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How to Make Drinking Coffee Healthier

How to Make Drinking Coffee Healthier

Here’s a reason to really enjoy your morning cup of joe: it practically qualifies as a health food these days. Coffee can improve your mood, jumpstart your metabolism, boost your workout, and help you focus, among other amazing benefits suggested by recent research.
Yet you won’t score these health rewards unless you steer clear of certain bad habits when it comes to preparing and sipping your favorite brew. Some coffee-prep practices strip the beans of their high levels of micronutrients like polyphenols, a type of antioxidant thought to help prevent heart disease and other conditions. And ordering beverages loaded with dairy and sugar can turn this naturally low-calorie beverage into a delivery system for fat and calories.

To get the most from your coffee, make sure you’re not committing any of the mistakes called out by Bob Arnot, MD in his new book, The Coffee Lover�s Diet: Change Your Coffee�Change Your Life. With Arnot’s advice in mind, here’s the right way to prepare and savor your brew.

Cut Back on Sugar 

Coffee and sugar have always been a popular pairing. Sprinkling in the sweet stuff won�t take away from coffee’s polyphenol level, but it can detract from the healthfulness of the drink thanks to the extra calories (16 per sugar packet) and the way refined sugar messes with your blood-sugar levels. If you need sugar because your coffee tastes too bitter, try a brew made from naturally sweeter beans.

Go Easy on the Cream

Coffee with cream is another delicious duo. Two tablespoons of heavy cream packs about 100 calories; the same amount of half-and-half has 38. These numbers may not seem like much, but if you drink a few cups or more a day, it adds up. Many people mask the bitterness of their coffee with cream, so save yourself the calories and pick a lighter roast, or stick to low-fat milk only. Speaking of milk and cream, try to make smoothie-like blended coffee drinks, which can have hundreds of calories each, an occasional splurge.

Drink Lighter-Roast Brews

�Superdark roasts, swirled with cream and sugar to cover their burnt-wood taste, are the coffee equivalent of soggy green beans that have been cooked all-day with a fatty ham hock or a slice of bacon,� writes Arnot. Lighter roasts may take some getting used to, but they can be just as flavorful and are much higher in polyphenols. If you can’t give up the dark stuff, roast the beans yourself at a temperature no higher than 430 degrees This creates that bold, dark flavor yet retains a decent level of polyphenols.

Buy Higher-Quality Beans

One way to know if your coffee is healthy is to evaluate the taste: healthier coffee tastes better. To get the good-for-you kind, Arnot suggests buying premium coffees grown on farms with excellent cultivation practices. Stick to farms located at high altitudes close to the equator in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Columbia and Brazil. African coffees tend to be lighter, whereas South American coffees are generally fuller-bodied.

Wash the Coffee Maker

You wash your pans after cooking with them, right? If you didn’t, the next dish you prepared in them wouldn’t taste right. The same principle goes for your coffee equipment. Rinsing coffee machines and makers with vinegar and hot water, suggests Arnot, will make your next brew more robust and flavorful.

Make Coffee with Fresh, Ripe Beans

Coffee is at its best between two days and two weeks after the beans are roasted. Arnot recommends buying small bags from local roasters and using them within three to four days�storing them not in your fridge but in an opaque, airtight container kept away from sunlight to preserve freshness. Ask for coffee packed in nitrogen-flushed bags; this prevents oxidation and help preserve the taste of the beans for a few months before you’re ready to roast.

Grind the Beans

If the beans are ground too small, you’ll get bitter-tasting coffee. Grind them too coarsely, however, and the coffee will taste weak�not to mention be depleted ofpolyphenols. Arnot recommends a medium-level coarseness, whether you’re grinding it yourself or having someone behind a counter do it for you.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900blog picture of a green button with a phone receiver icon and 24h underneath

Additional Topics: What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is an well-known, alternative treatment option utilized to prevent, diagnose and treat a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the spine, primarily subluxations or spinal misalignments. Chiropractic focuses on restoring and maintaining the overall health and wellness of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic, can carefully re-align the spine, improving a patient�s strength, mobility and flexibility.

