Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

14 Reasons to Drink Another Cup of Coffee This Morning

For years it has been debated whether or not coffee is good for you or not…

Honestly, who cares?

Coffee has been given a bad rep in years past for causing various health risks…such as raising your blood pressure, making your heart race, impairing sleep, and even causing cancer.

But you are either a coffee drinker or you’re not a coffee drinker.

In fact, let’s first take a look at a few statistics as far as coffee consumption…

  • 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the globe each year.
  • 64% of Americans say they drink at least one cup of coffee daily.
  • 26% of adults say they drink only one cup daily.
  • 11% of adults say they drink at least four cups daily.
  • 102 billion cups of coffee are consumed by Americans each year.
  • 280.5 million cups of coffee are consumed by Amerian each day.
  • 2.7 cups of coffee are consumed by the average person every day of the week.
  • 26% of coffee drinkers say they’re addicted to coffee.
  • 46% of coffee drinkers who drink at least three cups each day say that they’re addicted to coffee..
  • 21,400 coffee shops exist throughout the country…one for every 14,000 Americans.
  • $36 billion in retail revenue happens per year.
  • 70 countries make and sell coffee.
  • 40% of the world’s coffee is produced in Brazil.

Having taken a look at these statistics, one thing is pretty obvious…

If you are a true coffee drinker, you are gonna drink coffee…and more coffee…and more coffee…regardless of what the so-called “experts” may or may not say, right?!

In fact, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, or 146 billion cups each year.

Actually there are health benefits to drinking coffee, so let’s ignore all the bad press…and make ourselves that we are doing ourselves a favor by drinking cup after cup after cup.

Just make sure that you don’t overload it with lots of cream and loads of sugar, and you can actually improve your health every single morning…(a Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha, for instance, has 580 calories and 75 grams of sugar…while a plain cup of brewed coffee contains only two calories, no fat and zero carbs.

Coffee contains many nutrients—including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin.

Coffee can improve your health in such ways as reducing your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, cirrhosis, gout, and liver disease.

 

Let’s explore these health benefits more…

 

1.Alzheimer’s …Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, drinking coffee may lower your risk of ever getting Alzheimer’s in the first place, by up to 65%.

2.Brain Power…Studies have shown that coffee increases your brain power by improv various aspects of brain function—such as memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function—because the caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, which leads to a stimulant effect.

3.Cancer…Cancer, uncontrolled growth of cells in the body, is one of the world’s leading causes of death…but coffee appears to reduce your risk of getting liver cancer, the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, by 40%…and colorectal cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world by 15%.

4,Depression…Depression, a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life, is incredibly common. In fact, about 4.1% of people in the U.S. currently meet the criteria for clinical depression. A Harvard study published in 2011 said that women who drank four  or more cups per day have a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. People who drink four or more cups per day are  53% less likely to commit suicide.

5.Energy Levels…Coffee can help you people feel less tired and have more energy levels because of its caffeine content. As caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream. and enters into the brain, the levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.

6.Heart…For years it was thought that coffee raised the risk of heart disease, but many recent studies have shown that this is not the effect. In fact, it is now believed that drinking three to five cups of coffee per day can lower your risk of heart failure by 11%…your risk of stroke by up to 30%….and your risk of cardiovascular disease by 19%.

7.Liver….Drinking coffee may be beneficial to your liver. Studies have shown that coffee can reduce your risk of getting liver cirrhosis, a condition where the liver has been largely replaced by scar tissue, by 66%…as well as lowering your risk of developing liver cancer by about 50%.

8.Longevity…Drinking around four cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of getting the serious life-threatening diseases—such as heart disease and cancer—also described in this list of health benefits. Over thirty-five studies have been conducted, covering more than 2 million people,  that agree with this belief.

9.Melanoma….According to the National Cancer Institute, drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day can lower your risk of developing melanoma by 20%.

10.Memory…Drinking two or three cups of coffee can improve your long- and short-term memory.

11.Metabolism…Several studies show that caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that can increase fat burning in the body and boost the metabolic rate. This is the reason that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement.

 

12.Parkinson’s Disease…Parkinson’s Disease is a common neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain and characterized by tremors,

There is no known cure for Parkinson’s, so it is definitely important that you do all that you can to keep from ever getting Parkinson’s in the first place.

Some studies have suggested that the caffeine in coffee may reduce your risk of ever developing Parkinson’s in the first place by up to 60%. Not only can coffee keep you from getting Parkinson’s, but two eight-ounce cups of black coffee can help to control the involuntary movements of people who already have the disease.

 

13.Physical Performance…Not only does the caffeine in coffee increase your metabolism, it also increases your adrenaline levels in the blood, your “fight or flight” hormone, which makes you ready for more intense physical exertion. In fact, drinking coffee about thirty minutes before going to the gym can improve physical performance by 11-12%, on average.

14.Type II Diabetes…Type 2 diabetes, elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin, currently afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.  According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.5 million people are diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes each year.

Coffee contains chromium, a mineral that helps the body utilize insulin. For this reason, drinking coffee can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 67%.

Increasing your coffee consumption by a couple of cups per day can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by at least 11%…up that number to at least six cups of coffee, and you can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by another 15%.

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Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

When Life Gives You Lemons

Lemon water…simply lemons with water, or water with lemons…big deal, right?!

 

But wait!!!

Besides helping you drink your daily suggested amount of water, lemons actually add many health benefits to water…benefits that up until now, I didn’t realize…and many of us didn’t even recognize either. For this reason, lemons have been used in many forms of holistic medicine for centuries.

