Posts Tagged ‘Coffee Health’

Coffee May Reduce Colon Cancer Recurrence

Thursday, August 20th, 2015


Colon cancer patients who drink several cups of coffee daily may have a lower risk of recurrence after treatment, and an improved chance of cure, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This is the first study to link colon cancer recurrence and coffee, but comes after multiple reports in recent years suggesting coffee offers some protection against other types of cancers. The link was only found with caffeinated coffee, and the greatest benefit was seen in those who drank four or more cups daily- about 460 mg of caffeine, leading to a 42% lower disease recurrence.

Is Coffee Good for Your Heart?

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Image result for heart health

Researchers have found that people who drink between 3-5 cups of coffee per day are less likely to have coronary artery calcium (CAC) than those who drank no coffee at all. There was also a correlation between people who drink between 1-3 cups of coffee per day and a reduced prevalence of CAC, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Heart.

Calcium in the coronary artery isn’t always a problem, but at high enough levels it can be a sign of coronary heart disease, which occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart.

The data came from over 28,000 men and women over a two year span, who completed a 103 item food frequency questionnaire. Their CAC was tracked by CT scans that measured the amount of calcium in their arteries.

10 Unexpected Uses for Coffee

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Did you know coffee has a life outside of being a tasty, healthy beverage? It can be used for a variety of other purposes as well. Below are 11 unusual uses for coffee!

1. Palate Cleanser

Perfume counters at department stores sometimes have a small dish of coffee beans nearby to cleanse your olfactory palate. When testing out powerful aromatics it can be hard to discern one scent from another. The strong odor of coffee beans can cleanse your olfactory palate and allow you to smell the next scent better.

2. Pet Repellant

If neighborhood pets are hanging around your flowers, sprinkling coffee can keep these pets away. Most animals have a much greater sense of smell than ours, and coffee that smells great to us may be very unpleasant to animals. Mix the grounds with orange peels for an inexpensive deterrent.

3. Aromatic/ Fridge Deodorizer

You can easily make your own coffee air freshener by filling a pair of doubled-up ladies’ stockings with coffee beans, then tying it. Leave one of your coffee bean sachets in the fridge to absorb refrigerator odors and food prep smells, like onions or other strong smelling food.

4. In the Garden

Coffee grounds can be used as compost or fertilizer. Used grounds mixed with lye make a great composting agent, and you can even throw in the filter. Worms like to eat the bacteria that grows on the grounds and it helps them to digest better. Small amounts of grounds can be added directly to topsoil, especially to plants that like acidic soil like azaleas or roses. Since coffee is high in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other trace minerals, slowly releasing them into the plants. Make sure to be aware of which plants like acidic soil and which do not.  Finally, coffee has a strong odor which many insects and animals do not like. It has been suggested that mosquitoes, ants, and maggots all dislike the acidity of coffee and tend to stay away.

5. Meat Rub

We all know coffee is great for breakfast, but what about dinner? Try a coffee rub on your next steak for a unique flavor. Toast coffee grounds under a hot broiler for 30 seconds, shaking to prevent burning. Then add to steak spices and rub in to marinate a few hours in the fridge. Cook steak as desired.

6. Fabric Dye/Wood Stain

Coffee’s dark color makes it a good choice for giving fabrics or wood a worn look. It’s not going to be a very dark stain, but will be a unique, weathered look. Depending on the number of applications and type of material, this can produce some effective results.

7. Paint

Artists and crafters have used coffee and tea as a form of “paint” for ages. Regular brewed coffee can be brushed onto cardstock and will dry with a faded, brown, textured look. With repeated applications you can build up your image to create depth.

8. Cleaning Abrasive

Used coffee grounds can be used to clean your next dirty pot or pan before hand washing. The absorbent grounds are perfect for greasy pans and the small jagged edges of each ground help in cleaning the dirtiest dishware.

9. Facial Exfoliant

Coffee grounds are abrasive enough to scrub with, but soft enough to be used on your face. Gently massage a small amount of used grounds onto your face and skin is left feeling smooth.

10. Breath Freshener

Out of gum? Popping a whole coffee bean in your mouth for a few minutes can help freshen breath.

