A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2 Tasty Ways to be Economical

I know coffee and crabs don't pair well, but I'd like to share an interesting way that we, as consumers, can be more economical with the two.

Keeping consistent, I searched for a few benefits of both coffee and crab to add to their economical uses.

For coffee, an interesting economical replacement for stir sticks is dried linguine pasta.  I saw this while in Colorado and love the idea.  Yes, washable spoons would be the best option, but for those consumers on the go, pasta stir sticks are better than the plastic or wooden ones you usually see.  As a plus, you can eat your stick or compost it!  Now, too many people add tons of cream and sugar with hardly any actual coffee in their cup.  You need to have the coffee to obtain its benefits!  Kelley and I make it with a French Press and usually drink it black.  We'll sometimes add a splash of skim milk as a treat, and I will add Stevia sometimes.

I found a few benefits of coffee At This Site:

1. Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants in the American diet
While fruits and veggies are still the richest sources of antioxidants, it turns out that for Americans, coffee is the main basis of antioxidant consumption (according to the Institute of Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University). Black tea and bananas came in second and third place, respectively. Surprisingly, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provide similar amounts of antioxidants.

2. Coffee increases your metabolism
Studies also show that coffee is very beneficial in terms of weight loss. It is a common misconception that coffee is an appetite suppressant, however, your morning cup can significantly speed up metabolism by about 10 percent. The National Research Council on Diet and Health found that metabolic rates will be highest during the first three hours following consumption. Just make sure to skip the added sugars, syrups, and whipped toppings found in many store-bought coffee drinks.

3. Coffee can improve short-term memory
According to studies published in
The Journal of the American Medical Association, caffeine is a cognitive stimulant that actually boosts brain functioning. Furthermore, coffee reduces levels of beta amyloid, a protein in the brain that is responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee lowers the rates of some cancers
According to WebMD, coffee drinkers are 50 percent less likely to get liver cancer. By drinking 2 cups per day, you’re also slashing your risk of getting colon cancer by 25 percent. Some studies have also found ties to lower rates of breast and skin cancers as well.

5. Coffee can reduce risk for Type 2 diabetes
WebMD also asserts that coffee contains chemicals that lower blood sugar, making heavy coffee drinkers half as likely to get diabetes as light to non-coffee drinkers. 1-3 cups per day can reduce the risk for diabetes by single digits, but people who drink 6 cups or more per day can slash their chances by up to 54 percent.

6. Coffee is actually good for your teethRoasted coffee beans have antibacterial effects against microorganisms like Streptococcus, which play a hand in causing tooth decay.

7. Coffee can help prevent/stop headaches
WebMD explains that blood vessels increase in size during a migraine-- caffeine works to decrease the size of blood vessels before they can affect nerves in the brain. So, drinking coffee in the early stages of a headache can help minimize the severity later on.
For the crabs....I love crab meat, but it is very expensive and sucks that most crabs are killed just for their sweet claw meat.  Well, enter the amazing Stone Crab with regenerative properties!  Fishermen trap the stone crab, remove one claw and return to the ocean where they can regenerate a new claw in about a year.  As such, there is not an over fishing problem and we get to enjoy the succulent crab claw meat.  As with most seafood, crab is a healthy, low-fat, option for quality protein and nutrients our bodies need.

More info on the below listed benefits can be found here.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Source: Crab meat contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower triglycerides, increase the supply of HDL or good cholesterol, prevent blood clotting and strengthen resistance to infections.
Rich in Proteins, but Free from Carbohydrates: One serving of crab contains 20g protein. This makes crab meat a good alternative to tuna fish. If you are trying to get enough protein, but worry about gaining weight in return, eating crabs is a good choice. Crab meat is carbohydrate free, which is why it is a good diet food if you are trying to lose weight, build muscles, or have diabetes.
Natural Source of Some Vitamins and Minerals: Crab meat contains high amounts of vitamin B12, which is crucial for normal and healthy brain and nervous system function. Vitamins A (for good eyesight) and C (for proper growth and development), and other B vitamins such as thiamine (B1, for conversion of carbohydrates into energy), riboflavin (B2, for the manufacture of red blood cells) and niacin (B3, for proper digestion) can also be found in crab meat. The minerals found in crab meat include potassium (for healthy cells), sodium (for blood pressure regulation), phosphorus (for strong teeth and bones) and calcium (for overall health maintenance).
Low Mercury Content: You may avoid eating crab meat because of the fact that seafood contains high levels of mercury. Crab meat, however, is actually low in mercury, making it safe to eat.
Low Caloric and Fat Content: Crab meat is a highly recommended food for losing weight. A 4 oz. serving of crab meat contains only 98 calories and less than 2g of fat. This also makes crab meat an excellent food for a healthy heart.

Next time you have one of these, choose the economical way and feel good doing for your health and the World's.

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