Thursday, August 20, 2020


By Nina Simons

How to Make Your Coffee a Healthy Drink

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One of the first things we think about in the morning is a cup of hot and invigorating coffee. Many people simply cannot imagine their life without it. A properly prepared drink tone invigorates, improves performance and enriches with antioxidants. However, if consumed excessively, it can be harmful, causing heart problems, high blood pressure and persistent addiction. How do you balance, getting the most out of your drink and avoiding side effects? You can enjoy coffee and improve your health.

Is coffee really harmful

Many people perceive it as a harmful and dangerous drink. But such information has no reasoned justification. We wanted to adhere to statistical data, which are confirmed by numerous scientific studies.

Coffee is one of the most enjoyable morning rituals for people around the world. About 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day. In terms of consumption, it is ranked as the second-largest beverage in the world after water. And if the value of water at all times was undeniable, then coffee, on a global scale, has a rather controversial reputation.

How does caffeine work?

Arabica beans contain about 1.5% caffeine and 98.5% of other substances, including vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, tannins and many others.

Caffeine is a substance from the group of alkaloids that plants synthesise to protect against pests. Caffeine is found not only in coffee but also in cocoa, tea, mate, coca-cola. The effects of caffeine are mainly associated with the stimulating effect on the body's systems — nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary.

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Not everything is black or white

It is important to note that the benefits or harms of coffee are associated not only with coffee itself but also with the individual characteristics of the body, lifestyle, the presence of concomitant diseases and bad habits. Your coffee drinking habit also matters — do you prefer natural beans or instant coffee, brewed in a pot or alternatively using a paper filter and coffee machine, the frequency of consumption during the day, as well as the temperature of the drink.

Main benefits of coffee

Studies have shown that moderate caffeine consumption can reduce the risk of depression, Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.

Caffeine, as a natural stimulant, causes a short-term burst of energy, activates the brain, speeds up metabolism and increases physical activity. Coffee is able to improve athletic performance by reducing a feeling of fatigue and muscle weakness. It is effective for training endurance and resistance to physical activity.

Coffee is rich in antioxidants. The typical modern diet is high in antioxidants, which they get mostly out of coffee.

Potential harm from coffee

Caffeine is addictive, so it's important to keep that in mind.

Excessive coffee consumption can lead to withdrawal symptoms: headache, fatigue, and irritability.

Some people experience anxiety, increased heart rate, sleep disturbance. But it depends on each person individually. The key is to be aware of your own caffeine tolerance. For example, pregnant women should limit their coffee intake to 200 mg per day or less, as caffeine can damage the placenta.

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How to make your coffee more healthy

Go for organic coffee

Coffee is one of the most heavily processed foods. There are about 250 pounds (ca. 113 kg) of chemical fertiliser per acre of land. Therefore, every time you consume a particular cup of coffee, along with the drink you also consume pesticides that have not been thoroughly removed during production. By the way, such harmful substances can cause the development of various diseases, including cancer and miscarriages of pregnant women.

With each new cup, your body builds up unnecessary toxins, which ultimately leads to malfunctioning of the body. That's why it's imperative that you spend a little more money on organic coffee to make your morning meal healthier.

Prepare coffee with filtered water

Since water for making hot drinks is boiled (most of the time), we are used to not paying attention to its quality. Water can be too hard or contain a lot of calcium, chlorine and other elements that kill the taste of the coffee and are not so great for your health. It is very disappointing to buy an elite variety of grains and end up with an expressionless and not too aromatic drink. Make it a rule to brew coffee only in filtered or bottled water. Change the filter and rinse the coffee maker periodically — these simple steps will ensure you get the best professional quality coffee.

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Wash your coffee pot

Even the most loyal coffee lovers rarely do it. Based on the results of research conducted by NSF International, the environment that forms in your coffee pot has a beneficial effect on the formation of microbes. We highly recommend rinsing it at least once a week with white vinegar or a specialised detergent.

Store your coffee properly

Do not store coffee in the refrigerator, freezer, next to an air conditioner or stove, this will only ruin it. It is also not worth grinding coffee in advance, as ground coffee beans have a much larger area for interaction with oxygen. Always use an airtight container.

Give up on sugar

True coffee lovers do not add sugar to coffee, but many simply cannot refuse sweetening. Reduce the amount gradually: this will lower your risk of type II diabetes and help prevent weight gain. Instead of traditional refined sugar, it is better to use alternative natural sweeteners such as stevia. There are options in the form of crystals, powder and syrup. The vegetable sweetener has a light flavour that you‘ll quickly get used to. Stevia is absolutely harmless, its calorie content is minimal. You can also use other tasty additives, such as vanilla or vanilla syrup without sugar.

