Vitamin K Nutrition
Coffee…what a wonderful beverage.
Let’s go for coffee. Want to meet for coffee? I need my coffee! I can’t live without coffee! Coffee break!
Coffee is one of those things that is a huge part of our lives. It’s often the first thing that comes to mind when we wake up in the morning. It’s what most of us look forward to every morning before anything else. It’s comforting, it’s warming, and the sweet mesmerizing smell can cause even the non-coffee drinkers to wish they liked coffee. It is a staple of most people’s lives. It’s also been around for many centuries (as early as the 13th century). In fact the origin of coffee is a little unclear but it is said to originate from the ancient Ethiopian countries (called Oromo people). After that, it spread to Egypt and Yemen. Coffee was used as stimulants and energy boosters. Coffee is consumed all over the world today.
According to the Coffee Association of Canada, coffee and tap water are the most commonly consumed beverages. Coffee actually topped the charts with 71% and tap water at 67% in a 2017 study.
Coffee can be very beneficial but the source of the coffee has a lot to do with this. The most popular species of coffee are: Arabica and Robusta but there are over 100 different species. The way the beans are grown, harvested and fermented before the roasting process can influence the quality. The cherries are hand-picked from a tree then the pulp is removed and then they need to dry for 10-14 days. They then must be hulled and sorted by hand to remove any beans that are not the right size. Coffee can be contaminated with Mycotoxins which come from molds that are found almost everywhere in small quantities and are considered toxic chemicals. Roasting the coffee beans does eliminate a lot of the toxins. Obviously buying organic coffee is your best bet to ensure it is pesticide and herbicide free. Fair trade is always important as well for environmental sustainability and for ethical reasons. Fair trade ensures that the profits are directed back into the farmers and the communities. Local rosters usually offer good quality coffees and you should go around your city looking for those unique little coffee shop. Happy goat coffee, Owls head, Quitters, Alice’s village café, Equator coffee, the ministry of coffee and social affairs are all great spots! This is my favorite thing to do. I haven’t visited all of these but that’s my plan. Quitters in Stittsville is one of my favs!
To keep coffee fresh, buy the whole beans in smaller batches. Coffee does go bad and should be treated the same way as fresh veggies and not like a can of tuna in your cupboard. Grind them as you need and keep in an air tight container in your pantry away from light and moisture. Previously ground beans have a larger surface area that is susceptible to moisture.
There are many benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee is a great source of antioxidants and polyphenols (naturally occurring phytochemicals in plant that have disease fighting abilities). Other benefits include lowered risk of some degenerative disease, increase insulin sensitivity and increase in athletic performance.
Fat in my coffee:
There are so many different ways to enjoy coffee that are way more beneficial than adding milk and sugar and in my opinion way tastier. Adding good fats for example is a great way to enjoy your brew. MCT, coconut oil, or butter and blending it with your freshly pressed coffee is like magic! Even blending cashew butter, almond or peanut butter or even tahini in your coffee gives it that extra kick. You can also try cacao butter, collagen, organic cream which is less allergenic than milk, or any nut milks as long as they don’t contain added sugars and additives. Why add fat to your coffee? Well for one it helps you stay fuller longer and MCT oil especially has brain boosting benefits that will keep you alert and help speed up your metabolism for the day. Start slow with MCT oil as it does cause lose stools.
How much is too much?
So how many cups a day can I drink? Well again you need to listen to your body especially if caffeine affects you but as a general rule: 1 cup a day is perfect, 2 cups is ok and 3 is your max.
There is a darker side to coffee, no pun intended. The structure of caffeine looks a lot like a molecule that is naturally present in our brain called adenosine. It is so close that it will fit into our brain receptors for adenosine blocking its effects. Adenosine usually locks into these receptors and produces a feeling of tiredness. When caffeine takes the spot, this reaction does not occur so we get a sense of alertness and energy. All the excess adenosine will float around and it will cue the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and other stimulants. So in fact caffeine is not a real stimulate but a stimulant enabler. Over time we grow more adenosine receptors which creates a tolerance.
Other dark sides…It is true that for some people coffee can cause jitters, stomach acidity and other issues. There is a genetic factor that comes into play as to how well you metabolize coffee. This is why some people get jittery after one cup and others can drink 5 cups or double espressos and go to sleep right after. Coffee is just like any other food. Some people are ok with it and others aren’t. Most people know if they can handle coffee. Essentially, if you have sleep issues, adrenal fatigue, are restless and have heart palpitations, you should definitely not drink coffee. It can also interfere with some drug metabolism and interfere with liver detoxification. If you need coffee every day to feel normal, motivated or to function… you are addicted. If you have withdrawals symptoms like headaches when you haven’t had your cup, you are addicted. Try removing coffee for 3 weeks then reintroduce it slowly and monitor how you feel. Here is a coffee reduction program that you can try if you feel you are at that point.
Coffee reduction program:
The thing with coffee is that it is so versatile. It’s being served in so many different ways, it’s also being disguised in different ways. The mocha, frappa, latte you get from places like popular coffee shops is not really coffee. The amount of syrups or sugar they add to these drinks is scary. Please consider that a tall Caramel Frappuccino contains 46g of sugar which is equivalent to 11.5 teaspoons of sugar! For one drink! That is already more than the recommended amount for an entire day. (Heart and stroke recommends no more than 12 tsp / day) although I believe that is still too much. At this point, in my opinion you are not drinking coffee you are drinking a syrupy drink with a little splash of coffee. To each their own and once in a while it’s fine to indulge in one of these but everyday could be a problem.
Coffee brings people together, it gives us an excuse to wake up in the morning, to walk away from our desks at work, to meet up with friends on weekends and it’s an acquired taste that as a kid I never thought I would develop. Coffee definitely grows on you and makes people happy. It makes happy!
If you are looking to boost your coffee game and want some ideas, reach out to me and I will send you recipes.