Java. Joe. Jitter Juice. Morning Jolt. Whatever you like to call it. Coffee is a liquid infusion that many enjoy worldwide. I know, I enjoy a morning cup, and it is something I look forward to when I awake. And, on that really rare occasion when I order an ice cream cone? You got it. Coffee ice cream it is!
Many health practitioners suggest eliminating coffee and other caffeinated beverages from our diet and it may be a smart move for many of us, but more studies are emerging that show that cup of joe just might carry some real merit.
HOW COFFEE MAY BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Although for some, it is not a good choice, recent studies have been published that show those that drink the most coffee may enjoy these benefits:
1. Java may lower your risk for several diseases.
With over 1.000 various phytochemicals, coffee provides an enormous range of disease deterrents. For example, coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because studies are showing that coffee interferes with glucose synthesis and release in the body. It is also being studied for its use as a cancer risk reducer. Other diseases it may fend off include liver disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease.
2. It helps dissolve stones.
3. Coffee may improve your outlook.
In larger amounts, coffee is showing to lower depression risk.
4. Coffee is a headache fighter.
The caffeine in coffee may help absorb headache medications more quickly. This is why you may see caffeine added to these type of OTC pain relievers, or why, myself included, some drink a beverage with caffeine once a headache begins to send it packing. This can get tricky if you rely on this tactic too much though for migraines as it could then have the counter effect.
WHAT KIND OF COFFEE TO BUY FOR BEST HEALTH AND TASTE
If you choose to drink coffee, here are a few guidelines when purchasing it:
1. Buy organic beans.
Coffee beans are heavily sprayed. There are so many organic options out there, why not just choose organic to eliminate the added exposure to pesticides. One of my favorites is this brand, french roast.
2. Darker is better.
Darker roasts are best. Darker roasted beans produce a higher level of antioxidants than lighter roasted beans and may even help shed a pound or two.
3. Pulse it yourself.
Fresh ground coffee that you just made yourself with whole beans lessens oxidation of all those antioxidants in the beans providing more exposure to them. Freshly ground tastes best too!
5 TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR COFFEE THE HEALTHY WAY
So, you have purchased the good stuff. Now, here are five tips on how to best prepare your next pot or two to reap all those health benefits:
1. Create a layer.
There are many methods you can choose to make your coffee. That choice, though, can affect the health benefits. For example, using a non-bleached paper filter in processing your coffee can help eliminate harmful substances that can increase cholesterol levels. Turkish and Greek coffee, coffee brewed in a French press, and the boiled coffee consumed in Scandinavia do not use filters.
These methods of making coffee use a filter:
- Pour over coffee – Here is extensive information on how to do it and what to use. It may be a bit involved for many but the coffee prepared this way always wins the taste tests.
- Standard coffee maker – Standard drip coffee makers require the use of a filter,
2. Water down.
If the morning ritual includes a cup or two for you, best to first wake up your digestive system with some plain warm water or like me, warm water with a squeeze of lemon. The acidity of coffee will be less of a shock to your digestive system.
3. Eliminate these . . .
Chemicals like artificial sweeteners or other additives, creamers with high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, or high amounts of sugar.
4. Add these . . .
Cinnamon, cacao and coconut oil are all nice additions to your java. Other spices like cardamom, Chinese five-spice or nutmeg can add antioxidants to the brew as well. Almond milk or coconut milk or grass-fed dairy products are best as well.
5. Pick a chemical free coffee cup or mug.
Glass or porcelain mugs and cups are best. A plastic cup could leach the chemicals in plastic into your beverage. Styrofoam is not a good choice either for the same reason.
SHOP HEALTHY COFFE MAKING
Below are some great tools to make that coffee the healthy way and to make it taste just like the ones at your favorite coffee shop:
So, coffee lovers! Tell me, do you have a favorite brand of coffee or bean, way to prepare it or recipe to share? Or, have you eliminated it from your diet and how has that worked for you? The Health-Minded would love to know. Do tell — in the comments! Include a link, by all means!
coffee beans in hands: photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/n1ct4yl0r/13554422834/”>Nic Taylor Photography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-