Nothing like that waking up to the smell of coffee. It’s gets the juices flowing with that very 1st sip. It’s offer you a energetic boost and mental clarity on a feeling that life can go on.
The thyroid gland is such a very important part of the body’s regulatory mechanisms; thyroid problems can affect everything in the body from our temperature to appetite to the pulse. Caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee, can affect the thyroid in a number of ways and has an effect on your central nervous system, your digestive tract, and your metabolism.
According to the recent article, in new study from the journal Thyroid people who consume coffee at the time of taking their thyroid medication, we see a 25-57% drop in T4, one of the thyroid hormones, compared to non-coffee drinkers. This adverse effect persists for up to one hour.
Researchers have also found that for patients taking levothyroxine tablets, absorption is affected by drinking coffee and espresso within an hour of taking the thyroid drugs.
According to “Coffee and Health,” by Gerard Debry, in experiments on rats, very high doses of caffeine caused the thyroid gland to enlarge, but at doses of about 300 mg, caffeine in humans did not change levels of thyroid hormones.
What about the benefits? Yes, there are many reliable studies that say coffee is full of antioxidants and polyphenols. However, these same antioxidants and polyphenols can also be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables.
There are many other reliable studies that show coffee can play a role in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, depression, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, etc.
Many coffee drinkers report feeling good for the first two hours (mainly due to a dopamine spike).
(If you just can’t give up that morning cup of Joe recommendations by researchers are clear: wait at least sixty minutes after taking levothyroxine before drinking coffee.)
What about decaf you ask?
Many manufacturers use a chemical process to remove caffeine from the coffee beans. The result is less caffeine, but more chemicals. It is the caffeine in the coffee that has the health benefits. Without it, you are left with little benefit.
Here are 11 reasons other reasons to give up your morning coffee even if you don’t have hypothyroidism. Written by Magdalena Wszelaki, Thyroid Diet Coach
1. Increases blood sugar levels
According to this study, caffeine increases blood sugar levels. This is especially dangerous for people with hypoglycemia (or low sugar levels) who feel jittery, shaky, moody and unfocused when hungry. Blood sugar fluctuations cause cortisol spikes, which not only exhaust the adrenals, but also deregulate the immune system. This is highly undesirable for those of us with adrenal fatigue, Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. Such cortisol spikes are also highly inflammatory.
2. Creates sugar and carbohydrate cravings
As the result of the above, when our blood sugar levels come down, we need an emergency fix to bring them back up. This is why people who drink coffee at breakfast or indulge in sugary and processed breakfasts crave carbs and sugar by 11am or later in the day.
3. Contributes to acid reflux and damages gut lining
Coffee stimulates the release of gastrin, the main gastric hormone, which speeds up intestinal transit time. Coffee can also stimulate the release of bile (which is why some people run to the bathroom soon after drinking coffee) and digestive enzymes.
In a person with a healthy digestion, this is not a big deal. However, for people with autoimmune conditions, compromised digestion (such as IBS, or “leaky gut”), this can cause further digestive damage to the intestinal lining (source).
4. Exhausts the adrenals
Coffee stimulates the adrenals to release more cortisol, our stress hormone; this is partly why we experience a wonderful but temporary and unsustainable burst of energy.
What many of us don’t realize is that our tired adrenals are often the cause of unexplained weight gain, sleeping problems, feeling emotionally fragile, depression and fatigue. Drinking coffee while experiencing adrenal fatigue is only adding fuel to the fire.
5. Worsens PMS and lumpy breasts
It’s well-established that coffee contributes to estrogen dominance (source), which can mean one of two things: we either have too much estrogen in relation to progesterone, or we have an imbalance in the estrogen metabolites (some are protective and some are dangerous).
PMS, lumpy breasts, heavy periods, cellulite and even breast cancer (which is an estrogenic cancer) can be symptoms of estrogen dominance.
6. Gluten-cross reactive food
50% of people with gluten sensitivities also experience cross reactivity with other foods, including casein in milk products, corn, coffee, and almost all grains, because their protein structures are similar. Cyrex Labs provides a test for gluten cross-reactive foods.
