I’ve often joked that a better version of Neil Moore always shows up after a good cup of joe. Indeed, it’s hard to argue the mood enhancing and mind-sharpening effects of coffee – not to mention its positive impact on energy.
I’m a science geek and am always looking for healthy and legal hacks to improve my performance, and this popular beverage is one of them. In fact, studies have shown a surprising number of areas where it can help.
It is no surprise that coffee helps you feel less tired. After you drink it, caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your brain, where it can help with memory, mood, focus – and energy levels. I’m easily more productive after a single cup, maybe two, but additional cups can get me wired. More isn’t necessarily better.
Especially if blood pressure is an issue, as caffeine can increase it temporarily. As the big pharma fine print goes, “ask your doctor if coffee is right for you…”
Studies have shown that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate, which can help burn more fat. Not so, if you dump in loads of cream and sugar, and add an apple fritter on the side.
I enjoy mine black, with a little stevia to offset the bitterness. For me, it tends to blunt my morning hunger as I usually don’t have breakfast until late morning. This dovetails nicely with my intermittent fasting routine – more on that in another post.
Lowers Disease Risk
Coffee has had a checkered past, with some people still focusing on its mildly addictive properties. But current research is demonstrating this humble bean is more helpful than harmful, and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Not to mention being linked to a lower incidence of certain types of cancer like liver and colorectal.
Rich in Antioxidants
If you eat the standard North American diet, it may also be your richest source of antioxidants as coffee is chock full of polyphenols. These are shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetes properties.
Health benefits aside, I really enjoy the taste. In particular those coffees that deliver a more robust flavour. And that, of course, is due to roasting – the process that transforms the soft and spongy green bean to the crunchy, roasted version that actually smells like coffee. At this point, it is ready to be ground and brewed.
Check out this cool video, offering an inside look at a roastery.
As a kid, I loved to wander the grocery store coffee aisle, taking in the aroma, especially by the grinder – which is starting to make a comeback. At our stores, you can grind your own beans, with the Vince’s Own brand offering a variety of roasts from light to dark.
Alternatively, you can pick up a variety of ground coffees from brands like Kicking Horse, Lavazza, Muskoka Roastery, Starbucks – and more.
Does this delicious, healthy elixir fit into my current, mostly-whole-foods regimen? You bet. It is minimally processed (when enjoyed black) and is thankfully one of the few “vices” I haven’t had to renounce.
May your coffee be strong, and your workday be short!
Neil Moore is the Brand Manager at Vince’s Market. He is also a freelance journalist, masters athlete, and family man who believes that excellence has no expiry date. That being said, Neil is not a medical doctor. This blog is for informational purposes only and is no substitute for professional medical advice.