As a busy mom, there is one thing that I rely heavily on to get me through each day … coffee. I know that in an ideal world, I would get eight hours of sleep every night and I would wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the world.  Unfortunately, I do not live in an ideal world and I don’t get anywhere near as much sleep as I should each night.  I work from home and that means that you often find me at my desk at 5AM or 11PM. Coffee helps wake me in the morning when I first get up and it gives me that little boost of energy to keep from taking a nap in the early afternoon.

In the past, I considered coffee a necessary evil and not very healthy. I was always told caffeine is something to be avoided. I’ve recently learned that coffee does have some health benefits. Coffee is very high in antioxidants and studies have shown that coffee drinkers are actually less likely to have Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. They also seem to have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.  A recent study in Greece actually found that people on one Greek island have a much higher life expectancy (they think) due to the coffee they drink.

Of course, you have to be aware of what you put in your drink, as well as the coffee itself.  I like my coffee light and sweet and that means that my morning wake up beverage has added fat and calories. Coffee contains no vitamins or minerals and offers no nutritional value to your diet. A glass of fresh-squeezed juice or water may be a better choice to go along with your breakfast.

Also, remember the old saying that everything should be in moderation.  While two or even three cups of coffee may cause no problems, enjoying four to seven cups a day can cause restlessness and anxiety.  If you are going to drink coffee, the best choice is a medium roast coffee.  The roasting process not only burns off the caffeine, it burns off the antioxidants.

So, what do you think? Is your morning coffee a necessary evil that you are trying to cut out of your diet? Or, do you see your love of coffee as a healthy indulgence that has a place in your daily routine?