Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee and Alcohol May Increase Heartburn

If you’ve ever experienced heartburn and were left stumped as to what the cause was, perhaps you should turn your gaze toward the bottom of your cup – your coffee cup, that is.

Experts from the University of California, Los Angeles, are suggesting that alcohol and caffeinated beverages can have a direct effect on heartburn. This is because a ring of muscle located between the stomach and esophagus called the “lower esophageal sphincter” can be temporarily affected by alcohol and caffeine in some people.

As reported by NPR, UCLA gastroenterologist Kevin Ghassemi, explained that this muscle is meant to be closed at all times except for when food is passing into the esophagus. But because alcohol relaxes it, it creates an opening. And when this happens, he says, stomach acid can come back up into the esophagus, which is reflux – which is what causes the burning sensation we experience with heartburn.

Furthermore, Ghassemi makes the link to caffeine as well saying, “The caffeine that’s in coffee or other caffeinated beverages also will relax the sphincter muscle.”

If you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t experience heartburn after consuming caffeine or alcohol, consider yourself normal. Ghassemi points out that some people are naturally predisposed due to a “weak or faulty sphincter muscle.” This, he says, can often be influenced by being overweight or obese because it increases the risk. (more…)

Coffee May Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease, Study Shows

There’s now one more reason to get your morning fuel from coffee: it’s good for your heart, according to new research.

The study, published in an American Heart Association journal, comes from the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical. Based on their findings, researchers now believe drinking two cups of coffee a day will lower the risk for diabetes, which as a result lowers the risk for heart failure.

The size of your ‘two cups of coffee’ is important, however, and shouldn’t exceed more than 8 ounces. By keeping these parameters, researchers say people may be able to lower their risk of heart failure by as much as 11 percent compared to non-coffee drinkers. But if you exceed that 16-ounce a day limit, it may actually undermine the beneficial qualities. (more…)

How to Cook with Coffee

Every time summer rolls around, I start craving coffee. And not just any kind of coffee: iced coffee, coffee ice cream, coffee shakes; anything that’s cold, sweet and caffeine-jolted does the trick. Because when the heat rises, I rely on my cup of joe not just for a perk, but also to cool me down. 

Still riding the wake of the first day of summer, we found no other time more appropriate than now to dive into this American favorite and find out just how healthy it really is for us, as well as how we can utilize it more adventurously in the kitchen.

What is coffee? For starters, coffee comes from an evergreen-like bush or tree that produces a coffee cherry, which typically holds two halves or ‘beans’ as we refer to them. However, sometimes a cherry only produces one bean, and when this happens the bean is known as a ‘peaberry.’ Peaberries are very rare and take on a unique flavor. (more…)

Celebrate Dad with a Healthy Father’s Day Brunch

Father’s Day is this Sunday; are you ready to celebrate? If not, don’t fret because we’ve got you covered – food, drinks and all.

Instead of taking dad out to a restaurant this year and enduring long waits and noisy crowds, make a healthy, filling brunch at home to show him how much you care. After all, it takes a lot more planning and effort to prepare something yourself than to just cover the bill at a restaurant.

I don’t know about you but breakfast and brunch have always been special meals in our household. Growing up, we treated late-morning meals on the weekends as if were a sacred practice, taking the time to prepare homemade sausage, egg and cheese bagel sandwiches or carefully-crafted pancakes alongside mounds of fresh fruit and lots of warm maple syrup. And coffee? Always a must, especially in my sister and I’s older years. (more…)

Coffee Linked to Longer Life, Study Shows

When coffee is in the headlines, I tend to shield my eyes. I don’t want to hear why one of my dearest pleasures in life is potentially bad for me. And if you’re a coffee drinker, I imagine you feel the same.

Well, take heart fellow java lovers, because today’s news will inspire you to drink up! A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is suggesting that coffee may be linked to a longer life.

The AARP joined researchers from the National Institute of Health to conduct a very long study regarding coffee consumption. The study lasted 13 years, to be exact. And during that time, researchers followed more than 400,000 healthy men and women between the ages of 50 and 71. In the time frame of 13 years, 13 percent of the participants died.

The research concluded that overall, coffee drinkers were less likely than their peers to die throughout the study. Also, the more coffee the individuals drank, the lower their mortality risk seemed to be. This is compared to those in the study who drank no coffee at all. The male coffee drinkers who drank more than six cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to die during the study; while the females with the same consumption were 15 percent less likely to die during the study. (more…)

New Study Shows Breastfeeding Mothers Can Consume Caffeine

My friend and I were carpooling to work this morning and we somehow got on the topic of motherhood. Neither of us are mothers yet, but hope to be in the future. And I jokingly wished for the day that we could ‘just stay at home and breastfeed all day.’

