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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yaaawwwwnnnn........I need COFFEE!!

Do you find yourself making this statement almost daily?  We do in our household, whether it's needed or not, it is a great beverage to start your day.  Despite what some may claim as coffee being bad for you and high in calories, this is for the most part false.  For one thing, we're not talking about the full fat milk laden coffee served at gourmet shops....no, just the black liquid extracted from ground beans with hot water and a straining device.

Coffee has much to offer mentally and physically. For most, it is mentally comforting and helps with alertness.  Physically, it's great for endurance events and minimizing pain from headaches to bodyaches.  There are many ways to obtain your fix by brewing at home or going to a barista shop.......or, *gasp* a gas station.  Brewing with a French Press is my preferred way as is many other coffee fanatics.

Here are some benefits that can be derived from daily coffee consumption:

  • Cut the Risk of Heart Disease by 25% for Women
  • Cut the Risk of Diabetes
  • Cut the Risk of Dementia
  • Cut the Risk of Colon Cancer
  • Lower Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer 
  • Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cut the Risk of Gallstones by Almost 50% 
  • Cut the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease 
  • High Level of Antioxidants
  • Coffee can boost concentration and therefore makes you more alert and awake
  • Caffeine acts as decongestant as it opens narrowed bronchial tubes
  • Asthma Relief 
  • Headache Relief 
  • Boost Mood
  • Boost Athleticism - it's even considered a controlled substance in the Olympics b/c of its ability to aid in enhancing endurance and performance.  
  • Prevent Dental Cavities - A compound called Trigonelline, which gives coffee its aroma and bitter taste, has both antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties to help prevent dental cavities from forming
The full list and explanation of benefits can be found here.

A favorite treat of mine is to dip crunchy ginger snaps in a cup of fresh coffee!

As with most food and drink, quality is an important part of how much nutrition is derived.  The coffee sitting on the burner for hours at work will lose a lot of its essential oils (and flavor) as opposed fresh brewed french press coffee.  Also, using a paper filter will absorb the oils.  Try using a wire mesh filter that allows the oils to pass through, and it's better than the waste from paper filters.

Whatever your choice, straight black coffee will yield the most benefits, but a little skim milk never hurt.  Just be cautious with adding too much cream and sugar as the positive benefits are replaced with a high calorie beverage with little nutritional value.

In lieu of adding cayenne to spice up your coffee, just add cinnamon!

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