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You Might Be Ruining the Health Benefits of Your Coffee

Coffee is linked to all kinds of good stuff from lowering your risk of dementia to boosting your metabolism, according to lots of research. And then of course, there’s the energy it gives us when we desperately need it – which is every single morning. But here’s the thing, you could be undoing some of the brew’s benefits without knowing it, just by adding something to it or when you drink it. Here are some common coffee mistakes you could be making.

  1. You buy it pre-ground – Buying whole bean coffee does take a little more effort because you have to grind it, but it’s worth it. According to research in the journal “Food Chemistry,” pre-ground coffee contains more free radicals, which can add to inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
  2. You store coffee in its original bag – Your beans are better off in an airtight container – not in the bag. The same study found that exposure to air increases the levels of free radicals in coffee, which means you get fewer of the health boosting antioxidants from it since they’re being used up neutralizing those free radicals.
  3. You down a cup at the crack of dawn – So many of us start the day with coffee, that’s not the most ideal time to drink it. Lots of experts agree that it’s actually better to wait until 10am or noon, if you can, because for the first few hours you’re awake, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol are the highest and that gives you a natural energy boost. So if you can hold off on your caffeine until then, you’ll get it when you need it more.
  4. You assume dark roast has more antioxidants – You’re better off just drinking the roast that you like the best, because research into which kind of coffee is best for your health is at an early stage and they just don’t know which roast is healthier yet, according to Rob van Dam, adjunct associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  5. You drink lighter roasts to consume less caffeine – Lots of us are confused about this, but lighter roasts actually contain more caffeine than dark roasts. That’s because the roasting burns off caffeine, so less roasting equals more caffeine. If you want a brew with less, French roast is better.
  6. You drink way too much – The health benefits of coffee basically top out at five to six 8-ounce cups, says nutritionist Frances Largeman. Drinking more won’t help more and it could be doing more harm than good for people who have trouble with high blood pressure, diabetes, or anxiety.
  7. You turn your cuppa into candy – One of the best things coffee can do is to help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, partly because of those antioxidants. But adding sugar to your cup could change all that. Research has been mixed about whether or not the sweetened coffee drinkers still get the reduced risk of diabetes. And if you like your java with cream or milk, you’re probably okay. According to van Dam, there’s no evidence that drinking it black has more health benefits.
  8. It takes you FOR-EV-ER to finish a cup – If you drink part of a cup of coffee, then set it down for a couple of hours and then reheat it and drink it, you’re not alone. But all that time the coffee sits around, is actually increasing your coffee’s acidity. It’s not a huge health problem, but it could make you get heartburn and indigestion more. So drink your coffee within 20 minutes of brewing it to get the biggest antioxidant benefit and the least acidity.

Source: Eat Clean

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