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Are you ready to turn your love-hate relationship with coffee into a love affair? You can when you learn some simple tricks and nine ways to make healthy coffee.
Is coffee part of your morning ritual? Do you look forward to that intoxicating aroma? Do you savor each taste? Do you feel satisfied and grounded after your first cup?
Or do you feel like a zombie until you’ve downed a few cups? Do you care where your coffee comes from or what is in it? Do you just need the caffeine jolt to get moving? Do you need to drink it all day long just to get by?
Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised. ~Star Trek: Voyager
I went on a pretty strict elimination diet a few years ago, and of all the foods I had to give up, coffee was what I missed the most. It wasn’t the caffeine jolt that I craved, it was the flavor, aroma and warm feeling I got from holding the steaming mug and sipping the hot, delicious coffee.
So, what is the deal with coffee? Is it good or bad for you? Let’s break it down.
Eight Health Benefits Associated with Drinking Coffee
Source of antioxidants and Other Healthy Compounds
- Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. In fact, it the number 1 source of antioxidants for most Americans.
- Coffee has a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants, bioflavonoids, vitamins and minerals.
- There are a thousand different natural chemical compounds in coffee with a natural synergy between them, enhancing each other’s benefits.
- Coffee stimulates the digestive system with its caffeine content and bitter properties.
- These components naturally stimulate movement of the colonic muscles, promoting peristalsis.
- Study results show that coffee consumption decreases the risk of developing diabetes. The protective effects are not from caffeine alone but from the synergy of all the components of coffee.
- Epidemiological studies have found an association between coffee consumption and improved cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients and in the elderly.
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
- Study results indicate that coffee consumption is inversely associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Parkinson’s Disease Protection
- A study confirms an inverse association between caffeine intake and the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
- Research findings suggest a beneficial effect of coffee on the liver. The various components of coffee including caffeine, coffee oils, and antioxidant substances have been found to favorably support the liver.
Curb Sugar Cravings
- Caffeine binds to opioid receptors and prohibits cravings, specifically sugar cravings.
The Negative Effects of Drinking Coffee
- Caffeine is a stimulant. Tachycardia and arrhythmia typically arise when more than 200 mg of caffeine is ingested. It has been reported an intake of 300 mg of caffeine increases anxiety and tension.
- Pregnant women are advised to significantly limit caffeine consumption due to possible negative effects on the developing fetus.
- Non-organic coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. If you drink coffee every day, you are introducing toxic chemicals and pesticides into your body every single day.
- Many of us rely on coffee and caffeine to wake up in the morning and continue to drink it throughout the day for needed energy. When we rely on a food or substance to perform daily activities, it becomes an addiction.
- Many of us also get headaches when we skip the coffee. Headaches are a sign of caffeine withdrawal and addiction.
- The stimulant property of coffee is hard on our adrenal glands. If you suffer from chronic fatigue and adrenal insufficiency, you should carefully consider your coffee habits.
Nine Ways to Make Healthy Coffee
Choose Organic Whole Coffee Beans
- Avoid pesticides and other toxic chemicals with organic coffee.
- Whole coffee beans are fresher, less processed and retain more nutritional properties.
Choose Dark Roasted Coffee Beans
- Roasted coffees are higher in lipophilic antioxidants that protect neuronal cells against oxidative stress.
- Darker roasts often contain less caffeine because prolonged heat breaks down more of the caffeine.
Black is Best
- Taking your coffee straight up provides the most health benefits. But if you just can’t stomach it black, read on for some helpful tips.
Avoid Processed Creamers and Sugar
- Artificial creamers come in all sorts of delicious flavors and are tempting, but you will be shocked when you read and google the ingredient list. You’ll think twice about using them again.
- Always be wary of dairy creamers that do not need refrigeration. If it doesn’t need refrigerated, it has been significantly altered and does not belong in your body.
Use Unsulphured Black Strap Molasses
- Looking for a sweetener with a moderate glycemic index and chock full of vitamins and minerals? Try organic, unsulphored black strap molasses.
- It is high in copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6 and selenium.
- Believe it or not, it has been reported to help reverse gray hair!
- It is a thick, dark syrup with a bitter flavor and pairs perfectly with the bold flavor of coffee.
Use Coconut Oil or Coconut Milk
- The benefits of coconut oil are endless. Adding it to coffee renders a creamy coconut flavor and a boost of healthy fats which give you energy and increase your metabolism.
- Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid which is known to boost the immune system.
- To fully incorporate the oil, blend the coffee and oil together in your blender.
- Don’t like the idea of oil in your coffee and no time to mess with a blender? No problem. Try coconut milk instead.
- The creamiest and healthiest coconut milk comes in a can (the carton versions are more processed and watered down). Look for one that is organic, minimally processed and comes in a BPA free can.
Use Real Cream
- Just can’t live without dairy creamer? Try real cream.
- Always consider organic dairy products and avoid ultra-pasteurized cream.
- Conventional milk contains growth hormones, antibiotics, GMO’s, herbicides and pesticides.
- Ultra heat pasteurization kills off the naturally occurring enzymes in milk that are needed to digest the milk protein, casein. It also alters the casein itself to the point of being indigestible.
- If you live in the central Ohio area, Snowville Creamery has the best cream. It is non-homogenized and minimally heat pasteurized, so it retains more nutrients. Yes, there are nutrients in real cream. Raw cream straight from pasture-raised cows provides the most nutrition, but is difficult to come by if you don’t have close ties to a dairy farmer.
Add Some Vital Proteins Collagen
If you haven’t tried it yet, this will become your new favorite superfood supplement. The benefits include:
- Promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails
- Helps keep bones healthy and strong
- Supports joint health
- Contributes to a balanced diet and helps maintain weight
- Natural glycine improves sleep quality
Use Glass, Stainless Steel or Ceramic Coffee Cups
- Plastic and styrofoam cups leach BPA and polystyrene molecules.
- Hot, acidic drinks like coffee leach more chemicals.
- Disposable cups produce more landfill waste.
- Consider a good travel mug to cut down on chemical leaching and environemental waste.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think coffee is a healthy addition to your daily routine? Or do you feel like you can’t get by without it? Are there some changes you can adapt to make coffee a healthy part of your day? Share in the comments below.
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