Many people report having a similar reaction to coffee as they do to gluten.
7. Impacts the conversion of T4 to T3 thyroid hormones
Coffee impacts the absorption of levothyroxine (the synthetic thyroid hormone); this is why thyroid patients need to take their hormone replacement pill at least an hour before drinking coffee.
The indirect but important point is that coffee contributes to estrogen dominance, cited above, and estrogen dominance inhibits T4 to T3 conversion.
8. Can cause miscarriages
This study showed that women who drink coffee during their pregnancy are at a higher risk of miscarriage.
9. Is highly inflammatory
Any functional or integrative doctor would say the majority of modern diseases are caused by inflammation – a smoldering and invisible fire found on a cellular level.
This study found that caffeine is a significant contributor to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Chronic body pains and aches, fatigue, skin problems, diabetes and autoimmune conditions are just some of the conditions related to inflammation.
10. Can contribute to and even cause osteoporosis
It is well-known that coffee changes our body pH to a lower, and thus more acidic, level. A low pH (which means a more acidic body) can contribute to osteoporosis.
This study has confirmed that habitual coffee drinking among postmenopausal women was the leading cause of osteoporosis.
11. Can cause insomnia and poor sleep
This study showed that 400mg of “caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive [sleep] effects.”
There are healthier alternatives to drinking coffee.
This is a great alternative to coffee. It has caffeine to give you a gentle jolt to wake up, but the caffeine content is nowhere as high as that of coffee, so you won’t experience a midday crash and fatigue your adrenals over time. One cup of this wonder tea can keep you going for most of the day.
This Indian tea is rich in antioxidants and contains a plethora of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and ginger that is sure to awaken all your senses in the morning. The smooth creamy flavor actually makes you feel like you are sipping a cup of coffee, but without all the extra caffeine.
This is a great way to rehydrate and alkalinize your body and perk up after sleep. It also detoxifies the liver and helps get your bowels going. This really should be the first thing everyone sips in the morning.
Who doesn’t enjoy a yummy protein smoothie? It is a terrific way to load up with energy and nutrition. Use almond, soy, or coconut milks and your choice of a good quality protein powder. Throw in some bananas and berries which add heaps of extra minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are sure to fill you up and get you going for the grueling day ahead.
Coconut water is Mother Nature’s perfect drink. It has an abundance of electrolytes and minerals while being low in fat and sugar. This is the best alternative to an energy or sports drink, and can really give you a burst of energy in the morning.
This protein-rich natural energy drink may soon make its way into the stores…be prepared almond and soy and coconut milks…it’s the next big health thing! Quinoa (pronounced keen-WAH), is a gluten-free, alkaline-forming, high-protein grain that has tremendous health benefits. Click on this link to read more of the healthy benefits!
Quinoa milk can be made from scratch, at home.
Consumers of quinoa milk do not need acreage or a cow to make this refreshment. The ingredients necessary to create quinoa milk can be purchased at a local health food store. The recipe is simple and cost, affordable. Here’s a recipe from OmNomNally.com:
1 cup quinoa grain
2 cups + 5 – 6 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Soak quinoa overnight in water and drain on the day of cooking or rinse quinoa under running water to remove bitter saponins. Cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water. Add cooked quinoa to blender with 2 cups of water. Blend on high until smooth. Add water to the desired consistency, blending the mixture after each addition. Up to 6 cups total of water may be needed for the consistency of store-bought non-dairy milks. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and agave if using. Pour milk into nut milk bag, hold over a bowl or large jug. Massage contents until all liquid has passed through the material – leaving only the ‘pulp’ behind
You’ve probably heard about this one but don’t know too much about it. Kombucha is a type of yeast. When you ferment it with tea, sugar, and other flavors or ingredients you make Kombucha tea. While the benefits of Kombucha are debated, many claim that it is useful for treating memory loss, regulating bowel movements, preventing cancer, helping with high blood pressure, and more.