Coffee-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Now that Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is coming up. For a lot of people, that means cooking! Most of you probably know that turkey contains tryptophan, which can add to sleepiness after a big meal. Below are five coffee-inspired Thanksgiving recipes to add new tastes (and alertness!) to your Thanksgiving dinner:

1.       Smoked Turkey with Sweet Coffee Glaze

All you’ll need is a grill with a lid and some hickory chips, and about 3 hours to smoke this turkey (a smoker works too). Use an 11-12 pound bird, and before smoking douse it in 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of ground coffee, 1 onion, 12 fresh thyme sprigs, salt, black pepper, 2 cups of light brown sugar, and 2 gallons of water. Find the recipe here.

2.       Mahogany Chicken

Chicken may not be the most popular bird at the table on Thanksgiving, but this recipe may change your mind. This recipe uses ¾ cup ground coffee, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 2-3 large chicken breasts, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, salt and pepper, and ¾ cup of water.

3.       Low Carb Sausage Gravy

This adventurous gravy option combines one pound of ground sausage, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper, and the secret ingredient - ¼ cup of brewed coffee.

4.       Coffee Walnut Pie

This pie is easy to make, and a nice change of pace from the usual Thanksgiving pies.  It’s made with ½ cup of strong coffee, and you can find the recipe here.

5.       Pumpkin Latte Cake Bars

This is a great dish to satisfy any pumpkin lover’s taste buds. The cake layer is made from ½ cup of double strength brewed coffee (cooled), 1 box of spice cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin, and 1 large egg. The topping is from 15 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup of sugar, 1 large egg, another ¼ cup of the cooled coffee, 1 packet of instant cinnamon and spice oatmeal, and ¼ cup of chopped walnuts.  Dessert is served!

Don’t forget to add a cup of decaf after dinner, or try one of our holiday-inspired coffees like Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon Sticky Bun. Happy Thanksgiving!

New Trends in Coffee Drinking

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

What are the latest trends in what to put in your coffee? Some people are opting for spices, various milks, and even butter in their daily cup of coffee, claiming health benefits:

1.       Cinnamon: This spice is a good way to add flavor to your coffee without adding empty calories or heavily changing its natural taste. Cinnamon is also good for you- it helps strengthen the immune system, boost brain function, and can lower blood sugar levels.

2.       Cashew, coconut, or almond milk: These milks are much lower in fat than cream, and bring different flavors to your coffee along with some health benefits. Many coconut milks don’t contain lactose or hydrogenated oils.

3.       Grass-fed butter: This may be a surprise, but it is said that this creates a rich cup of coffee and decreases the amount of time it takes for your body to metabolize coffee’s caffeine. This equates to more energy with a lower crash rate. However, your regular grocery store butter likely won’t produce the same effects.

4.       Eggs: Whole raw eggs or egg yolks can emulsify a warm cup of coffee, especially when blended with honey, salt, cinnamon, cocoa, or cayenne. Egg whites are easier for the body to digest as well.

If you’re looking for the healthiest cup of coffee, though, your best bet is to drink it black.

National Coffee Day

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The National Coffee Association credits Kaldi, a goatherder, with discovering coffee in the highlands of Ethiopia. It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, after eating berries from a certain tree, became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night.

A local monastery then made a drink with the berries which kept him alert for long hours of evening prayer, and soon the knowledge of the energizing berries began to spread. The consumption of coffee spread across the Arabian peninsula, and eventually across the globe. Today coffee is grown all over the world, but all locations can trace their heritage to the ancient Ethiopian coffee forests.

The Arabs were the first to begin the cultivation of coffee and its trade. By the 16th century, it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, and was consumed in homes and many public coffee houses. With thousands of pilgrims traveling to Mecca each year from all over the world, coffee started making its way back to Europe.

Coffee houses soon became centers of social activity, and were known as “penny universities” in England, as for one penny a person could purchase a cup of coffee and engage in stimulating conversation. Tea continued to be the favored drink in the New World, until 1773 when the colonists revolted against the heavy tea taxes, and preferences began to shift to coffee.

As demand continued to spread, so did competition for cultivating coffee outside Arabia. The Dutch finally succeeded in obtaining seedlings, and they were successful on the island of Java.  Other countries began to gain access to seedlings, and in just 100 years, coffee became a commodity crop around the world. By the end of the 1700s, coffee had become one of the world’s most profitable export crops.

