Is Coffee Good For You?

Coffee Good For You

Coffee has always had a reputation as being one of the bad guys!

But… Is Coffee Good For You??

Health sites are always instructing readers on how to reduce or quit caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee and sodas are offered as “healthy” alternatives to caffeinated products. But… how bad is coffee really??  Why is it bad?

Before I set down this path of discovery I had decided I needed to give up my 1-2 cups per day.  I didn’t really know why I needed to give up coffee, but all the wellness sites seemed to feel a caffeine free life was the only way to a healthy lifestyle.

Just as I was preparing to grudgingly give up my morning mug of “oomph,” I thought I should do a little research.  After all, I wanted to know if the sacrifice was worth the potential health benefits?

I found plenty of sites telling me to give up coffee because it’s a stimulant…

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hmm well DAH, that’s WHY I drink it, but I started to notice a lack of evidence saying why coffee is bad. I actually started to notice that no sites were even stating what detrimental effects coffee was supposed to cause in a normal, healthy person.

This made me dig around further, I was determined to find research stating coffee caused a health problem. I didn’t find that at all.

What I found was more new research coming through showing coffee is actually good for you if… like everything else, it’s used in moderation.

We need to make a particular note, we are NOT talking about caffeine. The health benefits seem to relate only to drinking delicious brewed, roasted coffee. So don’t think drinking a caffeinated soda will bring any benefit except a caffeine hit. It seems to be the 1500 plus, chemical components of the coffee bean which hold the clue.

So, lets take a new look at things.

COFFEE IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE…

  1. Lowers the risk of depression in women
  2. Increases memory and concentration abilities.
  3. Reduction of between 28% to 36% in cirrhosis of the liver.
  4. Lowers the rate of liver disease by decreasing levels of enzymes that damage and inflame the liver.
  5. Coffee enhances hepatitis C treatment in rejuvenating the liver.
  6. 1-3 cups of coffee has been found to have a slight protective influence on the heart.
  7. 3-4 cups has been found to moderately reduce the chance of stroke.
  8. People who drink coffee are 25% less likely to develop Parkinsons Disease
  9. Cancer research is suggesting that coffee drinkers have a greater protection from some types of cancer. Its thought that the Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the coffee bean could be responsible for the anticancer findings.
  10. Alzhiemers Disease is caused by a build up of beta-amyloid plaque. There is some early research which is suggesting coffee could play a role in somehow reducing this build up in regular coffee drinkers.

Whilst this is all wonderful news for me as a coffee drinker, I think it’s only fair to point out that people with a high cholesterol level should speak to their doctor before enjoying a morning cappuccino. The same antioxidant that has a positive affect on leveling insulin production in diabetics is a bad guy when it comes to those struggling with cholesterol issues or hardened arteries.

With the all the evidence on the table, my decision was not to give up coffee.

I just don’t feel there is any real health benefit to be gained by me foregoing my 1- 2 cups of coffee per day.  I’m healthy, I have no cholesterol issues and as someone who doesn’t mind a glass of wine or 3, I think my liver could use a little help that the coffee might give.

Haha, so next time you think about doing a liver cleanse, maybe you should include a nice cup of brew coffee.

 

How to Boost Metabolism

How to Boost Metabolism

Are you working harder than you need to to lose weight? Do you feel like you’re always dieting, always tired and hungry, and still the weight doesn’t come off? It’s time to take a fresh look at weight loss, and most importantly, it’s time to understand the one slimming tool you can use to great advantage — your metabolism. If it’s running slow, slimming will be hard work for you. If you get it running fast – it’s going to be EASY.

So What is Your Metabolism?

Put simply, in relation to food burning and slimming, your metabolism is how your body turns food into energy. It’s all the chemical processes that are a part of that.

All you need to think about as a slimmer is HOW fast it’s doing it. If it’s working slowly, my body will turn LESS of what I eat into energy and LESS fat into energy.  So, if it’s burning fast I FEEL MORE ENERGY plus burn more fat and lose weight more easily. Sound like a bonus!?

Learning How to Boost Metabolism

So — you want to speed up your metabolism to make life easier for you. What can you do? Here are three simple keys for Speeding up your Metabolism:

1. Drink enough water. This must be overstated because so many people just don’t get it or apply it! Water is life and your body’s on it. You are roughly 60% water. If you deny your body water, you are denying your body a basic building block of life. If you GIVE YOUR BODY ENOUGH WATER then you are enabling vitality, life and health.

2. Eat enough nutrition to go from fat storage mode to fat-burning mode. If your body needs 1200 calories per day at rest, and you only put in 800, then your body will be in fat storage mode and it will burn SLOW. If you want it to burn faster you need to get at least 1200 calories per day. How much extra depends on the exercise you do. Basically, aim to eat a little less than you are needing but at least as you need at rest. This is key!

3. Eat a small amount of protein with each meal. Protein is a muscle builder and repairer and using more muscle means burning more fat. Speeding up your metabolism is vital for successful slimming. Some people I’ve coached balk at eating more protein because they think meat. If that’s you, think nuts and pulses instead.

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Ideas

When I began my healthy eating journey, I knew there would be some bumps in the road. I was used to eating a lot more junk than I should and I have a weakness for desserts, particularly chocolate desserts. This can be a major issue when you’re trying your best to watch calories and eat healthy.

