Coffee – friend or foe? Health facts about the black drink

Dear readers,

this morning during my regular massage I had a discussion with our fantastic Ayurveda doctor about that famous, loved & hated, black drink in a cup: coffee.

Just as old as the picturesque and fascinating history of coffee is the discussion whether it is actually good for you or rather harmful. And basically I must say our doctor confirmed my idea. With coffee it is like with all things in life (except for love, you can never get and give enough love): the right quantity is the secret!

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Obviously it is unhealthy to have about 10 cups of coffee / day or to live just of coffee. But there lies no harm in 1-2 cups of black coffee / day. For most people. Healthy people. People without stomach problems. Some people – like our doctor – even use it as a sleeping remedy :O. Would not work for me. But here again I have to combine the Ayurvedic thinking with my background as a Nutritionist – a thing I like to do since I am always in favor of finding the best solutions in any system and combining them: coffee is not recommended for Pitta constitution even though – as it always is – they are the ones, who crave it most since it fires up their anyway high energy level and thus supports it. For Vata (if not already super nervous) and Kapha coffee can even be medicine, it gives a push to digestion and metabolism and stimulates the sometimes lethargic Kapha. Coffee widens the blood vessels and thus can even be a remedy for Asthma. A very efficient headache killer is espresso with lime juice. 

Coffee has always had a medicinal value before it became the devil. True is that coffee enhances the production of acid in our bodies. You might want to balance that through a very alkaline diet, which you should (and I keep stressing this!) stick to anyway. But again: don’t overdose on coffee and the health factors will prevail (always depending on your overall health).

Some health facts about coffee:

-it is known to improve memory, even just 200mg improve your learning abilities.

-you’ve probably already liked a cup of black coffee with a nice piece of dark chocolate? Noticed anything after consumption? Well, it is a great stimulant for sex. Especially women react to the stimulation of coffee in the respective areas of the brain.

-coffee can ease pain (see my note on headache above), also muscle pain.

-coffee is full of antioxidant and antibacterial matters, thus it is known to aid in the prevention of skin cancer (again though especially in women according to recent studies) and help against bad breath (drink it without milk though!).

-coffee is a known antidepressiva, its mere perfume calms our senses.

But: always remember that a high consumption of coffee makes you an addict, whether you like it or not. The constant stimulation alters your nerve cells and raises your stimulation level and if then you have to get off coffee you will experience deprivation symptoms. Also be aware to look for an excellent quality coffee, there are types higher and lower in acidity. As with all your food and drinks control where the coffee comes from and how it has been roasted.

For nervous people if they cannot avoid coffee altogether my advice is to go for decaffeinated coffee. I always used to make fun of people, who drink decaf, but in the end it does make sense. You get the good things, which are in the black bean, but you avoid the over stimulation, which makes decaf less aggressive for your body.

You are thinking about your next cuppa now? Why not try a delicious recipe which uses coffee? Just remember to probably have it for lunch, otherwise your sleep might be disturbed….

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/smoky_black_bean_soup.html

or

http://www.foodtasticmom.com/2013/03/05/greek-yogurt-with-coffee-fig-compote/

“The coffee will help with post-resurrection synapse realignment. Trust me.” 

(A. Christopher, Hang Wire)

 

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Alkaline diet

Dear readers,

as mentioned in my earlier post about liver detox you need to follow an alkaline, especially during detox, but basically you should do that always.

So here is the link to my earlier article on that topic to make it easier for you: http://kat-bodyandmind.blogspot.com/2012/03/health-food-alcaline-diet.html.

Please have a look at other earlier articles under the tab “Earlier articles” on my homepage.

 

A healthy start into the new year – Detoxing your liver

Dear readers,

some of you might have enjoyed my last post on “To smoothie or not to smoothie” – I also received some positive comments which I am very happy about. Any comment or suggestion is always welcome, it is a pleasure to get some feedback from the world out there.

So! 🙂 With the festive season behind us let’s head start into 2015! These first weeks are usually extraordinarily busy, it seems as if the world would wake up from hibernation or a kind of festive season retreat. I for instance love to start the year with full power and try to keep this attitude up throughout the year.

In order to help my body to keep up with my brains (not so difficult, I know, before anyone makes a comment!) I like to start a new year with some serious detoxing of my liver. Our liver is a very very important part of our body and no, it is not exclusively there to digest alcohol! Have a look here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015941/and inform yourself.

The liver cleanses our bodies – daily, with no break, no holiday. Our modern eating and living habits often are a real burden for our liver, but she can never rest so she goes on and on and on. In many people the organ works under extremely hard conditions. Tiredness, back pain, high cholesterol or  susceptibility to infection as well as itching skin can be the consequences of a liver in distress.

Fimageseel a bit like this poor lion after the holidays? 