So let’s begin by taking a look at some of these “hidden” health benefits of lemon water…

 

  1. Blood Pressure…Eating or drinking one lemon per day can reduce high blood pressure by ten percent.
  2. Depression and Anxiety…Lemon water contains a high level of potassium, which is needed to prevent and cure depression and anxiety.
  3. Digestion…Lemon water helps with digestion and keeps your stomach from health problems—such as constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and belching.
  4. Energy Levels…Lemon water can help you have more energy when you wake up in the morning…without causing a “caffeine crash” later in the day.
  5. Joint and Muscle Pain…Lemon water can help reduce both joint and muscle pain.
  6. Kidneys…Lemon water can help prevent and  dissolve kidney stones, gallstones, pancreatic stones and calcium deposits because of the amount of citric acid it contains.
  7. Liver…Lemon water helps your liver produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary for moving food through gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
  8. Oral HealthLemon water helps relieve tooth pain, fight gingivitis, and get rid of bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.
  9. Respiratory SystemLemon water helps relieve the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems.
  10. Skin…Lemon water contains Vitamin C, which reduces your risk of having wrinkled and dry skin.
  11. Urinary System…Lemon water is a mild diuretic that can help the urinary tract effectively clear out any unwanted elements.
  12. WeightLemon water can help you lose weight by keeping your hydrated, fighting food  cravings, and significantly decreasing your caloric intake.
Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Essential Oils to Keep…If You’d Like to Be Able to Sleep

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

When I first started using essential oils, I felt overwhelmed by the selections and how little I knew. Which one should I choose, and why? Almost like being a kid in a candy store.

But as I have started reading and studying more about living a healthier lifestyle and beginning new habits, I have also learned more about which essential oils work best for what the problem is.

For example, these are the best essential oils for helping to cure insomnia that are out there…but instead of going into depth about each one of these in this post, I have decided to choose one oil per month, and detail more and more reasons and ways to use that particular essential oil that particular month…

For example, the Essential Oil of the Month is bergamot (see next post…oh wait, you can’t…because at this point I haven’t finished writing it)…

Anyway, here are the best options as far as essential oils to help you sleep…

1.  BergamotBergamot essential oil is a cold-pressed essential oil that is produced by cells inside the rind and peel of a bergamot orange, a citrus fruit that has been used as a fragrance ingredient since around the year 1714. It takes about one hundred bergamot oranges to yield three ounces of bergamot oil.

Bergamot essential oil smells like a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note and has a bright, yet calming and relaxing, effect. Bergamot essential oil is used to give Earl Grey tea its flavor, to calm anxious feelings, and to reduce both the heart rate and blood pressure.

2.  Cedarwood…Cedarwood essential oil is an essential oil that is produced from the foliage of various types of pine and cypress trees. The oil has an earthy, woodsy smell and supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the body’s natural sleepy hormone.

3.  Frankincense…Frankincense essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil obtained from the tree resin of four main species of trees from the Boswellia genus. Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, balsamic fragrance and is perfect for balancing emotions, supporting healthy sleep, calming your mind and supporting your body’s natural response to healing.

4.  Juniper Berry…Juniper Berry essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that has a calming, grounding effect and an earthy, woodsy smell. The oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of about fifty different species of junipers plant, a member of the cypress family that can grow anywhere within the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from the Arctic down towards tropical Africa, Pakistan, and the mountains of Central America. Most of the juniper berry essential oil that we use here in America has been harvested from juniper plants found in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southern Kentucky.

5.  Lavender…Lavender essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that is obtained from the flower spikes of certain species of the lavender plant, a member of the mint family. Lavender essential oil has a relaxing and calming effect…and is used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, help reduce feelings of tension, and calm emotions.

Most of us are already familiar with the lavender plant because the plant has been used as ornamental plants in garden and landscaping, as a culinary herb, and was one of the common colors in that magical 64-count box of Crayola crayons…the bo that had the sharpener on the back of the box…and that every kid in the classroom envied unless they had one themselves.

6.  Marjoram…Marjoram essential oil is steam-distilled from from the flowering leaves and tops of the marjoram plant, a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub, that was referred to by the Romans as the “herb of happiness” and to the Greeks as the “joy of the mountains.”

The leaves have a unique mixture of sweet “pine” and citrus flavor. Most of us have had a marjoram spice container at least once in our spice cabinet of marjoram. If not an actual jar of marjoram by itself, perhaps a spice blend containing marjoram, such as herbes de Provence and za’atar…(I probably still have all three of these spices in the same container from back when I purchased thirty-one years ago when I first got married….let me go see)…

Anyway, marjoram essential oil is wonderful for muscles and joints, but it also excels in creating peaceful sleep and calming frazzled nerves.

7.  Roman Chamomile…Roman Chamomile essential oil has a calming, soothing, and relaxing effect and is perfect for helping to get rid of restlessness and anxious feelings.

The Roman chamomile plant is a low perennial plant found in dry fields, gardens, and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and in Argentina…and is used for making foods, herbal teas, perfumes, and cosmetics.

8.  Sandalwood...Sandalwood essential oil is a steam-distilled oil extracted from chips and billets cut from the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees. Sandalwoods belong to the same botanical family as European mistletoe and can befound in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, after African blackwood.

Sandalwood has a distinctive rich, woodsy smell that has been highly valued for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics.

9.  Vetiver…Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of a type of grass that is widely cultivated in tropical regions such as Haiti, India, and Indonesia. Vetiver has a psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing effect and a rich and earthy smell.

10.  Ylang Ylang…Ylang ylang essential oil is extracted from the flowers of a ylang-ylang tree that is native in the rainforest habitats of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ylang-ylang is also widely used in oriental- or floral-themed perfumes such as Chanel No. 5…and is also believed to relieve high blood pressure, to help with skin problems, and to be an aphrodisiac. In fact, in Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples.