It’s time for coffee talk! Is it actually good for you? How much is good for you? What kind is good for you? What about creamers, sweeteners, coffee for fat loss? I’ve gathered the research and did my homework just for you, and even added a couple of healthy coffee recipes to go along with the “cup of Jo..delle” blog post. So grab a cup and let’s learn….
The cliff notes…..survey says (that is, the latest scientific research)…Coffee is indeed good for you. What’s more, coffee is actually like a tonic or an elixir of health, if done the right way.. First let’s start with the science…
Just the facts, ma’am….
Coffee is the most consumed psychostimulant on the planet to date. This is published research. But it’s legal because of the vast array of benefits it brings to the table (literally).
Coffee has a favorable protective affect against liver cancer, and other cancers such as colorectal cancer, according to a published March 2017 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28288025
(I would venture to say this does not include coffee drank with artificial creamers and sweeteners and tons of sugar, since we know sugar has a detrimental affect on the liver.)
Coffee also has an oxidative affect (meaning it helps repair the damage so to speak) against liver inflammation caused by a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28281876
Another interesting study was on the benefits of consuming a beverage made of chamomile flower, myrrh, and coffee charcoal, three components of a traditional herbal medicinal product which have been found to help with healing a chronically inflamed gut as published in the Planta Medica journal this month. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/pdf/10.1055/s-0043-104391.pdf
And the research goes on and on….
It has been shown to help with those suffering with Parkinson’s….https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3414662/
It helps combat depression ….https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/coffee-depression-women-ascherio-lucas/
It has been shown to help you live longer…https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/moderate-coffee-drinking-may-lower-risk-of-premature-death/
And on and on…..It protects against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, basal cell carcinoma, reduced risk of suicide (coffee certainly gives me something to live for in the morning), it improves blood pressures, and lowers the risk of prostate cancer. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/09/how-coffee-loves-us-back/
Coffee drinkers in general boast about better moods after their morning brew, better memory and cognition, reduced appetite, better athletic performance, and for me personally…a warm cup in my hand lowers my anxiety during work stress. So there’s my n=1 experimental research.
So, being the savvy health nuts that we are, we opt for “if some is good, more would be even better right??”
But of course, as the saying goes, there is such thing as too much of a good thing….
The Dose Makes the Poison
Caffeine consumption in general triggers the production of cortisol by your adrenal glands. Your adrenals glands are those little walnut shaped glands that sit just above your kidneys and are responsible for helping you have energy and proper signaling to deal with acute stressors. For example, you are almost hit at a traffic stoplight…adrenaline and cortisol surge and that’s the feeling of quick energy you get when that happens. While that is an acute response, the sad fact is that most of us are under chronic stress, rather than acute stress. Job stress, family stress, money, illness, deadlines, sleep deprivation, and even the physical stress for poor nutrition and too little or too much exercise can take it’s chronic toll on us. And the vicious cycle of caffeine continues when we reach for more of that rich creamy psychostimulant to help us deal with and handle the chronic stressors. Eventually our adrenal glands can burn out, and the stress becomes un-manageable. This is the beginning of “dis-ease” or a body not at ease, breaking down and beginning to suffer.
How can you tell if your dose is too much and if your adrenals are in dire straits? Here are some symptoms to let you know if your coffee or caffeine consumption has gotten out of hand:
- Feeling “wired but tired” – exhausted but unable to turn off your mind or slow down your thoughts enough to sleep
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Heightened emotional responses (meaning you cry at the drop of a hat)
- Cravings for sugar, starch or sweets, especially after a meal
- Overeating in response to stress
- A consistent daily afternoon crash requiring more stimulants
- A second wind or burst of energy in the evening hours making it hard to wind down
- The big one: A desperate need for several cups of coffee in the morning to get you going, and yet the need for downers such as a few beers or glasses of wine to help you wind down at night.
Too much coffee (or caffeine I should say) also suppresses the production of adenosine, which is responsible for helping you keep calm, and suppressing adenosine also depletes your “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin, leaving you with a bit of the “blahs”. Or the “screams, fits, and cries”. And conversely, over time your body actually starts to need the coffee to also help you achieve happiness in general.
So how much is too much? It’s personal. Just as coffee is an acquired taste for some, there is acquired dosage too, and it’s different for everyone and every unique bio chemistry. Science says that the recommended safe dosage is no more than 400mg per day for adults ( http://coffeeandhealth.org/topic-overview/guidelines-on-caffeine-intake/) and yet, my question: What size adult? What’s their oxidizing level? Are the fast metabolizers or slow? What are the adding to their coffee that could be making it more potent? How strong a cup are the brewing? How many ounces or cups os 400mg if the average 8oz cup contains between 75mg-150mg depending on how it’s made and with what beans? Robusta beans contain more caffeine while other beans contain less?
The bottom line with dosage? Patient know thyself. If you are experiencing any of the above adrenal issues or if your sleep is disturbed or your mood is just plain bad, then chances are you may want to put down that carafe.