There are ways around solving your chocolate dessert cravings without bingeing on your favorite high-calorie treats. I’m going to share three of my go-to healthy chocolate dessert ideas that are much healthier alternatives and will fix any sweet tooth.

Avocado Pudding

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Avocado PuddingI can’t remember how I stumbled upon this healthy chocolate dessert recipe, but it is one of my favorites when I’m craving something sweet. It has four ingredients and is super easy to make. You’ll need 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 tbsp of cocoa powder (or carob powder), and 1 tsp of honey. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a pudding consistency. Keep in mind if you use carob powder, it will probably be sweet enough without adding the honey.

Paleo Treats

You can do a web search for this company. They specialize in delicious Paleo Treat Healthy Dessertchocolate paleo desserts. If you are not familiar with the paleo way of eating, the diet avoids all bad carbs which are found in white flour, refined sugar, and all processed food. These treats are made from natural ingredients and work well if you’re on the go. They are especially nice if you don’t have the time to make your own healthier versions of desserts.

Shakeology

Healthy Chocolate ShakeologyThis is an ultra-premium nutritional supplement. It comes in two flavors: greenberry and chocolate. It’s easy to guess which one is my favorite. I use the chocolate flavor daily as a chocolate milkshake. The huge difference is, there is no refined sugar or sugar substitutes (such as sucralose or aspartame) contained in the product. It is low in calories and even contains antioxidants. Best of all, there are tons of recipes available for it. Everything from drinks to chocolate pie. It’s so versatile and so good for you.

If you have a major sweet tooth like I do, you can still satisfy it without ruining your diet. Search for healthy alternatives. You would be surprised at the cool recipes people come up with for beating their chocolate cravings. I also indulge in the real thing at least once a week. I don’t go overboard but enough to be satisfied.

Brown Fat vs White Fat

Understanding Brown Fat vs White Fat

There are two colors of fat, brown and white.  It’s important to understand brown fat vs white fat.  The type we are most familiar with is white, which comprises most of the fat in the body. White fat is a storage depot for excess calories and provides insulation and produces inflammation, an unhealthy situation for the body. Brown fat is a healthy type of metabolically active fat. Brown fat is named as such because it contains a lot of energy-generating mitochondria which gives rise to the color. Brown fat is considered “good” because it burns calories and generates body heat.

Brown Fat vs White Fat

Through complex brain-hormone interactions, the body controls its own body temperature. A higher body temperature is the result of increased metabolism. It’s like running an engine; the harder it runs, the hotter it gets. The hormones that raise metabolism, in fact, do so mainly by increasing thermogenesis. Low body temperature means lowered metabolism; we’ve seen this is an indicator of low thyroid function. People with more brown fat have a higher body temperature and higher metabolism because they burn more calories to produce body heat.

Brown fat produces a specialized blood protein known as thermogenin that allows for the production of body heat. Brown tissue is controlled by nerves and stress hormones. The stress hormones epinephrine and norepinepherine, released from nerve cells and the adrenal gland, activate brown tissue, increasing thermogenesis.

Newborn babies have the highest concentrations of brown fatty tissue, but until recently, it was thought that adults didn’t have any brown fat. In 2009, scientists discovered the presence of it in adults. This was considered a major medical breakthrough when the research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Less than one percent of the body’s fat is brown. Most is located in the front of the neck, shoulders and around the collar bones. It also hides in deeper layers of fat and the number of areas varies among individuals. Thinner people and younger people tend to have the most. Although, you lose brown fat as you get older and as you gain weight, it doesn’t go away completely. In the past, it was thought that once you lost your brown fatty tissue, it was gone forever. However, this is clearly not the case. Everyone has the potential of making more.

Brown Fat Vs White Fat vs Beige FatNow researchers are working feverishly to find ways to help people make more of this calorie-burning tissue. Researchers are investigating different types of medications and even stem cell transplants as ways to induce brown fat production. Animal studies show that lowering room temperature just a few of degrees will make them lose weight by boosting their metabolism. Cold also makes white fat act more like brownish or beige fat, which burns more calories.

Importance of Brown Fat

You can make more brown fat by cooling your body down. Even a small decrease in the temperature your body is exposed to will induce your body make more calorie burning cells. From a survival perspective, when the body is cooled, it has to make more brown fatty tissue to generate enough body heat to keep from freezing to death. Researchers have speculated that warm temperatures may be contributing to our obesity epidemic. Turning down the thermostat just a couple of degrees could help boost your metabolism because you need to burn more calories to stay warm.

Exercise done in the water is particularly good at drawing out body heat, forcing your body to burn more calories. You don’t need to make yourself so cold that you feel uncomfortable or shiver. Swimming is one of the best fat-burning exercises. Swimming is extremely relaxing and a great form aerobic exercise. But any water exercise is a great way to cool your body and burn extra calories. Submersing yourself in water that’s cooler than body temperature will cool you down, causing you to make more brown fat to keep you warm. Try walking in a pool, using a kick board or take a water aerobics class. You don’t have to be a great swimmer to use water to help you burn extra calories.

Just as healthy fat can be part of the cycle to help lose weight; dysfunctional brown fat can get in the way. And, ironically – or perhaps not so ironically, considering the constant feedback loops of the body — obesity can cause brown fat dysfunction. If you are very overweight, your fat tissue cannot produce heat properly, so your metabolism is lowered and it becomes even harder to lose weight, ad infinitum.