But then, I recalled some breastfeeding horror stories I’d heard and quickly retracted my wish. Besides it being difficult and tiring, I heard you can’t have wine. And more importantly, you can’t have coffee. This last one really rocks my boat as I am a coffee fiend.

However, I found it equally ironic and relieving to come across a new study today that revealed mothers of newborn babies can drink caffeine without having it interfere with the sleep of their babies. Could it be true? Because if that’s the case, bring on motherhood. Maybe.

As reported in an article by NPR, the study was conducted in Brazil in 2004 and followed the sleep patterns of 885 infants, all of whom but one had mothers who drank caffeine. Most of the women drank a moderate amount of caffeine – either in coffee of tea form – both during and after pregnancy. And 20% consumed more than 300 mg a day. And for reference sake, a Starbucks grande contains about 300 mg of caffeine. (more…)

3 Reasons Babyccinos are the Antithesis of a Healthy Toddler Diet

I heard about it on NPR this weekend while on a mini road trip, but you may have already heard about it from a number of news sources or even Facebook. Babyccinos are a trend, it would seem, or at least a trending search term. As I did some digging, it seems that such things have existed in Australia and London for a while. In the U.S. it may be most popular in Brooklyn, I cannot say it is completely unheard of here in the midwest either. Babyccinos are coffee-like beverages intended for very young children. There are different versions that have been discussed some with steamed milk, some with honey, and some with a shot of decaf espresso. While babyccinos may be a trend that is over reported, the danger cannot be overstated.

1. Espresso – Even decaffeinated espresso or decaffeinated coffee is not free of caffeine; the amount of caffeine has just been reduced. The effects of caffeine on children will be exaggerated due to their small size, and as anyone who has ever had to skip their morning coffee knows, caffeine is a drug without which withdrawal symptoms will be experienced. At what age do you really want to introduce that to your children? It is also important to note that to remove caffeine from coffee beans a chemical solvent must be used. (more…)

What Not to Eat Before a Workout

Exercise isn’t always pretty. While it can make you look and feel like a million bucks, healthy eating and intense exercise can bring about side effects that are less than comfortable and less than glamorous. If you are an avid runner, you may be familiar with digestional cramping brought on by exercise. Gas, bloating and cramping can be made worse by what you eat before you set out for your workout. What you eat can also effect your energy, the effectiveness of your workout and the, ahem, air quality for fellow gym go-ers.

Here are 6 foods that, while mostly healthy, should not be eaten before exercise for a more comfortable workout.

Hummus– Beans and bean based foods like hummus can create a lot of gas and bloating in your system. While beans, beans, they’re good for the heart, avoid clearing out the cardio room 10 minutes into your treadmill session by saving them for later.

Green bananas and raw veggies– As long as you are ditching the healthy hummus dip, avoid the raw veggies you eat with it as the 1-2 gas punch to your gut will leave you doubled over in pain. Raw veggies and under ripe fruit, like green bananas, up the gas factor in your stomach. While cooked veggies can still make you a little gassy and should be saved for after exercise, ripe bananas make a great pre-workout snack. Green bananas are tough to digest, but ripe, soft bananas are perfect.

(more…)

Coffee May Prevent Cancer

Anytime I see a new positive coffee study, and there seems to be that chance every few months, I feel less and less guilty about one of my few vices. Here’s an enlightening new study…

Coffee as Sunscreen? Well, Not Exactly

Not only will you be perked up and alert with your daily joe, but researchers now say it may also reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

“Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma,” said lead researcher Fengju Song, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

(more…)

New Research Finds Coffee May Help Women Fight Depression. How Depressing.

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

Before you refill that coffee mug read this.

Last week a new research study from Harvard was released that stated drinking caffeinated coffee may help women fight depression. Women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 20% decreased risk of developing depression over the 10 year period compared with those that consumed one cup or less a week, according to a study released in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A holistic nutritionist weighs in:

I am concerned that this research is giving the green light to an extreme coffee habit, which in my opinion, can be ultimately detrimental to your health. When this study was released last week Twitter was filled with “tweets” of joy like, “coffee brews to beat the blues,” and this tweet from Arianna Huffington, “Caffeine can cure depression in women. One more reason for coffee addicts like me to celebrate our addiction.”  Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy a cup of Joe from time to time, but it’s how people tend to misread research to reinforce an unhealthy habit that’s got me down. Researchers cautioned that more study is needed before they’d recommend adding several cups of coffee a day as therapy, but how many people skipped over that caution?

And what about the negative effects of 4-5 cups of coffee per day? (more…)