by Joan Haynes, NMD
I’m a coffee lover, as are many of my patients. Instead of feeling guilty about our habit, let’s focus on how to drink this delicious brew to improve our health:
Here are some highlights of health improvements you can look forward to:
- Better Cognition The daily and long term performance improvements and neuroprotective benefits of coffee are not due to caffeine alone, but also to other bioactive compounds in coffee.
- Decreases Sugar Cravings Caffeine binds to your opioid receptors, prohibiting you from cravings something else, such as sugar. Coffee also lowers your blood glucose level.
- Increases Your Metabolism Coffee increases your metabolism up to 20 % if consumed before exercise without sugar.
- Disease Prevention There are many studies about coffee and the majority are quite positive. Some of the conditions which coffee lowers the risk of include type II diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Disease, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and stroke.
- Benefit to the Microbiome Increases the metabolic activity and/or numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
For a more in-depth discussion about the health benefits of coffee, see Dr. Mercola’s article.
Dr. Joan’s Three Coffee Rules
Stick to drinking coffee in the morning and limit yourself to one mug a day – okay, maybe two. Although, some studies encourage drinking more. Watch for side effects like rapid heart rate, anxiety/irritability, trouble sleeping. (If you are caffeine sensitive or have an adverse reaction to coffee, you may not have the same reaction to a different brand, a different type of bean, or a different brewing method.)
Buy organic, fresh roasted, whole beans and grind them yourself. Darker roasts have less caffeine and more of the health promoting compounds than light roasts.
- “Milks” – My strong preference is coconut cream. It comes in a can and is thicker than regular coconut milk. Transfer it to a jar, store in the fridge, and use 1 TBSP in each mug. Coconut cream is full of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) shown to provide quick energy, boost fat burning, and help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Sweetener – None is best, but I use ½ teaspoon of local honey in my cup. Stevia is another great choice but gives a distinct taste that some don’t care for. Stay away from artificial sweeteners.
- Turmeric – 1 – 2 teaspoons in each mug. Don’t be afraid to try this! So yummy. All the anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits of turmeric with an amazing East Indian flavor. You can add a dash of cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Wonderful with coconut milk and honey.