2009, mice were given caffeine during pregnancy produced embryos with “a thinner layer of tissue separating some of the heart’s chambers than the group that was not given caffeine.” In the long term, this resulted in a 20% increase in body fat in males, and a 35 percent decrease in cardiac function.
Gerald Weissman, M.D. and editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal says in relation to the study:
“Caffeine is everywhere: in what we drink, in what we eat, in pills that we use to relieve pain, and even in candy… This report shows that despite popular notions of safety, there’s one place it probably shouldn’t be: in the diet of an expectant mother.”
Preconception health, pregnancy and breastfeeding are the most nutritionally demanding periods during a woman’s life.
Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body
This is when particular attention should be paid to the amount and quality of nutrients taken. More focus should be put towards obtaining the right nutrients from plant-based, whole foods and supplements to keep your body in the best condition to thrive and support your growing baby during pregnancy and beyond.
If a mother doesn’t eat right during pregnancy, neither will her growing baby.
For tips and support on how to obtain a nourishing, balanced diet through pregnancy, click here (insert profile link) to connect with me. Are you looking to improve your preconception health and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy?
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