Hello friends! I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring day! I definitely am. I started out the day as I always do, with a delicious cup of coffee. I’ve written about the health benefits of coffee previously, but recent studies that I’ve read made me think it’s worthwhile to revisit the topic with you, my lovely readers. I’ll conclude with my “recipe” for healthy coffee. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read this post. It will be worth your while, I promise!
New evidence has shown that coffee drinking may help minimize the risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. In a study at Yale, researchers analyzed data from over 440,000 people, followed up with them 10 years later, and found that caffeinated coffee drinking lowered the risk of melanoma by 10%. If 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day was consumed the risk was 20% lower. Decaf coffee did not change the risk of melanoma. It is thought that the reason for this is that caffeine protects against UV radiation.
In addition to protecting against melanoma, research shows that coffee drinkers may have a higher protection against other cancers like breast, colon, prostate and even liver. Coffee drinking also has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Harvard School of Public Health researchers gathered data from 3 different studies and found that study participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day, to be exact 1.69 cups per day over a 4 year period, had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk than people who did not change their coffee intake. Another study has shown that drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure (Moderation= 2 8 ounce servings per day). People who drank 4 cups per day had an 11% lower risk of heart failure, compared to those who did not.
One of the coolest benefits to drinking coffee I’ve found is the study that showed evidence that drinking coffee may reduce mortality. That’s right, drinking 4-5 cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of early death, even for those who drink decaf. Coffee drinking can also protect against developing Parkinson’s disease, lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%, and lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. That’s some compelling evidence for drinking coffee, isn’t it?!
However, and I’ve said this before, sugar is one of the worst things we can put in our bodies on a daily basis, and excessive sugar leads to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer- the very things from which coffee protects us. So you cannot drink 4-5 sugary cups of coffee, and think you are doing something good for your body. That being said, I have developed a cup of coffee over the years that tastes like it’s bad for you, but is actually very healthy. I’ve shared it in past posts but it’s so good, it’s worth repeating.
First step, start out with good coffee. I have a Nespresso machine and make espresso by using Nespresso capsules. I pull a large espresso, but if you have a regular coffee maker use the best quality coffee you can and make a good sized cup of coffee, leaving room at the top for the other ingredients.
Second, I add 1 teaspoon of organic cinnamon and 1 teaspoon UNSWEETENED cocoa powder to the coffee and stir. I like the warm, spicy taste of cinnamon in my coffee and the cocoa powder adds a delicious, chocolatey flavor, without adding any sugar to it. Both these things are essential to a yummy cup of coffee for me, and add more to the healthiness of the beverage also. Unsweetened cocoa powder may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, is low in calories and contains essential minerals that support the heart, bones and immune system. Cinnamon also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, improves brain function, protects against Parkinson’s disease, and helps reduce the risk of diabetes. See? Delicious and healthy!
Next step, I use my milk frother to whip Organic half and half with French vanilla coconut milk creamer. Remember that healthy fats are good for you, like half and half, so don’t feel guilty using it. It makes the coffee very creamy and rich. I use the coconut milk creamer for sweetness. I use about 2 tablespoons half and half, and 1 tablespoon coconut milk creamer. The coconut milk creamer only has 5 ingredients, all of them healthy, and 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. No added sugar needed. I like using a frother because it makes the cream warm and frothy, but it isn’t necessary if you don’t have one, just add the ingredients into the coffee.
That’s all there is to it, my friends! My coffee contains only 65 calories and 4 grams of sugar, provides so much protection for your overall health, and is delicious too! So drink your HEALTHY coffee, and know you are doing something really great for your body. It tastes so warm and comforting that it’s good for your soul too! Drinking healthy coffee will help you live a life of vitality-with Valerie! 🙂