Sunday, November 26, 2006

Caffeine and Coffee and Chocolate - Oh My!

After years of denying himself the pleasure of a cup of coffee in the mornings based on information that it was not good for you, my father recently learned of a new study that states the benefits of coffee, particularly for diabetes. While I am sure the health benefits were the primary driver, seeing the joy in his eyes from a simple morning cup, you would think he was being reunited with a long lost friend from his camp days.

There are also new studies touting the benefits of the anitioxidants and flavonoids found in dark chocolate as well as the fitness enhancing benefits found in caffeine. The vices that previously seemed to plague our health and performance are revealing themselves as virtues to enhance it.

The truth is, you could find a study to support anything these days. The challenge arises in finding trusted and credible information and coupling that with an honest dialogue with ourselves and our healthcare professionals. As information becomes more readily available, the doctor/patient relationship is shifting towards one where dialogue is critical in gaining a full understanding as to what the appropriate answers are for each of us. So continue reading the various studies and despite the instaneous relief or angst you may experience after learning about a new finding, take that moment of pause and get comfortable asking the questions until you fully comprehend in a manner that resonates with you. And as far as caffeine, coffee, and chocolate - the key is moderation, so savor the moments with these delicacies just like you would upon reuniting with that long lost friend.

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