Coffee break: How caffeine affects seniors
One of the most popular drinks in the world is coffee, and most American adults enjoy a cup or more almost every day. In 2013, 83 percent of Americans said they regularly drink coffee, according to the National Coffee Association. As the most widely consumed way to have caffeine, coffee can have lasting health effects on seniors.
Coffee and disease prevention
Recent studies have shown that those who drink coffee may have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, dementia, stroke and even Alzheimer's disease. Coffee has even been linked to memory care. As a stimulant, caffeine can boost concentration and circulation. In preventing Parkinson's disease, coffee as proven to be more effective in men than women, though the reason is not exactly clear. In addition, those who are already affected by the disease have been able to improve their condition by regularly drinking coffee as part of their senior nutrition.
What many people forget is that coffee is a bean packed with antioxidants, and for Americans it is the No. 1 source of antioxidants in diets. Other foods that are antioxidant-rich include dark fruits and vegetable like blueberries and leafy greens. A powerhouse of nutrition, antioxidants will help you live longer, as they help eliminate free radicals from the body. The National Cancer Institute has stated that drinking coffee can prolong life.
High blood pressure
Before you go off to brew another pot of coffee, it is important to remember that too much of anything can have adverse effects. Coffee has been known to raise blood pressure because caffeine affects the nervous system. According to the National Institute of Health, the most widely consumed form of caffeine among seniors is coffee. The average consumption is 200 milligrams a day. Fortunately, most people develop a tolerance to coffee, and blood pressure won't remain high long after consumption.
One of the down sides of an affordable luxury like coffee is that it can contain a relatively high amount of caffeine, an addictive drug. While low and moderate levels of caffeine are safe for consumption, it is possible to become dependent on the substance. For a person addicted to caffeine, the side effects when you go without can include headaches and trouble concentrating.