Posts Tagged ‘Healthy coffee’

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 May Help with Liver Disease

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Evidence is showing that coffee may prevent and mitigate liver disease, even among people who may not realize they have the disease. Several studies spanning the past 15-20 years have shown that coffee helps prevent liver inflammation, which is often tied to Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. It’s unclear whether caffeine or other ingredients of coffee are responsible for the benefits, but one study in Japan showed that green tea failed to have the same effects.

Obesity is a leading cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which many Americans have but don’t realize, up to 10-15% of the population. Usually liver diseases don’t show symptoms until the liver actually fails, though.  While coffee alone can’t treat liver disease, consuming a moderate daily amount of unsweetened coffee is a reasonable therapy option. Read more here!

5 Ways to Make Your Coffee Healthier

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Coffee is naturally a healthy beverage, and is the leading provider of antioxidants in the US diet. Here are some tips to get the most benefit out of your coffee:

1. Don’t Load Your Coffee with Sugar

Sugar, in addition to adding unnecessary calories to your drink, is also bad for teeth and has been linked to diseases like Diabetes. If you must have some sugar in your coffee, Stevia is a better option.

2. Avoid Low-Fat and Artificial Creamers

Commercial low-fat and artificial creamers (and sweeteners) tend to be highly processed and may contain unnatural, harmful ingredients. Some of these include high fructose corn syrup and trans fats.  If you want to add a creamer, try a full-fat cream, and preferably organic. Studies have shown that high-fat dairy products are actually associated with a reduced risk of obesity.

3. Add Some Cocoa

Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease. Try adding a little cocoa to your cup for added sweetness.

4. Add Some Cinnamon

Cinnamon mixes very well with the flavor of coffee, and has been shown to lower blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides in diabetics. Try it out!

5. No Caffeine Late in the Day

Drinking coffee late in the day can interfere with our sleep, since it’s a stimulant and gives us a jolt of energy. Poor sleep can cause several problems, so if you can, choose Swiss Water Decaf. Depending on your sensitivity, 2-3 pm is a good guideline for caffeine cutoff

Dangers of Energy Drinks

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Some new research presented to the American Heart Association highlights some scary ways high-caffeine beverages can impede heart function.  Seven studies were reviewed with healthy participants aged 18-45, and found that energy drinks can disrupt heart rate and raise blood pressure.

The QT interval, which measures the time between heartbeats, was noticeably longer with people who had three energy drinks compared to those who had none. While this may not be relevant to an average healthy person, it may be an issue for people with underlying heart conditions and even cause heart failure.

Clearly, if you are going to drink energy drinks, it’s best to do in moderation.  With all of the health benefits of coffee, though, it is a much healthier and safer option for consuming caffeine. Read more in this article from Men’s Journal!

American Heart Month

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013


February is American Heart Month!  Did you know that drinking coffee is healthy for your heart? Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reviewed five studies that analyzed the relationship between coffee consumption and heart failure risk. Of the 140,000 participants in the studies, those who regularly drank two 8-ounce cups of coffee had an 11% lower risk of heart failure than those who didn’t drink it.


Researchers think the preventative aspect comes from coffee’s healthy compounds like antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes (a known risk factor for heart failure).


Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but fortunately it is preventable and controllable.  The CDC has some great resources for staying healthy and preventing Heart Disease available here.


Easy New Year’s Resolution: Drink Coffee!

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Many people start the year off with resolutions about how to become healthier: watch their diet, exercise more, lose weight, etc. While these may be difficult to keep at times, drinking coffee is an easy way to become healthier in 2013.


Coffee protects against many diseases (Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, many cancers), increases concentration and provides energy, and is the leading source of antioxidants in the US diet. Oh, and it tastes great too! Also, the roasting process HealthWise uses allows it to retain more vitamins and minerals than other coffees, like calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc.


Of course, the healthiest way to drink coffee is black, without sugary and fatty additives.  From various studies, it seems that 3-5 cups per day is the best amount for these benefits. Happy 2013!


HealthWise has some specials on coffee before 1/10/13, so make sure to sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already, or email for more info.

Coffee Reduces Oral Cancer Risk

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Another study on why coffee is healthy: A study conducted by US universities and funded by the American Cancer society showed that drinking coffee halves the risk of oral cancer, even in smokers and drinkers. Adults who drank more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 49% lower risk of dying from mouth and throat cancer than those who drank none or drank it occasionally.  The study was independent of risk factors like smoking and alcohol intake, and the same reduction in risk was not found for tea drinkers.

The study examined around 900,000 people from the study that ran from 1982 to 2008 by the American Cancer Society.

Five Foods (Other than Coffee) That May Keep You Up at Night

Monday, November 12th, 2012


Some of us decide to stop drinking caffeinated coffee long before bedtime because of the caffeine’s effects. About 10% of the American population suffers from insomnia, and some of that can surprisingly be caused by food.  Below are 5 foods that may contribute to sleep problems:

  • 1. Fatty Foods: Johns Hopkins researchers show that overweight or obese people who lose weight can improve sleeping problems like insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless sleep. The key ingredient is reduction in overall body fat which also helps to reduce over the counter sleep aid use.
  • 2. Veggies: These are great for you, but be careful of what time of day you eat them. Eating raw broccoli or cauliflower too close to bedtime can cause stomach unrest and sleep problems. Closer to bedtime opt for a banana with tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium, which help improve sleep.

•3.       Cured Meats:  Bacon, pepperoni, and sausage contain high levels of tyramine, which is an amino acid that boosts the secretion of brain stimulants which can keep you up at night. On a side note, these meats are also linked to COPD (lung disease) and certain cancers.

•4.       Sugar: Short-term sugar boosts from desserts like ice cream and candy can send your mind racing as you try to fall asleep, and may also contribute to nightmares.

•5.       Chocolate: A common dessert food, dark chocolate can sometimes have as much caffeine as an energy drink! While good for your heart, it’s best to eat it earlier in the day. Trail mix is a better choice, especially since it contains nuts which have melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.

Caffeine Nap

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


A few easy changes to daily habits were featured yesterday on The Today Show, and one of them was how to gain more energy from coffee and a quick nap.  If you take the recommended 20 minute short nap to recharge, you’ll gain more energy if you drink a cup of coffee before closing your eyes.  Since it takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to reach your bloodstream, you’ll be feeling more energized because caffeine’s effects will be starting while your nap is ending!  See more quick tips here.

Coffee Reduces Pain

Thursday, September 20th, 2012


In addition to all of the other recent discoveries about coffee’s health benefits (protecting against dementia, certain types of cancers, risk of premature death, and more), reducing physical pain may also be added to the list!  A group of participants recently spent 90 minutes performing fake computer tasks, meant to mimic a day doing office work.  Typically, these tasks can cause pain in the shoulders, neck, forearms and wrists.  Participants were told they could drink coffee or not before the study, whichever was their typical routine.


The researchers at Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health found that the 19 people who drank coffee before the study began reported a lower intensity of pain than the 29 people who did not.  Pain intensity gaps were found in all pain sites measured and the effect was true regardless of whether the participants already experienced chronic pain.  While it’s hard to know the other factors involved in the study, it looks like coffee drinkers have a less painful workday!