If you love coffee, this is the blog for you.
I adore coffee. I love the combination of bitter, sweet, and smooth.
The whistling kettle acts as a second morning alarm and it initiates my daily ritual of steam, aroma, and zing for my senses.
In the most glorious way possible, coffee cements that my day, has in fact started.
Over 400 million cups of coffee are guzzled down in America per day, yet one of the most common questions I get is, “Should I consume coffee?”. Like so many subjects related to nutrition, the answer is- it depends.
Coffee is actually a berry and has a similar appearance to cranberries with an excellent phytonutrient composition (i.e. the stuff in plants that is good for humans and helps prevent disease). Why is this important? Because coffee, when properly sourced and prepared, can have remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We know that putting out the inflammatory fire is key to delaying chronic disease, and coffee is chock-full of firefighting superpowers.
Coffee has been associated with lowering cancer risk, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. It can be neuroprotective (i.e. protect nerve cells from damage) and promote mental alertness, improved athletic performance, and heightened cognition. It also promotes beta-oxidation of fat in muscles cells which is super important for energy extraction and mitochondrial health (this is particularly pertinent for those eating a high-fat diet such as ketogenic or Paleo).
I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of dietary and lifestyle choices, but recently I came upon Amy Morin’s LCSW work, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” and thought it would be fun to write its equivalent for health. So here goes:
1. Don’t predominantly purchase processed foods.
Shoot for less than 15% of your diet from manufactured foods. What does that look like? If you can purchase the majority of your food at a farmer’s market or the perimeter of a grocery store, then you’re on the right track.
2. Don’t make vegetables a side dish.
Healthy people pack in vegetables throughout the entire day and make it the star of most entrees. Vegetables are a powerful antidote to inflammation and free radical production. Get a grip on those two and you’ll live longer.
3. Don’t rely on a computer or cell phone for deeper connections.
The reality is that social media doesn’t induce oxytocin or serotonin release, which are the feel-good hormones you want circulating throughout the day. What is released? No different than porn, cocaine and heroin, dopamine pumps out with every view, like, share, and text message. If you truly want to nurture your soul, meet more friends in- person and less on-line.