What is “Coffeeology?”
As a homeschooling mom, my children will come across a lot of different words ending with the suffix “-ology”. Anytime you see this suffix at the end of a word it means the “study of.” I’m sure you have heard of words like neurology, the study of the nervous system; terminology, the study of words; or archeology, the study of history and artifacts. Occasionally, as my kids and I come across everyday objects, we will play around and make up silly words such as peanutology, chocolatology, and burgerology. It’s our signal to let each other know that we are curious about it, and want to know more!
Because of my semi obsession with coffee, my mornings always include a glamorous large cup of coffee. I LOVE the way coffee tastes and smells. My children always know when I'm awake from the smell of organic coffee brewing in the air. I haven’t always loved coffee, but after giving birth to my first child, I somehow discovered that coffee could provide me with an enormous amount of motivation every morning. This seriously gave me that small push in order to get things accomplished from my daily to-do list. Within the past year, I have done my own study of “coffeeology” and its valuable information!
Did you know that last year, many Americans consumed around 4.4 kg of coffee per person [link] annually? That’s the same as 3.1 cups of coffee per day, per person. Coffee is developed in more than 50 countries, and over 25 million people depend on the coffee industry worldwide. With all that coffee drinking, it's a good thing that there are many great health benefits to drinking a cup of coffee each morning!
Caffeine or decaf?
A cup of regular caffeinated coffee contains around 75-150 mg of caffeine. Caffeine has many health benefits such as stimulating your nervous system and brain, fighting fatigue, increasing athletic performance, and helping with headaches or migraine pain. Also, antioxidants and magnesium are found naturally in coffee. Magnesium is essential for the breakdown of fats within the body. Without accurate breakdown of fats, the body is unable to utilize the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Coffee also holds an antibacterial compound, which may help to prevent dental cavities. There is also a correlation between coffee and lowered risks of Parkinson's, liver cancer, and liver disease.
Decaf coffee still contains caffeine, but only about 10mg or less. To remove the caffeine from coffee, most producers use chemicals which may contain high levels of carbon dioxide and methyl chloride, which can be carcinogenic. If you do desire decaf as your preferred coffee, I recommend a brand that uses steam extraction instead of chemical processes.
When in doubt, choose organic! Coffee shows up on many lists of products high in pesticides that have been linked to endocrine disorders, cancers, and neurological disorders. Be sure to look for coffee labeled UTZ-certified, which signifies sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea with as minimal chemical application as possible. It goes from farmer to roaster to consumer with true transparency. To find UTZ-certified brands, visit utzcertified.org.
Cream and Sugar?
There are so many options for what we can put in our coffee. However, many creamers contain lactose, partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), casein, corn syrup, or artificial flavors & colors. For a healthier creamer alternative, I suggest trying something like a blend of one teaspoon of unsalted grass-fed butter, a teaspoon of coconut oil, and a tablespoon of stevia. I promise you’ll enjoy the results and feel better too!
Many sweeteners out there add more unwanted chemicals along with even more unwanted calories, most of which are caused by the amount of artificial sugars we add to our coffee. I like to say, “Too much of anything can be bad for you.” An excessive amount of sugar converts to an excess amount of unwanted fat. So what are our healthy alternatives? Try adding an substitute such as stevia, honey, agave, or xylitol to your coffee. This is a much better option than artificial sweeteners, which can add chemicals to the body and increase your carb cravings.
You know what goes well with coffee? Muffins! My Healthy Paleo Coffee Cake Muffin recipe is great for coffee lovers, tolerators, and those who never picked up the habit:
- 7 large eggs & 1 egg white
- 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 c. maple syrup
- 1 c. coconut flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. himalayan salt
- 2/3 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Topping: 1/3 c. shredded coconut & 1 tbsp. cinnamon
1. Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Spice.
3. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
4. Pour the batter mix into the lined muffin tins filling 1/2 full.
5. Topping - In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and coconut together.
6. Spread evenly over muffins and help the combination soak in with a toothpick.
7. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, then allow to cool for 7 minutes before serving.
As you can see, “coffeeology” can be quite informative (and FUN) and has valuable information in helping you to choose the healthiest option possible when it comes to your daily cup of joe!
Ross GA, Abbott RD, Petrovitch H, et al. Association of coffee and caffeine intake with the risk of Parkinson disease. JAMA. 2000 May 24-31; 283(20): 2674-9
Bravi F, Bosetti C, Tavani A, Gallus S, La Vecchia C. Coffee reduces risk for hepatocellular carcinoma: an updated meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Nov; 11(11): 1413-1421.e1.
Klatsky AL, Morton C, Udaltsova N, Friedman GD. Coffee, cirrhosis, and transaminase enzymes. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jun 12; 166(11):1190-5.
Telles S, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. Indian J Physical Pharmacol. 1994 Apr; 38(2): 133-7.