Since that poor organ is working so hard, it is important to help the liver to do her job. A                                           liver detox of 4 weeks is recommended for every healthy person once a year, no matter whether you drink alcohol or not or whether you watch your diet or not. I certainly do watch what I eat and drink, sometimes even too much, but our health largely depends on a well-functioning liver. The liver is very grateful, it is even an organ, which grows back, so go ahead and profit from its amazing regeneration abilities!

 

How to detox the liver?

I do this with the help of a good milk thistle product from the pharmacy (in my case I use Silymarin from Germany, 167mg capsules, taken 2x/day). Obviously I do not drink any alcohol for 4 weeks and avoid any unhealthy fats such as butter, cheese or any other animal derived fats.

If you want to really go for it and you feel your actually have abused your liver, start with a colon cleansing (Colonhydrotherapy). Helpful after that is the above mentioned as well as foods with bitter components such as for example fresh artichoke juice. Further, it is vital to eat an alkaline diet (you find a lot of information on how to do this in one of my previous posts, check my old blog as well!). This is always important, but during your liver detox you absolutely have to avoid any acid creating food.

What else can I do / eat? 

Drink a liter of green tea every day, enjoy your garlic and onions, all green leaves are fantastic, Avocado is said to be able to rebuild a damaged liver (1 or 2 / week is enough), use a lot of antibacterial Kurkuma when cooking, sprouts add healthy enzymes to your liver friendly diet. Walnuts help to detox the liver, but be aware to chew them very thoroughly before swallowing. Ideally you buy fresh walnuts and crack them yourself.

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Healthy through the winter – to Smoothie or not to Smoothie?

Dear audience,

welcome back to my blog in 2015, the year of the green wood sheep  or the rabbit! This coming year promotes a lot of energy, many changes are ahead of us and you most certainly have your head full of plyear_of_the_yin_green_wood_sheep_folk_art_postcard-re167d0e93cad4876ae42a6b83e69adc5_vgbaq_8byvr_324ans and ideas for these brand-new 365 days! Only 360 left, so don’t waste any time. 

 

In order to be able to fulfill all your plans and put them vigorously into action remember that the most fundamental thing for all your projects is good health.

So very unlike this yaaaaaawning rabbit, who doesn’t seem to be fully aware of what’s coming up,

Singing_Rabbit you want to be ready and kicking! After all these festive days you sure want to go for some detox, maybe you have already started (I personally still have 3 days of holiday ahead of me, so my detoxing with a good milk thistle product and 1 month off alcohol will start on the 9th) and first thing that comes to our minds nowadays is JUICING! And I do not deny that juicing is healthy and detoxifying and everything you have read and heard about. But like with everything in life: a thing that is good for one person may not be perfect for the other person. I have good friends, who practically live on green smoothies, following the rule “Juice or extinct”.

I prefer the motto “Get healthy or extinct”! 

For a long time I rode the juice wave as well. And I like some of them. But the ones I am supposed to like most, the really green ones, packed with phytochemicals never really got to me. I drank them, because they said you have to, but something in me didn’t really want them and after the drinks I felt heavy and not necessarily better. Since through my studies, my job and my personal convictions I am someone, who listens very carefully to her body I stopped juicing. Sometimes I prepare smoothies, but they always contain fruit and only a small quantity of my so loved greens and I always have them after 10 in the morning when our digestive fire is starting to burn higher and we are more capable of digesting raw food. 

Don’t misunderstand me! I adore my greens and have heaps of them every day in form of pak choy, spinach, broccoli, coriander and and and. So what is the solution for people with my body constitution (VATA, which has a weak digestive fire anyway) and during winter time when our body definitely feels better with warm foods than with cooling ones? When cold food deprives our body of energy that we would need for heating instead of trying to digest our crudités? 

The solution was easy…look at the Chinese (again, I know, but they do know how to nourish themselves, I say delicious healthy soups or fresh hot soy milk!)! Or have a look at this horrid looking green roadside drink they are offering here in Sri Lanka from poor looking small wheeled stalls, where you see people gathering every morning shortly after dawn, sipping that stuff from plastic cups? I decided to stop and ask what it was.

Surprise!!! It is something like a smoothie! Only advantage: it is warm! So in the cool Ceylonese mornings people nourish themselves very efficiently: the have a warm green smoothie. Brilliant! As in our Ayurveda restaurant where every morning you find basically the same thing, a green soup with a small amount of well cooked rice in it, made from various herbs.

So what I do nowadays as a Smoothie substitute is to cook a light soup bringing a small amount of rice (or even a bigger one if you need more carbs) to a boil with some herbal salt, and then add your greens (chard, kale, pak choy, broccoli, green herbs etc) to your likings. If you want to make it a bit richer, add a small (!) amount of organic coconut milk. Obviously you don’t want to boil the greens, you just steam them in the hot broth for 2 minutes and that’s it! Simple, nourishing, rich in vitamins and fibers, warming your body and easy on your digestion.

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Have a magic and healthy 2015!

Comments and/or suggestions are always welcome! I do appreciate your questions and suggestions what you would like to read about.