Experiment with supplements

Spices will help to improve the usual taste: clove buds, cardamom seeds, ground cinnamon. They will give coffee original accents, replace harmful sugar and provide the body with additional antioxidants. It is important not to overdo it: you only need a pinch of cinnamon per cup, otherwise, stomach problems are possible. Another tasty addition is grated chocolate or a small amount of natural cocoa powder. This is how popular mocha is prepared in coffee shops. A cup of coffee with chocolate or cocoa powder will replace the usual dessert and will be an excellent end to your dinner. But do not drink it too often: mocha is much higher in calories than espresso or Americano.

Upgrade your coffee

Try an unusual recipe by adding a little unsalted butter to a cup of freshly brewed coffee. It will provide a soft, enveloping creamy taste, soften the bitterness and allow the coffee bouquet to unfold better. The oil has a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract, increases the level of “good” cholesterol and reduces the number of dangerous triglycerides. People call this drink “bulletproof”. Buttered coffee is a good alternative to breakfast for those who can't even think about food in the morning. A cup of hot creamy drink will give you a feeling of fullness and will be a great start to your working day.

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Switch to alternative milk

A tip for lovers of lattes, cappuccino and other coffee drinks with milk. Try almond, coconut, or soy instead of the traditional cow or goat milk. They will give the drink an original taste and soften the effect of coffee on the gastric mucosa. In addition, vegetable milk have fewer calories this is important for those who drink at least 2-3 cups a day. Those who are seriously concerned about the problem of excess weight should consider gradually switching to black coffee. Lungo or Americano invigorates as well as espresso, but more gentle on the stomach. The calorie content of black coffee is minimal, especially if you exclude not only milk but also sugar.

Try decaf

How to eliminate (neutralise) the effect of caffeine? Caffeine is, for many of us, a major benefit when it comes to coffee. Unfortunately, this substance artificially stimulates our adrenal glands to work and overtime contributes to their fatigue. The irony is that caffeine is often used for energy in the short term, but in the end, it leads to chronic fatigue. Therefore, coffee lovers often need more and more coffee.

If you have trouble sleeping, suffering from pressure surges and tachycardia, urgently reduce your intake of caffeine. The easiest trick is to limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee a day, opting for decaf options. Please note that even the decaf option contain this component but in a minimal amount. If you find decaffeinated coffee tasteless or useless, mix it with regular coffee in any proportion. By cutting caffeine in half, you can help your heart and enjoy the taste of coffee without compromising your health.

Complement your coffee with breakfast

If you are used to having breakfast which contains only a cup of black coffee, you should urgently change that habit. An energising drink must be supplemented with something more nutritious: a croissant, a sandwich, cereal or an egg dish. Protein and carbohydrates will provide the right amount of energy and prevent overeating throughout the day. In addition, food will protect the stomach, help avoid damage to the mucous membranes, nausea and heartburn. If you find it difficult to eat a high-calorie breakfast, limit yourself to toast, banana or sugar-free yoghurt. The secret is to have a light snack first, and only then start drinking coffee. This technique activates metabolism, the body starts the daily program and will function as efficiently as possible.

Drink coffee only in the morning

It is advisable not to consume coffee after 2 pm. In the morning, you can drink 2 or 3 cups at intervals of a couple of hours, the last one will successfully complete your lunch. Caffeine will wake you up, improve your digestion after and increase your performance at work. That is why a lot of companies rent a coffee machine for their offices. In the afternoon, drink decaf coffee, herbal teas, fruit drinks, juices or just plain water. This simple habit will help you stay healthy by eliminating caffeine at the other half of the day and will help you get enough sleep.

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Good news

Coffee reduces the risk of death from all causes. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition covered 10 European countries and lasted 16.4 years. It was attended by 521 550 people. The data of such a large-scale study in the scientific world is considered representative, i.e. their results can be trusted and broadcasted to the entire population.

After analysing the data, the scientists concluded that those who drank three cups of coffee a day or more had a lower risk of death from all causes than those who did not drink coffee at all. This ratio was maintained in all countries participating in the study.

We are talking specifically about the use of natural coffee beans. According to one of the authors of the study, it is not yet known exactly which chemicals in coffee can affect life extension, but it is already clear that moderate consumption of coffee can be included in a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits or harm

There are more than 19 thousand scientific studies on the effects of coffee on the body. It is interesting to note that according to most studies, beneficial effects are associated with regular and moderate consumption of coffee. We are talking about 3-4 cups of filtered coffee drunk during the day. It is noted that from two mugs a day the effect will also be positive, but less than from 3-4 mugs.

Excessive consumption (more than 6 cups a day), the use of a low-quality product and the method of preparation will contribute to the manifestation of the negative effects of coffee.

It is important to remember that all effects are individual for each person. Sometimes, the pleasure of one cup of coffee brings so much joy and happiness that it is absolutely impossible to refuse it. The very case when the benefits of the drink convincingly outweigh the possible harm.

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