 

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Cooking at Home Can be Cheaper and Healthier

Cooking at Home Can be Cheaper and Healthier

If you’re eager to save money while eating right, stick close to your own kitchen, researchers say.

“Frequent eating out was associated with lower diet quality, more ’empty calories’ and higher diet costs” compared to home cooking, said study author Adam Drewnowski.

The troublemakers for regular restaurant-goers are solid fats, calories, alcohol and added sugar, added Drewnowski, who directs the University of Washington’s Center for Public Health Nutrition. The findings come from surveys of more than 400 Seattle-area residents.

The healthier-at-home results shouldn’t come as a surprise, said Lona Sandon, a Dallas nutritionist who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Preparing your food at home gives you control over what goes on your plate,” said Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Eating Out vs Cooking at Home

Americans spend half their food dollars on meals consumed outside the home, but only about one in five meets nutritional recommendations set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Moreover, by the 1990s Americans were getting about one-third of their daily calories outside the home, the researchers said. With that in mind, between 2011 and 2013 they questioned 437 adults between the ages of 21 and 55 who were the principal food shoppers in their household. They asked how often they had eaten in or eaten out in the prior week. “Outside” included restaurants, fast-food locales, food stands, grocery stores and vending machines.

In turn, the nutritional value of each participant’s diet was measured according to the U.S. Healthy Eating Index (HEI). This assesses whether someone gets the right combination of fruit, vegetables and other nutritional elements.

Roughly half the participants frequently cooked dinner at home — six times or more a week, the team found. One-third cooked dinner often (four to five times a week), while about 15 percent rarely did so (three or fewer times a week). Those who ate more frequently at home scored higher on the healthy eating index than the others. They also spent less overall — on food consumed outside and at home — than those who ate out more often.

Food bills for the group that cooked in the most averaged $273 a month per person versus $364 a month for those who ate out most often.

“The saving in not going out more than made up for the slight increase in at-home costs,” explained Drewnowski.

Fat, alcohol and added sugar “reduced the [healthy eating] scores for people who went out to eat often,” he noted. “But people eating at home also got more vegetables and fruit.” Still, “cooking at home is not for everyone,” he acknowledged. The point to remember is that eating out doesn’t have to be a no-no, he said.

Better choices can be made by those who “prize convenience” over home cooking, Drewnowski said. Many options are available, he noted. For example, “vegetables do not need to be steamed. They can be grilled, baked and sauteed, with some oil and salt. Or made into soups.”

If you decide to prepare your own meals, Sandon offers some advice: “Cooking at home does not have to be time-consuming or require advanced cooking skills to make a healthy, balanced meal that meets the dietary guidelines.”

Keep it simple, she said. Just try to ensure that every meal is composed half of fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of whole grains, and one-quarter of lean protein.

“Every meal does not have to be a master piece,” Sandon added. “Start simple with something like mac and cheese. Add a side of steamed broccoli and carrots with grilled chicken breast or salmon, and you have a balanced meal.”

SOURCES: Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director, Center for Public Health Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle; Lona Sandon, Ph.D., R.D.N., assistant professor, clinical nutrition, and program director, school of health professions, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Feb. 28, 2017, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, online

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900blog picture of a green button with a phone receiver icon and 24h underneath

Additional Topics: Weight Loss Eases Back Pain

Back pain and symptoms of sciatica can affect a majority of the population throughout their lifetime. Research studies have demonstrated that people who are overweight or obese experience more back complications than people with a healthy weight. A proper nutrition along with regular physical fitness can help with weight loss as well as help maintain a healthy weight to eliminate symptoms of back pain and sciatica. Chiropractic care is also another natural form of treatment which treats back pain and sciatica utilizing manual spinal adjustments and manipulations.

 

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