Coffee is a common drink that is often used as a stimulant all over the world. Taking coffee is a common routine among the elderly especially while connecting with friends and family. Caregivers may also opt to use coffee as a form of refreshment to the seniors. Despite it being so common, it has its effects both positive and negative. The question of whether or not to use coffee in senior health remains a major topic of discussion.
The pros of coffee in senior health
Studies have shown that coffee contains antioxidant elements as well as minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which are essential to one’s health. As a result, activists to senior health recommend it as a regular beverage. Drinking coffee regularly can lower the risk of developing certain medical conditions including depression, Parkinson disease, stroke and some types of cancers. Coffee contains caffeine, which improves various aspects of brain functioning such as memory and concentration. It also makes one feel less tired as it increases the levels of adrenaline in the blood. In addition to that, it helps in burning calories, and contains protective effects to the liver.
The cons of coffee in senior health
Drinking coffee has its negative effects as well. When consumed in excess, that is more than 4 cups a day, the caffeine in it could cause problems to the elderly. This may include experiencing restlessness, nausea, agitation, increased heart and breathing rates and insomnia. Several studies have also linked caffeine to gout attacks and development of breast cysts in women. Too much of it is believed to cause stomach upsets due to indigestion. While occasional consumption of caffeine is known to reduce headache, overconsumption could cause headaches and migraines. Frequent consumption of coffee in senior women has proven to worsen symptoms of menopause. Other negative effects of caffeine include:
- It could lead to greater risk of bone fracture due to increased ossification.
- It may not be healthy to type two diabetics as it impairs glucose metabolism.
- In rare occasions, an overdose could lead to death.
Although it may be good in senior health, the amount of coffee consumed by seniors should be regulated. Other beverages such as cocoa could be substituted in place of coffee. Those who may not be sure whether drinking coffee could be beneficial or harmful to their health should consult with a doctor.