Yerba mate is the good alternative to coffee for those who can’t start the day without a cup o’ caffeine. Providing the same buzz that coffee gives, Yerba Mate is preferred by many as it’s packed with nutrients, too. Mate is made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the celebrated South American rainforest holly tree. It is widely known for not having the heavy “crash” that coffee can bring. Another benefit of Yerba Mate is that it can be prepared and consumed in a variety of ways–hot, cold, with honey, in a tea infuser, in a French press, or even in a traditional coffee machine.
While it’s not the most exciting beverage in the world, sparkling water can be a refreshing alternative to both coffee and water. Especially when flavored with natural, sugar-free, fruit extracts, sparkling water is delicious and hydrating. There is a lot of competition in the marketplace from Perrier to San Pellegrino.
Hot Apple Cider
Hot apple cider’s sweet tanginess offers its own unique pick-me-up in lieu of caffeine, and its soothing warmth is just as satisfying as that of coffee on a cold fall or winter morning. In addition to its natural sweetness, because apples are the key ingredient, apple cider offers health benefits not available in coffee.
Click on this link for a recipe by the Pioneer Women for Hot apple cider.
Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory, and this golden turmeric tea recipe is sure to help heal your body from a number of inflammatory health conditions. Turmeric can help detoxify the liver and protect cell damage caused due to environmental pollutants, attack from free radicals . Research has found that turmeric extracts can lower blood cholesterol levels – especially LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. It has lipid lowering properties. This can reduce cholesterol levels and benefit weight loss by reducing adipose tissue weight gain.
This rich creamy and lightly sweet beverage is something you’re sure to enjoy!
Turmeric Tea Recipe
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Turmeric (powder or grated root)
- Pour coconut milk and water into the saucepan and warm for 2 minutes
- Add in butter, raw honey and turmeric powder for another 2 minutes
- Stir and pour into glasses.
You have to exercise caution when combining it with medications or supplements taken to slow down blood clotting. Turmeric supplements must be stopped two weeks prior to a surgery.
It must not be consumed by diabetic patients, those with gallbladder problems and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always consult your doctor about the right dosage to consume for a specific medical condition
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- Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Ask the Expert: Coffee and Health; Rob van Dam, M.D.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Hypothyroidism; Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD; March 2010
- “Coffee and Health”; Gerard Debry; 1994
- “Thyroid”; Altered Intestinal Absorption of L-Thyroxine Caused by Coffee; S. Benvenga, L. Bartolone, M.A. Pappalardo, A.Russo, D. Lapa, G. Giorgianni, G. Saraceno and F. Trimarchi; March 2008
- “Acta Chirurgica Scandinavica”; Does Coffee Consumption Protect Against Thyroid Disease? A. Linos, D.A. Linos, N. Vgotza, A. Souvatzoglou and D.A. Koutras; June-July 1989
- “Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics”; Neuroendocrine Effects of Caffeine in Normal Subjects; E.R. Spindel, R.J. Wurtman, A. McCall, D.B. Carr, L. Conlay, L. Griffith and M.A. Arnold; September 1984
The information and recipes contained in blog is based upon the research and the personal experiences of the author. It’s for entertainment purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, up to date and reliable information. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in the rendering of legal, financial, medical or professional advice. By reading this blog, the reader agrees that under no circumstance the author is not responsible for any loss, direct or indirect, which are incurred by using this information contained within this blog. Including but not limited to errors, omissions or inaccuracies. This blog is not intended as replacements from what your health care provider has suggested. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations or procedures discussed in this blog. All matters pertaining to your health should be supervised by a health care professional. I am not a doctor, or a medical professional. This blog is designed for as an educational and entertainment tool only. Please always check with your health practitioner before taking any vitamins, supplements, or herbs, as they may have side-effects, especially when combined with medications, alcohol, or other vitamins or supplements. Knowledge is power, educate yourself and find the answer to your health care needs. Wisdom is a wonderful thing to seek. I hope this blog will teach and encourage you to take leaps in your life to educate yourself for a happier & healthier life. You have to take ownership of your health.
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