coffee-licious

Three words: I. Love. Coffee. The love affair began back when I was about 9 or 10. I was more of a Frappuccino girl back in the day, but since then, I’ve expanded my taste buds and discovered espressos, Americanos, and soy lattes (due to lovely lactose intolerance), as well as appreciating the daily ritual of coffee brewing and sipping. And yes, coffee is definitely a ritual: inhaling the grounds as you spoon them into the filter, hearing the coffee drip drip drip down into the pot, watching the milk unfold in that beautiful murky abyss, that first sip…

Swoooooon. I told you it was love 😉

The inspiration behind this post came from a deeee-licious coffee that was given to me by my friend, the one and only Miss Raluca – last name withheld to protect the innocent 😉 The name of the coffee in case you’d like to hunt it down and brew to your heart’s content? Joy French Diva-Nilla. Yeah, yeah, girly name, I know, but day-aaam is it GOOD OR WHAT. And it comes it a cute lil pink polka-dotted bag, too.

IMG_2697

And guess what? Coffee….in moderation, of course….can be good for you! Here’s some quick facts to feel better about your daily cuppa Joe:

  • The brains: 3-5 cups of coffee daily is associated with 65% less likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia when compared to non-coffee drinkers (1).
  • It can cut your risk of developing certain cancers. Drinking coffee can reduce your risk of developing liver cancer by 41% (2), and if you’re a fellow, drops your risk of developing prostate cancer by 60% (3). And head and neck cancers? Those who are regular coffee drinkers have been shown to have 39% less risk of developing these diseases (4).
  • The heart: Drinking 1-3 cups of coffee daily can drop your risk of cardiovascular disease by 24% (5) and risk of stroke by 19% (6).

But there are also some things to be on the lookout for, too. Coffee is a stimulant, which means too much can cause rapid heart beat and the jitters. And those who have been diagnosed with arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms that are too fast or too slow than normal) should steer clear of caffeine, or eliminate it all together. That also goes for those with high blood pressure since coffee is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the veins shrink up – the veins that are sending valuable oxygen to your brain and other organs. Therefore, in certain individuals, coffee can actually cause headaches, and it raises blood pressure for a wee bit in even the most healthy folk. So…drink decaf, you say? If you’re part of the population who really needs to stay away from caffeine, I’m sorry to say that even decaf brews have a small amount of caffeine in them, since the decaffeination process is not able to remove 100% of the caffeine.

And what about dehydration? Can that be caused by drinking coffee? Not necessarily. If you’re used to drinking 3 cups of Joe daily, it’s not going to affect you. But if you decide one day it’s a stellar idea to down 6 cups because you’re feeling wild and crazy (or more like, extremely sleepy), then yes, you might throw off your body’s water balance a wee bit. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated – whether or not you’re drinking coffee – to keep your bod in check.

So what did my cup of Joy coffee come with this morning?

IMG_2742THIS! Scrambled eggs with spinach and homemade bread. Yummm.

And…National Coffee Day is September 29th! I know it’s far away….but pencil it in on your calender and feel some extra lovin’ for your mug of deliciousness that day 🙂

And one more thing, non-coffee related – this morning, I stumbled upon this show on the Cooking Channel called Grow Your Own Drugs, hosted by British botanist James Wong. No, we’re not talking about sketchy substances here, but more like all-natural ways to help out minor ailments. Lots of cool information, not too mention the ever-so-lovely shots of the UK’s countryside that were sprinkled in his show 🙂

Please pardon my not very accurate list of references. It’s Saturday morning, and writing a full-blown bibliography is not exactly appealing right now 😉
1) 2009 study from Finland and Sweden
2) Hepatology journal 
3) American Association of Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention
4) Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal
5) Iowa Women’s Heart Study
6) 2009 Harvard Medical School Study
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