What about coffee?

Until recently, everyone knew about coffee. It’s lovely, and it wakes you up and keeps you going through the day…and through the night as well, if you drink too much of it. Many of us have found that we can’t drink coffee late in the evening, if we want a good night’s sleep. And we know that an overdose can give you palpitations and make you jittery, raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attack.

But wait: here comes another big study, showing that coffee can save your life! It’s not so much the caffeine as the antioxidants and some other constituents that have been shown to help protect your liver from various problems like cirrhosis, liver cancer and other diseases. So it seems that strong coffee really does help after a heavy night out.

Bear in mind, however, that this research is funded by six of the biggest coffee manufacturers. And that the recommendation is based on three cups of coffee a day, or a ‘moderate’ intake. The European Food Safety Agency still advises pregnant women and children to keep their intake low. And there are other ways to protect your liver without raising your caffeine consumption, like not drinking too much alcohol, for example. A moderate use of bitter foods like dandelion leaves, chicory, and - of course – herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary, will help protect your liver and look after your general health without the risk of anxiety, sleeplessness or heart problems. So by all means enjoy the occasional cup of ‘proper’ coffee, knowing that it may be doing you some good. As ever, moderation is the key.

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