The “Perks” of Coffee

In All, Eat Better by Cara Bailey

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Most people can agree that the smell of coffee helps start their day. Many may declare they can’t wake up without it. Whether you are a recreational or serious coffee drinker, you may often question if your cup of joe is helping or harming you. As with most nutrition topics, the verdict on coffee fluctuates based on the most recent research. I am happy to report that coffee is back in favor if used moderately.

Research used to show that coffee may contribute to cancer risk, however, it has been officially removed from the carcinogenic foods list. On the contrary, they have found that coffee may actually protect you against liver and uterine cancer. Other studies have shown that coffee may also help prevent cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinsons, cirrhosis, and gout. The operative word is “may,” meaning you still need to keep other lifestyle factors under consideration such as diet and exercise to help your case against chronic disease.

And, while all of this is promising for those of us that love our daily cup(s) of joe, we still need to be mindful that caffeine is pretty addictive and readily available. If you find your sleep suffering at night, notice jitters, or a change in your heart rate, or anxiety level, you may be drinking too much. If you have IBS or reflux issues, you may also want to make sure you stay on the moderate end of consumption to not aggravate those issues. Also, since caffeine is a diuretic, make sure to drink plenty of water to help offset the effect.

Don’t like to drink your coffee? Here are some other creative ways to add coffee to your day.

  1. Use it in cooking and baking: Add a tablespoon of coffee to cake or brownie batter, and even some sauces for meats.
  2. Use the leftover grounds in your flower pots or garden to help support growth and repel some bugs
  3. Use your leftover grounds as a body or face scrub for an exfoliating effect
  4. Put whole beans or even grounds in a container with holes or in a thin sock to hang in a closet to freshen the air
  5. Add a teaspoon or two of instant coffee to a smoothie for a drink that tastes like a fancy, frozen coffee shop drink without the price tag.

Enjoy your month!


In Health, Angela