Fast forward to today, and coffee is a $30 billion industry worldwide. In the US, almost 83% of Americans drink coffee, which amounts to over 500 million cups per day.  Happy National Coffee Day!

Caffeinated Coffee May Help Retain New Memories

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

One newly-discovered perk of coffee is that it may help in retaining new memories. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and UC- Irvine, people drinking at least two cups of caffeinated coffee daily may be better able to form certain kinds of memories than those who do not.

Young adults who don’t drink much coffee and hadn’t had any that day were recruited for the experiment and were shown a variety of pictures of objects, then asked whether the picture depicted an indoor or outdoor item. Soon after viewing the pictures, the subjects took either a caffeine pill (two cups of coffee worth) or a placebo.

The next day, they returned to the lab and were shown images and asked to label the ones that were repeats from the previous day. Some of the pictures were obvious additions, but some were subtle changes not readily recognized. Those subjects who had taken the caffeine pill were much more adept at picking out the subtle differences.

One cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine did not show a noticeable difference from the placebo, and three cups showed the same effect as two. Read more here!

Caffeine May Reduce Tinnitus, Ringing in Ears

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Drinking coffee may be good for your hearing, a new study suggests. Women who consumed higher amounts of caffeine were found to be less likely to have tinnitus, which is a steady ringing or buzzing in the ears.

The research included more than 65,000 American women aged 30-44, who did not have tinnitus in 1991 and were followed for 18 years. Women who consumed less than 150 mg of caffeine per day (about 1.5 cups of coffee) were 15% more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed 450-600 mg daily. Most of the caffeine consumed came from coffee, according to the study published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

While the exact reason why caffeine seems to have this effect is unknown, it is known that it stimulates the central nervous system and has had a direct effect on the inner ears of animals in previous studies.

What is Chlorogenic Acid?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Chlorogenic Acid (CLA) has been found to be one of the main protective factors in a variety of recent studies examining the health benefits of coffee - from liver to eye health. CLA is one of the powerful antioxidants found in coffee beans, and is also found in strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and sunflower seeds.

Chlorogenic acid has been shown to inhibit an enzyme that promotes the formation of glucose (sugar) in the liver. Hence, chlorogenic acid in coffee may be responsible, in part, for the reduction of glycemic disorders like diabetes.

Various studies have also indicated chlorogenic acid slows the absorption of fat from food intake and also activates metabolism of extra fat. Chlorogenic acid is more potent in green coffee beans before they are roasted, but is also found in brewed coffee.

Caffeine and Exercise

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

With summer in full swing, many people are more active than they were in the winter months - with bike rides, runs, or other activities outside. Did you know that coffee can help you get more out of your workouts? Here are 5 ways it can help:

Improved Circulation

Recent research studied the effects of coffee on circulation in people who were not regular coffee drinkers. Participants in the study drank either caffeinated or decaf coffee, and then scientists gauged finger blood flow, to see how well their smaller blood vessels were working. Those who drank the caffeine had a 30% increase in blood flow over a 75 minute period, compared to those who had decaf. Better circulation can mean a better workout - muscles need oxygen!

Less Pain

Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the equivalent in caffeine of 2-3 cups of coffee before 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain. Caffeine may then help you push a little bit harder during workouts, resulting in better muscle strength and endurance.

Better Memory

A study published from Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine enhances memory up to 24 hours after it’s consumed.  In this study, two groups (those who drank caffeine and those who did not) were asked to remember images over a 24 hour span, and the caffeinated group scored better. This can help during workouts where remembering exercises or routines is necessary.

Muscle Preservation

In a study with animals, scientists found that caffeine helped offset the loss of muscle strength that occurs with aging. These protective effects were seen in the diaphragm, the muscle used for breathing, and in skeletal muscles.  These results indicate that caffeine may help preserve overall fitness and reduce the risk of age-related injuries!

More Muscle Fuel

A little caffeine post-exercise may be beneficial, particularly for endurance athletes who perform day after day. Compared to consuming carbohydrates alone, a caffeine/carb combo resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen four hours after exercise. Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that gets stored in muscle, and serves as a vital “piggy bank” during exercise. Greater reserves means you’re able to exercise harder and longer.

While caffeine appears to offer several exercise benefits, keep in mind it’s important to drink plenty of water as well!