Coffee has spread around the world and has become an increasing part of many diets. Ayurveda teaches us that all plants serve a purpose. There are both benefits and possible downsides of coffee. In Ayurveda, coffee should be used as medicine, like all food or liquids we ingest. With any form of medicine, it is important to take note of the effects and adjust consumption due to your individual mental, emotional, and physical states.
Coffee has a very stimulating effect on the body. It can promote energy, raise your blood pressure, and stimulate digestion. Coffee has many high medicinal plant properties. Yet, it also creates false energy through caffeine. Coffee gives your body energy when your body may be telling you there isn’t any. After awhile this can create imbalances in the body like adrenal fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia. Perhaps your body is asking for more sleep and downtime. Ayurveda teaches us to be attuned to what we consume and check in if it’s still working for us.
Ayurveda considers more than just an individual’s physical state. It looks at an individual’s mental and emotional states as well. Each dosha, a person’s unique body constitution, can help understand if coffee is right for you.
If you’re unsure of what your dosha is, take the quiz on our website. Click, “What’s My Dosha?”
Vata: People with a strong Vata constitution are not recommended to drink coffee, though they are probably drinking the most. They tend to have restless thoughts and be cold in their extremities. Some individuals can tend to have an airy, gas-producing digestive system. Coffee may lead to poor focus, difficulty sleeping, and high anxiety. One cup in the morning is okay if needed.
Pitta: People with a strong Pitta constitution tend to quick thoughts and responses. Coffee is acidic and heating in nature and can be over-stimulating to a Pitta individual. One cup or two cups after breakfast can be fine, but too many cups can lead to imbalances. Too much coffee can lead to the overproduction of acid in the gut, resulting in gastric reflux. This can also lead to an increase in temper issues like, anger and sarcasm.
Kapha: People with a strong Kapha constitution are recommended to drink coffee, as they tend to feel slow throughout the day. Coffee can be a great tool to stimulate energy, movement, and promote digestion. The diuretic quality of coffee can help dry up the heavy, wet nature of Kapha.
Benefits of Coffee
Coffee is strong in polyphenols. Polyphenols are compounds in plans with high antioxidant activity. They work to fight free radicals that can harm our DNA and proteins.
One of the main polyphenols is chlorogenic acid, CGA. CGA has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may lead to health benefits of regular coffee consumption, such as:
- Improved brain function for memory and quick thinking skills
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower risks of Type II Diabetes
- Lower rates of Parkinson’s disease and Dementia
- Lower rates of liver cancer
Risks of Coffee
Many dietitians and physicians warn about the effects of coffee, mainly the possible increase in hypertension and blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to cardiovascular and kidney disease. However, there is not much research on this and results tend to be inconclusive. Also, coffee drinkers tend to notice when they are drinking too much and can self-regulate their consumption. High consumption of caffeine can have a negative impact on the body. A coffee bean contains between 0.8% and 2.5% caffeine. The amount of caffeine in a cup depends on the duration of coffee on the grounds.
Some individuals have noticed a decrease in anxiety when they stopped drinking coffee and caffeine.
Go ahead and have one or two cups of coffee, but stay mindful of how it’s affecting your mental and physical states!