So to keep this article “good to the last drop…” and in summary, coffee can greatly improve your health, or cause you harm depending on how you choose to use or abuse it. It’s safe to say that a cup or two a day won’t hurt and can actually be beneficial (not to mention delicious). And to make sure it’s beneficial (and even more delicious) I want you to share with you some of my new favorite recipes and ways to enjoy coffee. But before we do that it’s time to discuss what you DON’T want to be putting into that beneficial beverage…
Coffee Mate is not Coffee’s Mate
Put down that powdered coffee creamer no matter if it has the word “mate,” “french”, “non-dairy”, or any other powdered substance that food companies somehow get away with classifying as a “creamer”. Our Creator did not intend for the thick, rich cream of a cow to be powdered. But the worse part is the partially hydrogenated oils, damaging artificial sweeteners, and even something called sodium aluminosilicate, an ingredient added to keep powdered creamer from caking together, which is actually a flammable chemical substance meaning your coffee creamer could even ignite! And don’t even get me started on the added calories, sugars, poor fats, and carbohydrates in processed creamers…..
One lump or two?
How about none. Sugar in your coffee is a recipe for disaster. Remember how caffeine in coffee can lead to too much cortisol production and fatigue your adrenals? Add another stimulant, sugar, to the mix and on top of pumping out too much cortisol, you will now be pumping out too much insulin, your fat-storing hormone. Ever have a sugary coffee only to crash an hour or two later and need an even bigger cup? Or a donut? Or a coke? Welcome to the threshold of insulin resistance, leading you down a dangerous road to type 2 diabetes. Need sweet in your coffee? That’s okay, but don’t reach for the white stuff, or the little yellow packet (Splenda), or the blue packet either (aspartame or Equal). Artificial sweeteners are just as damaging, as they have be researched to cause issues with the thyroid ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=sucralose+thyroid )
Okay so while I may have slashed half the items on your grocery list, I’m about to fill them back up with some healthier options, as well as some recipes enrich your cup of Jo and make you feel better about this “cup of Jo..delle” blog post.
Instead of non-dairy coffee creamers, try:
- Coconut oil blended (not stirred) in. It creams up nicely and contains anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties in addition to being a safe fat for those with no gall bladder as it requires no bile to break down.
- Grass-fed butter blended (not stirred) in. This is high quality butyric acid. Butyric acid helps feed good bacteria and aids in gut healing. It also contains CLA, which is an acid that helps burn stored body fat.
- Heavy whipping cream instead of half-in half. If God intended you to drink half milk, half cream he would have made half cows. If you want the real thing and seem to hand dairy okay, then use 1 tsp of heavy whipping cream in your 1 cup.
- Instead of artificial sweeteners, try stevia, or erythritol, natural sweeteners that cause no spike in blood sugar and come in many varieties such as packets or liquid and even flavored drops, such as my personal favorite STEVITA brand, https://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-170948-stevita-naturally-flavored-liquid-stevia-flavors-toffee-1-35-oz?utm_source=googlebase,google&utm_medium=fpl,PLA&utm_term=StevitaNaturallyFlavoredLiquidSteviaFlavorsToffee135oz&utm_content=108921&utm_campaign=googlebase&site=google_base&scid=scplp108921&sc_intid=108921&gclid=Cj0KEQjw-73GBRCC7KODl9zToJMBEiQAj1Jgf1OsAsE3P7Z-WG-76YoWrsets61hwP9smz-MO8VnZ44aAg4u8P8HAQ
Also, if you need to cut back on gut-busing 410 calorie (that’s a small) Caramel Macchiatos, consider making your own high-protein-atos by simply adding a scoop of vanilla protein powder and blending. It froths it up with lots of flavor and lots of protein to start you day (and a lot less calories too). Now for the recipes:
Peppermint Mocha Coffee, 1 cup hot coffee, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp butter or heavy whipping cream, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, vanilla or chocolate stevia, 1 drop peppermint essential oil on a wood stick or toothpick and stir it in (rather than adding the drop which can be too strong), blend and enjoy!
(Want a good protein powder? Check out my shop page, and click the Fit365 protein powder. Once you are taken to the Fit365 website, place your order and enter promo code: “JODELLE” and save 10%!)
Relaxed Alertness Coffee – 1 cup hot coffee, 1 tsp coconut oil (optional), lavender oil stirred in on wooden stick, stevia to taste.
Simple vanilla latte– 1 cup hot coffee, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, dash of vanilla, stevia to sweeten, 1 tsp of butter heavy whipping cream or coconut oil.
Healthier Black Coffee for the “carafe drinker”. IF you are going to drink a lot and there is just no getting around it at least do this: add sea salt to your coffee with your stevia. Helps to keep minerals in tact, and keeps you from running out of steam, or getting too dehydrated or getting muscle cramps throughout the day. Chase every cup with a cup of water too.
Skin-Latte. Yes, not a typo…I’m talking your skin here. If your seeing a few too many wrinkles too soon, the caffeine’s dehydrating and collagen-depleting affect may be to blame. Here’s a recipe to bring collagen back in and give your skin the drink it needs….1 cup coffee, tsp of coconut oil, tsp of Collagen powder, stevia and sea salt, blend and enjoy. The collagen powder with froth it up.
Finally, what about things like concerns over mold or pesticides in coffee? And what kinds of beans? How about the difference between espresso and coffee? What about those of you who aren’t coffee drinkers? What about the benefits of green tea, or dandelion root tea? Ever wondered if all those plastic cups containing your hot beverage are contributing to your weight…the answer may surprise you. Perhaps you should head over to my Facebook page and watch the entire Facebook Live podcast Bunny and I recorded for your coffee-lovin’ pleasure before this post gets so long that you need a second cup to get through it.
For more personalized attention addressing your coffee needs (or to get information on how to properly do a 10 day coffee cleanse without the withdrawals and headaches) you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or consider setting up your very own personalized nutrition therapy coaching session as well.