Everybody loves coffee. No!? Perhaps you’re not aware of how incorporating coffee in your everyday life can benefit you: physically, mentally, and socially.
Here are a few smart ways to bring coffee into your life, without consequences that aren’t always best for your health.
1. Drink to your circadian rhythm (your body clock)
Timing is key, even for drinking coffee. According to neuroscientists, the best time to drink coffee is between 9:30am to 11:30am; this is the time right after our cortisol levels have peaked. Cortisol is the hormone that makes us stirred up and alert to work, and it is generally at high levels within the first hour or so after we wake up, peaking on average at 8am or 9am. So if you want a cup to stay awake, try drinking it after you’ve settled down at work, rather than getting a first one at home. Otherwise you may feel sleepy by the time you arrive at the office.. and need another one (and another one!), thus raising the chance of over consumption.
2. Switch it up for those health benefits
If you drink coffee regularly and are used to drinking it throughout the day, maybe you could consider changing the blend of coffee you’re going for. For the afternoons, try a lighter roast with fruity notes: they make for a refreshing taste and can help with digestion after lunch hour. Switching to a lighter roast can also help you sleep better at night, as there is less caffeine in your system. If you like to drink coffee into the night, decaffeinated is a popular alternative. Decaf means that the coffee beans have had at least 97% of the caffeine removed, but still brings nutritional benefits, which includes antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals, and can reduce the chance of diseases caused by oxidation, including cancer.
3. A perfect pairing with desserts
Having a small black coffee with a snack in the afternoon can help with regulating blood sugar. Due to the presence of polyphenols and minerals such as magnesium and chromium, it is said that drinking coffee can improve our insulin sensitivity, and can help regulate the glucose in our system, so to reduce the chance of high blood sugar levels. Just keep in mind that caffeine may contribute to raising blood sugar levels, so going for a blend that’s lower in caffeine would be better for you.
4. Coffee is not just for drinking
Other than drinking it to stay awake, coffee has many benefits. It’s also said that just smelling coffee can give our brains a little boost, so you don’t have to drink large cups and get jittery just to stay awake. Coffee is also commonly used in cosmetics, for example in body scrubs, as caffeine can stimulate blood flow when applied onto our skin and even help to reduce cellulite and scarring.
5. Use up those grounds!
If you make your own coffee and often have to throw out coffee grounds, you can save them up for using around your home. They can be used as compost for plants; they help to enrich the soil’s nutrient content so it’s a natural and environmentally friendly alternative to buying chemical fertilisers. Yes, that way you will produce less waste and save money!
6. Coffee is good for getting rid of smells
Fragrance stores often have coffee beans on hand: if you’re sensitive to scents and want to avoid all the different smells in the air, smelling these beans could help you to freshen up.
Coffee grounds can also be used as deodorisers at home; place a bowl of grounds inside the fridge or fill old socks with some and place in shoes cupboards or bedroom drawers, to get rid of unwanted smells.
We love exploring here at Healthy Matters, and are always on the hunt for a new place to enjoy a good cup of coffee. Where do you drink coffee, and how do you have it? We hope you enjoy trying out these tips!