Posts Tagged ‘Healthy coffee’

Coffee Drinking Linked to Lower Melanoma Risk

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

A new study published recently in JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute) showed that people who drank four or more cups of coffee daily were 20% less likely to develop malignant melanoma than non-coffee drinkers. Malignant melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer death in the United States.

The study found that there were 55.9 cases of melanoma yearly per 100,000 people among those participants who drank at least four cups of coffee a day, vs. 77.6 cases per 100,000 non-coffee drinkers. The findings apply specifically to caffeinated coffee, not decaf, which could be significant or due to chance.

Of course, the best way to prevent skin cancer remains avoiding sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation, said a fellow at the institute. She does mention that this and other studies should provide reassurance that drinking coffee is not a risky thing to do.

Spicing Up Your Coffee

Friday, January 30th, 2015

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How do you drink your coffee? Flavored? Black? Do you add sweeteners or creamers? Black coffee is known to be the most healthful variation, but there are natural ways to add flavor and change up your daily cup of joe without adding sugar and calories. Try making these cold, dark winter mornings a little easier by trying these spices in your coffee:

Cinnamon: Spoon ground cinnamon directly into your cup, or add a stick of cinnamon bark to the coffee filter while brewing. Or, if you drink tea, simmer some bark in the water you’ll use.

Cardamom: Traditionally used in Turkish coffee preparation, cardamom adds a rich and floral flavor. Stir ground cardamom directly into your prepped coffee, or crush the pods and add to the coffee maker. Other great spices to use are nutmeg or cloves.

Maple Syrup: While maple syrup is usually available in syrup form, some places sell maple sugar, which has the same flavor. Stir a little into your coffee to sweeten it - it’s especially good mixed with milk.

Chai spices: True masala chai is made from fresh ginger root, green cardamom pods, and star anise. It’s not like those super-sweet chai lattes, and has a real kick. Boil the spices with water, and add black tea leaves and milk.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is very healthy and adds a pleasant nutty flavor to a hot drink. Keep a spoon in your cup to give it a stir before you sip, so you don’t get a mouthful of melted oil every time.

Cocoa: Give your coffee a mocha flavor with a spoonful of cocoa powder, and get a load of healthy polyphenols at the same time. Some cocoa powders can be bitter. To be more decadent, try adding a square of dark chocolate to the bottom of your mug to mix as it melts.

New Years Resolutions You Can Keep

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

-          Increase your incidental exercise. Incidental exercises are the movements you perform in your everyday life - this could be climbing up stairs, walking to work, or chasing after kids. Many experts agree that these everyday movements are key to keeping off extra pounds. If you want to increase your incidental exercise, try getting off the bus a few stops early and walking the rest of the way, or walking over to a coworker rather than emailing. If you sit for your job, try not to sit more than 30 minutes at a time.

-          Give your refrigerator a makeover. One of the simplest ways to improve your diet is to not bring junk foods into the house. Kick off 2015 by throwing out the unhealthy and replacing it with food that is good fuel for your body. One tip is to chop fruits and veggies into bite sized portions and store them, so whenever you need a snack they’re ready instead of a bag of chips. Also, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry as you’ll be more likely to buy unhealthy foods or impulse buys.

-          Change your coffee order. If you’re not already drinking your coffee black, that is an easy way to shave off significant calories. Creamers can be full of added sugar and fat, and over time these calories add up. Switch to skim milk or try it all-natural!

-          Sign up for a fitness goal or event. Organized events can be a great motivator - the training will improve your fitness levels, and you’ll boost your self-esteem when you achieve your goals. Having something on the calendar will help you to work out even when you don’t want to. Try signing up with family or friends so you can encourage one another.

-          Give your body a check-up. You may take your car in for service and your pets to the vet, but don’t forget to get a checkup yourself. Have some blood tests to ensure you aren’t deficient in anything, and catch conditions before they become serious. Maybe make a dentist appointment while you’re at it too, and start the year off with a clean bill of health.

Easy Ways to be Healthy in the New Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

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With the Christmas holiday season behind us, many are looking to improve their health habits after a few weeks of parties, treats, and lounging around. Below are some tips for getting back on track this January:

1. Stick to a Routine

Whether it’s what you eat, when you exercise, or how much you sleep, sticking to a routine helps maximize alertness and health. Try eating at the same times, drinking coffee at the same times, and sleeping and waking on a regular schedule.

2. Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals might seem like an easy way to cut calories and lose weight, but can do more damage than good. This disrupts the regularity of your digestive system and drain energy. Then, when you do eat, you may end up eating more than you would have normally. Try to minimize snacking instead, which can be a big contributor to excess calories.

3. Use Breaks to Exercise

Busy schedules can make it hard to fit in a workout before or after work. To burn some extra calories and gain some additional energy, try going for a jog or a few walks around the block during lunch breaks. Exercise helps prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more, and releases endorphins to improve your mood.

4. Replace Foods with Vegetables

If you have a big appetite, try replacing foods you would normally eat with lots of vegetables. Compared to other foods, they are loaded with fiber and micronutrients, and have less fat and sugar. Because of the fiber and volume of vegetables, they’ll fill you up before you eat other less healthy foods.

5. Stay Busy

Many people think about food when they have down time or are bored. Try staying busy and making plans!

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

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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 info@healthwisegc.com for more info.