After many years of being told to limit our coffee consumption, recent studies are finding great health benefits of drinking coffee. Ask anyone who loves coffee and they will say it increases mental alertness but coffee also contains the same type of antioxidants found in fruits, veggies and green tea.
- An ongoing Nurses Health Study of 85,000 female nurses found that even 6 cups of coffee a day did not increase the risk of heart attack.
- The Harvard School of Public Health study of 125,000 individuals who drank 6 to 8 cups of caffinated coffee daily actually found it lowered the risk of type II diabetes risk 50% in men and 30% in women.
- Another study found that non coffee drinkers are five times more likely to develop Parkinson''s disease than coffee drinkers
- and those who drank 3 to 4 cups of coffer per day had an 80% lower risk of cirrhosis of the liver and a 25% less chance of contracting colon cancer when compared to drinking no coffee at all.
No significant nutritional differences have been found between caffinated and decaffinated coffee. However, the fresher your cup coffee is, the better. One easy way to get the most nutritional benefit is to buy whole coffee beans and a $10 coffee grinder. Grind just enough for your daily pot of coffee. The increase in taste and aroma is well worth the trouble.
The strength of your brew depends on the amount of grounds you use in each pot, not the variety you purchase.
Although current studies haven’t addressed the freshness of the coffee used, it stands to reason that the fresher the coffee, the more antioxidants it would contain.
To retain maximum flavor and freshness, coffee should be kept in an air-tight container with a rubber seal, in a cool, dark place. A good rule of thumb is to buy what you will use within 2 weeks for the most flavorful coffee.
Contrary to popular opinion, coffee doesn''t retain freshness in the freezer or the refrigerator and should not be stored there. Moisture is one of the greatest enemies of coffee and both the frig and freezer can allow moisture to get into the porous bean. Also, freezing breaks down the oils in your beans which also destroys the flavor.
If you absolutely must buy in bulk and know you won’t use that amount in two weeks, freezing is an option only if you divide the beans up into what you will use in one week periods and wrap in zip-loc plastic bags, then wrap again in plastic wrap to keep out as much moisture and air as possible. Take out only what you will use in each two weeks and never re-freeze.
If you don’t want to purchase coffee beans and grind your own as you use it, be sure and purchase vacuum packed bags which are valve-sealed.
Don’t throw it away or pour your excess coffee down the drain. Plants need healthy antioxidants too. Use the liquid to water your plants. Coffee grounds can be sprinkled around plants and watered in or put into compost piles to add nitrogen. Coffee filters also break down in compost piles.
If your black, washable clothing has started to fade, restore their original shade by adding 2 TBS of unbrewed coffee grounds to your washer during the rinse cycle. Tannic acid is released in warm water, which darkens the pigment of your garments.
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