Coffee – Not the Bad Guy Anymore

Coffee – my favorite way to start the day! There is nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning, when no one else is up and about and the house is quiet. But who would have thought that the coffee you enjoy every morning is actually good for your health? I get patients all the time telling me that they quit drinking coffee believing it is bad for our health.

Research is beginning to show that coffee drinkers may be less likely to have Type 2 Diabetes. Magnesium and chromium are also present which actually help the body use the hormone insulin more efficiently and help regulate blood sugar more effectively. Coffee may help decrease heart rhythm disturbances and lower the risk of stroke in women.

We all know that coffee helps us stay awake. But did you know that coffee can help improve mood and brain function? Caffeine is a stimulant and increases firing of your neurons and release of other neurotransmitters that can actually improve mood, reaction time, memory and general functioning of the brain. As a result, coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Due to the stimulant effect of caffeine, your metabolism increases and may enhance physical performance.

Other nutrients and vitamins found in that little coffee bean include vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, potassium, manganese and a large amount of antioxidants. Those antioxidants help prevent cell damage.

Can I drink coffee in pregnancy? Absolutely! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) even states that moderate consumption of caffeine, about 12 ounces of coffee, does not appear to have any effects on fetal growth, premature delivery or miscarriages. So by all means enjoy that cup of coffee!

Coffee by itself is very low in calorie containing only 7 calories per cup. However, when we doctor that coffee up by adding half & half, non-dairy creamers or sugar we can be adding an additional 23 to 48 calories per cup! As with anything, moderation is always the key.

What if you do not like drinking coffee? Here are a couple of recipes to enjoy the benefits of coffee without having to drink it.

Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade

3 tablespoons strongly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound your choice of beef such as flank steak, London Broil, or Sirloin steak.

Whisk together all ingredients. Place in sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Marinate meat for 1 to 8 hours. Remove beef and grill to desired doneness. My family absolutely loved this!

Nutritional Information:
Calories 230
Fat 3 grams
Cholesterol 45 mg
Carbohydrates 23 grams

Coffee Rub

½ cup finely ground coffee
¼ cup coarsely ground pepper
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together. Using 2 tablespoons of rub, rub evenly into 6 portions of your favorite protein such as chicken, beef, duck or lamb.

Serving size: 1 teaspoon

Nutritional information:
5 calories
1 carbohydrate

I experimented and used this rub on some wild caught salmon then placed under the broiler.

Adapted from www.eatingwell.com

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