Food of the Week : Coffee
Perhaps my favourite food for us to discuss so far…
The coffee beans offer a hit of nutrients including the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, plus potassium, magnesium and manganese.
These magic beans also provide a major hit of antioxidants.
Let’s begin with caffeine. Once we’ve absorbed caffeine in our coffee it travels to our brain where is acts as a psychoactive stimulant increase levels of norepinephrine and dopamine (the concentration and alertness hormones and transmitters), and inhibiting adenosine (the sleep activator). In a nutshell caffeine improves our mood, energy levels and mental vigilance.
Caffeine has also been scientifically proved to burn fat. It encourages fat cells to break down fat and increases adrenaline levels in the blood. As such the released fatty acids in the blood stream provide energy for workouts improving exercise performance.
Regularly consuming coffee has shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer and colorectal cancer.
The one golden rule. Don’t do instant.
All of the health benefits come from the bean, which means freshly ground coffee is the only beverage choice. If possible choose organic too, that way you are getting all of the goodness with none of the chemicals.
Remember the health benefits come from the coffee bean, so be wise about how you drink your coffee. Adding syrups, sugar and cream can undo the goodness, and turn a brilliant beverage into a calorie trap.
Be cautious with “decaf”. Remember the less that anything is processed, the better. Decaf coffee undergoes a lot of precessing and can strip the nutrients from the bean too. If you can stick with the real stuff, just drink less, and not after 4pm.
Don’t do “instant”. Freshly ground, or not at all. Instant coffee is so heavily processed, treated and added with chemicals that it’s relationship to more of a distant memory. None of the nutrients, just a bunch of toxins which confuse and inhibit our hormones.
Use old coffee grinds as a very powerful skin exfoliant, or if you’re green fingered, use as slug repellant around your plants and veggies in the garden. The nitrogen is amazing for feeding plant, so can be added to compost boxes too.