This morning I started my day the way I often do, my favorite way, with a fresh cup of coffee.
There was a time when coffee was considered a health deterrent. I’m glad things have done a complete 180 as far as that’s concerned.
Coffee’s good for me, and I can back that up with scientific studies.
In fact, a new study out of the Krembil Brain Institute has now shown that drinking the right type of coffee could help you stave off one of the most dreaded neurological diseases of our time — Parkinson’s disease.
Light roast, dark roast or decaffeinated dark roast — which is best?
The research team, headed by Dr. Donald Weaver, co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute, already knew that coffee consumption seemed to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s and even Alzheimer’s. But they didn’t know why.
“We wanted to investigate why that is — which compounds are involved and how they may impact age-related cognitive decline” said Dr. Weaver.
The team chose to investigate three different types of coffee — light roast, dark roast and decaffeinated dark roast.
And they found that whether the coffee is caffeinated or de-caffeinated makes no difference. What matters is how rich in a compound known as phenylindanes the coffee is.
According to Dr. Weaver, “Phenylindanes are unique in that they are the only compound investigated in the study that prevent — or rather, inhibit — both beta amyloid and tau, two protein fragments common in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, from clumping.”
And since roasting leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, this makes dark roasted coffee more protective than light roasted coffee.
These are incredibly important findings since Parkinson’s disease now affects about 1 million people in the United States alone and 10 million worldwide with the numbers growing every year.
Even more incredible, the fact that it’s a natural compound instead of a synthetic drug with multiple side effects is a major advantage.
As Dr. Weaver put it, “Mother Nature is a much better chemist than we are, and Mother Nature is able to make these compounds. ”
The many health benefits of coffee
If you or someone you know are already battling Parkinson’s disease, dousing inflammation is key to managing many of the symptoms.
Coffee contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, so its benefits extend beyond the phenylindanes that occur with roasting.
But because decreasing inflammation in the body can be so beneficial for anyone with Parkinson’s, the goals should extend beyond a morning cup of coffee.
The best place to start is with diet…
#1 — Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Foods like green leafy vegetables, olive oil, fatty fish and bone broth help to decrease the levels of inflammation in your body. On the other hand, if your diet consists of fast food, sugars and trans fats, your inflammation markers will continue to rise. To help control your inflammation and decrease your Parkinson’s symptoms, make at least 80 percent of your diet anti-inflammatory (but the more the better).
#2 — Add in a high-quality fish oil
Fish oil is an important anti-inflammatory you can’t afford to skip. In fact, it’s so powerful that it has been proven to be just as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for treating pain. More specifically, I recommend krill oil. Krill contains the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin which helps it easily cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver DHA directly to your brain cells.