7 Health Benefits of Coffee plus a Coffee Cashew Butter Recipe
Did you know that coffee can actually have health benefits? Here are 7 health benefits of coffee plus a coffee cashew butter recipe!
Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Purity Coffee and Living Plate. I received free samples of the Purity Coffee mentioned in this post. As always, I only recommend products I personally trust and like.
Is there anything better than that first sip of morning coffee? As a parent, it can be rare to find the time to actually sit down and savor the whole cup, but every now and then it works out.
Coffee is one of my daily joys. Sure, it provides a delicious, much-needed caffeine kick to help me start (or continue) the day, but it’s much more than that. It’s also comfort, it’s routine, it’s a chance to slow down and savor, and it’s nourishing! In fact, here are 7 health benefits of coffee:
Coffee is packed with antioxidants, specifically, a group of antioxidants known as chlorogenic acids or CGAs. These antioxidants protect you from damaging free radicals, you can think of them as bodyguards for your cells.
Coffee is actually the richest source of antioxidants in the western diet. Other great sources include cocoa, wild blueberries, and colorful veggies such as kale and carrots. It’s good to include a variety of all these foods in your diet!
2. Athletic Performance
Athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise than those who didn’t.
A little caffeine post-workout may have benefits too. Compared to consuming carbohydrates alone, a caffeine/carb combo was shown to increase muscle glycogen by 66% after intense exercise, allowing athletes to exercise harder and longer next time.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
This 2014 study showed that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than 1 cup per day over a 4 year period had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4 years compared with those who made no changes in their coffee consumption. Participants who decreased their coffee intake by more than 1 cup per day had a 17% higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
4. Liver Disease
This meta-analysis suggests a 40% reduced risk of liver cancer in coffee drinkers. Research also suggests that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of other liver conditions as well. To give a double helping to your liver you may want to look into how you can incorporate a morning complete health supplement so you give your liver the best possible help it can get as you start your day.
5. Heart Health
This recent study suggests a lower risk of atrial fibrillation among men who consume 1-3 cups of coffee per day. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat, also called arrhythmia, that can lead to complications such as blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. People have become very conscious of these risks, and many even use heart rate monitoring apps to help keep track of their health alongside drinking their favorite coffee each day.
Coffee is valued for its high antioxidant value and phytochemicals, so it is no surprise that coffee has been linked to a lower risk for certain types of cancers. It also may promote longevity. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, “coffee drinkers may live longer than non-coffee drinkers, having lower risk of dying from many cancers–as well as other chronic diseases.” You can read more about the research on the AICR website here.
Ok, so this one may not be as scientific, but I think we can all agree that joy is good for health. And at the end of the day, isn’t a big part of life about creating daily moments of joy? Whether it’s your morning coffee, a handmade latte from a local coffee shop, or coffee with friends (fika anyone?), these are moments that we look forward to and savor. They fill us with not only joy but also gratitude. And maybe, just maybe, they brighten our faces with smiles that in turn brighten the day for others.
Seek out high quality, organic coffee
So those are 7 health benefits of coffee. It should be noted that while all coffees will have beneficial compounds in them, some will have more than others. Here are some tips on getting the maximum health and flavor from your cup.
A heaping spoonful of low-quality instant coffee, or the coffee you might buy at most gas stations, will likely use the cheapest, lowest quality coffee beans (usually selected based on price alone). These beans may contain a higher ratio of bean defects (such as insect damage, over-fermented, and oxidized) and higher levels of mold. Plus, the coffee will could be stale. Many of the benefits of the coffee compounds will still be present, but so will toxins and chemicals that can create adverse health effects.
What about drinking too much coffee?
Listen to your body. Some people are more sensitive coffee and do better with less while others can drink much more. Both the caffeine content and the acidity can cause issues for some. I used to be able to drink coffee after dinner and still sleep fine, but these days I usually switch to decaf after lunch.
If you have a sensitive digestive system, you may also want to experiment with different types of coffee such as espresso or cold brew. Because coffee acids are better extracted at high temperatures, cold brew can be up to 60% less acidic than hot brewed coffee. Many people love the smoother, sweeter flavor of cold brew.
So how those Swedes drink so much coffee? The answer is partly in size. Think several small 4 to 6-ounce servings spread throughout the day versus a couple of large 12 to 16-ounce servings. Smaller cups equals more frequent coffee breaks. Larger cups equals longer moments of savoring. Either way, it’s a win in my book!
Try cooking with coffee too
And of course, coffee isn’t just for drinking, try cooking with it! Use the grounds in anything from baked goods, smoothies, energy bites, or combine with dried herbs as a coating for steak or fish.
Here is one of my favorite recipes that I tried from Living Plate. You can easily double it to feed a larger group! Try serving it with cored apple slices to make donut apples!
Simple Coffee Bean Cashew Butter
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coffee beans for best and freshest results, grind them yourself right before using
- 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt (optional)
- Soak the cashews for 1 hour in hot water or 4 hours to overnight in cold water.
- Drain and rinse cashews. Add to a mini food processor. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse or chop to combine until smooth and creamy. You will need to stop the processor every now and then to scrape down the sides with a spatula. If the mixture seems dry, add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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