Coffee and Health- The how to guide

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As promised, I return with a post on how to best drink coffee, in regards to health, and in regards to skin (obv). Please read my post on the harmful and helpful effects of coffee on our skin and overall health, here.

1. Drink your coffee after a meal, and definitely not on its own: Because coffee results in a surge of blood sugar which inturn results in a surge of insulin; on an empty stomach coffee can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar, which can then set up more sugar cravings (and in regards to our skin, we do not want spikes of sugar, nor sugar cravings, read why here).

2. Go for filtered coffee rather than unfiltered coffee: In 2001, Klag and his colleagues reviewed more than a dozen studies that looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and cholesterol levels. They found that drinking an average of six cups of coffee a day was associated with increased total cholesterol and LDL, the harmful type of cholesterol. Nearly all of the rise in cholesterol was linked to unfiltered coffee.

3. Choose organic: Coffee ranks as the most chemically treated agricultural product on the planet. Although a controversial topic, research is currently being conducted to evaluate the consequences of long-term ingestion of pesticides and herbicides.

4. Drop the sugar: Read more about my love-hate relationship to sugar here. Sugar is associated to premature aging (and it's right up there with UV exposure and smoking). It is also associated to a number of other health issues, the most obvious ones being diabetes and obesity.

4. Buy whole beans and grind them at home: This ensures that your coffee's antioxidant content is kept to a maximum, and also improves taste and freshness. If you want to store it past grinding, then do so in an air-tight, light-protective container, preferably in the fridge.

5. Keep the number of cups below 6: Research points to health benefits being reaped at a consumption of anything between 1-6 cups a day, but anything above this has been associated to annoying and harmful side effects, such as problems sleeping, heart-burn, hair-loss, and irritability. In my humble opinion, I think keeping your consumption to a max of 2 cups a day ensures a good dose of coffee-antioxidants and surges of alertness, but it also leaves enough time for you to have a few cups of tea as well, so that you may collect the health benefits of all hot beverages, and so might ensure your best possible skin and health.

6. Hydrate in-between cups: Caffeine acts as a mild diuretic that makes your body part with its water rather than hold on to it. This can make your skin look dry, and saggy. If you’re drinking a lot of caffeine, remember to stay hydrated. Normally 8-10 glasses will do, but if you drink a lot of coffee, you'll have to up this number if you want your face looking perk and pretty throughout your day.

7. Switch to Mate-tea: You absolutely don't have to, but if you're looking for a replacement, look no further! Yerba Mate is praised for having almost as much caffeine as coffee, but with the feel good chemicals of tea and coffee as well. It is high in

antioxidants, contains 24 vitamins and minerals, and 15 amino acids. Yerba mate isn't acidic like coffee and is much lower in tannins than tea, so people find it less bitter and more enjoyable to drink. Yerba mate tea contains significant levels of polyphenol antioxidants, and has a slightly higher antioxidant capacity than green tea. On average, mate tea contains 92 milligrams of the antioxidant chlorogenic acid per gram of dry leaves, and no catechins, giving it a significantly different antioxidant profile than other teas. In-vivo and in-vitro studies are showing that yerba mate exhibits significant cancer-fighting activity. In 1995, research at the University of Illinois found yerba mate to inhibit the proliferation of oral cancer cells. £4.49 from amazon: Teapigs Yerba Mate Tea 15 Temples

8. Enjoy yourself! Feeling guilty about what you eat, or in this case- drink, does no good what so ever. Coffee is not bad for you, it's a great addition to a healthy person's diet (except pregnant ladies- previous post). It should be fully enjoyed like anything else you decide to eat or drink, perhaps with a little piece of organic 70%-cocoa content chocolate at the side, yum!