And chat about the health benefits of this divine beverage.
Ironically, I wasn't a coffee drinker until my mid-30s. I liked the smell of ground coffee, and that was the scope of my relationship with coffee. Then, I moved to Portland, OR, which is known for their vibrant coffee scene and met a man (who would eventually become my husband) who loved his coffee — and, thus I was schooled in coffee.
Nutritionally, regular black coffee (without milk or cream) has a very low calorie count. A typical cup of coffee contains around 2 calories. When you begin to add milk, creamer, sugar, syrups, etc., then the calories can add up. So, when possible keep that coffee as naked as possible.
How much coffee should you consume in a day? There's a lot of differing opinions on this topic. Some studies offer that 1-2 cups/day is enough, while some say go ahead and have 3-4. I tend to lean towards the philosophy that most things are better in moderation and so 1-2 cups of coffee is likely what would work best for most folks.
Improves energy. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, which leads to a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood, and various aspects of brain function like memory and reaction time.
Boosts metabolism. Studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat — and who doesn't want to have a little help in burning fat?
Enhances performance. Caffeine can increase adrenaline levels and release fatty acids from the fat tissues, which can be used as fuel. It also leads to significant improvements in physical performance.
Keeps your brain healthy. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, and Dementia. In addition, coffee drinkers have up to 60% lower risk of getting Parkinson't disease.
Protects your liver. Studies have shown that coffee consumption can lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver.
Excellent source of micronutrients. Coffee contains several important nutrients, including:
• riboflavin (vitamin B2)
• manganese (may help to reduce inflammation and improve bone health)
• potassium (helps to maintain consistent blood pressure)
• magnesium (vitamin B3)
• niacin (vitamin B3)
Coffee also contains a plethora of antioxidants. Studies show that the average person following a western diet gets more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables combined, which of course could be the result of many folks not eating enough from both of these food groups. In addition, antioxidants in coffee may dampen inflammation, reducing the risk of disorders related to it, like cardiovascular disease.
Are there folks who may not benefit from coffee? Yes. Folks with certain heart conditions, caffeine sensitivity, and pregnant women may want to stick with decaf or tea.
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