My morning coffee just got even better this week when two new studies came out that drinking three cups of coffee a day could lead to a longer and healthier life and possibly protect against cancer and heart disease. I quickly whipped up a double espresso when I joyously discovered it could also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 20%.
The findings came from the world’s largest study into coffee’s impact on health, involving more than 500,000 people in 10 European countries including Britain. Scientists said the results indicated that moderate coffee intake was safe and enjoying an espresso, cappuccino or latte could offer health protection. While it is better news for the blokes as men who drank three or more cups had an 18 per cent reduced risk of death. Women who drank the same had a 7 per cent reduced risk.
I knew there was some benefits of my morning brew and the the prevention of Alzheimer’s but had no idea that it could help to prevent the buildup of beta-amyloid, commonly thought to be a main cause of Alzheimer’s. Our gorgeous friends – Polyphenols have an antioxidant effect which reduces inflammation and could assist in protecting our grey matter from age-related decline. A wonderful discovery for yet another incredible way one could help to prevent the dreaded “A”
There are of course the downside effects to over indulging on your daily pick me up from anxiety to insomnia and so I was even more delighted to discover decaffeinated coffee was found to have a similar effect. So it is not just the caffeine that creates the magic it is the number of compounds this powerful potion contains from antioxidant, anti-inflammatory to anti carcinogenic properties that scientists believe may explain why drinkers have lower rates of chronic liver disease and liver cancer.
Coffee has always been part of my morning routine however I have been careful to not to have more than one so here is my celebratory week of coffee and all the new and wonderful ways to have it with extra special benefits and kick!
Day 1. Bullet Proof Coffee
Bulletproof Coffee is not your average latte. According to the makers of this new and trendy powerhouse drink it has massive impact on your energy and cognitive function
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
- It all starts with the beans. Brew 1 cup (8-12 ounces) of coffee using filtered water with 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of freshly ground coffee
- Add 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of Bullet proof Brain Octane Oil.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee.
- Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds
It was so gorgeous, light and foamy. I have to say I was a bit worried about how the butter would taste but as long as it is not salted I think you will find the flavour glorious. I was going to ditch the butter until I read that the saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either. Perfect! The Brain Octane Oil rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on giving you more mental clarity. That one I need in spades! Did it work? I have to say not sure if it was coincidence but I had a very productive day and considering I had a sleepless night previously I achieved a lot. I will be implementing this into my morning routine as a daily must have.
Day 2. Japanese Cold Brew Coffee
I had heard about cold brew coffee that is famous for producing a mellow yet potent elixir that’s rich, relatively free of acid, and tastes almost chocolatey. Japanese-style, on the other hand, is known for retaining more of the flavour that you lose when coffee doesn’t ever meet hot water. You get a bit more acid, yes, but still tasty cup of goodness and sooooo much quicker to make than regular cold brew.
1/4 cup/1 oz./30 g. ground coffee beans
1 cup/8 oz./230 g. ice cubes (plus more for serving)
1 cup/8 oz./230 g. water
- Measuring cups or a kitchen scale
- A pour-over cone (aka a drip brewer) or sieve
- A paper coffee filter
- A 16-ounce glass jar
- Fill the jar with 2 cups/8 oz./230 g. ice.
- Put a paper filter over the jar.
- Bring the water to a boil. Slowly pour just a bit of the water over the grounds – just enough to cause the coffee to expand (also known as “blooming”). Once all of that water has dripped through, slowly pour about half of the remaining water over the top. When that has finished dripping through, slowly pour the remaining water over the top. Let drain completely.
- If using a mason jar, remove the drip brewer. If using a carafe, remove the filter and grounds then pour into a glass.
- Now make it your own by adding your milk of choice. As I have cut back on dairy I add Almond milk. For true decadence in the warmer months add a good quality vanilla ice cream.
This will definitely be my go to drink on hot and balmy New Zealand Summer days I am dreaming of.
Day 3. Kombucha Coffee
In fermented coffee the bacteria brings out flavours that you won’t find in your regular old cup of coffee, introducing the pleasantly peculiar, tart aftertaste common to all cultured foods which I have grown to love. The fermentation creates carbonation that lends a gentle fizziness to tickle your tastebuds.
Japanese Cold Brew Coffee. Instructions above
Sugar – ideally raw or coconut sugar
Coffee made using the Japanese cold-brewing method works best for fermenting. Unsavoury acidic flavours arise in cold-brewed coffees made at room temperature and in chilled regular coffee because of the time it takes them to cool.
Adding the Sugar
Sugar feeds fermentation – stir into the coffee, and let it reach room temperature. Set a 4-ounce SCOBY on top of the coffee. Cover the mouth of the jar with a coffee filter, and secure the filter with a rubber band.
Ferment the coffee in a cool, dark room for seven days and then taste it. If you want a stronger fermentation, leave the coffee another day or two. When you’re satisfied with the taste takeout the scoby. You can drink the coffee as is or bottle it in glass bottles – leaving 1/2 inch of space and let it carbonate for a few days.
For a more detailed instructions please visit Katrina Hortons Blog on the art of making Kombucha
Day 4. Temple Powder Coffee
As I am increasing my coffee intake I have decided that at least one cup should have a new twist on it with wonderful benefits. If you have not read my blog before I make up my own well being blends that I call Temple Powders that I pop in smoothies and juices so why not coffee?
Here s a very simple one you can make yourself for extra boost using the following 4 ingredients – Maca, Ashwagandha, Cordyceps and Cinnamon.
Maca – There are phytochemicals present in the maca root that work to balance the body’s hormones and is wonderful for stamina and energy.
Ashwagandha – Another powerful adaptogen, this is among my favorites. It is incredible for reducing stress while enhancing physical and mental performance.
Cordyceps – has long been consumed by Himalayan mountain peoples for increasing their energy output and endurance levels needed for high altitude activities. Say no more!
Cinnamon – not only tastes fantastic and is a excellent natural sweetener its protective antioxidant properties can help defend the brain against developing neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Boost & Balance Temple Powder
To make a 100 gram jar
30 grams Ashwagandha
30 grams Cordyceps
10 grams Cinnamon
30 grams Maca
Simply mix together and store in an airtight glass jar.
Stir a heaped spoon into your favourite coffee.
There is an earthiness to the flavour which I kind of like but not for everyone but the benefits and the boost you will get from this coffee elixir will be worth it.
I have also made my temple powder coffee brew for my darling mother and I do notice she is more chatty after having it.
So if you were planning on kicking the habit – think again. Loaded with the knowledge that coffee is not only good for your brain, it’s definitely good for your heart and liver and overall health. So here’s to Coffee for a Beautiful Mind