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The Alaska Club

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Coffee Health Benefits: Energy Booster & So Much More

Posted by Elize Rumsley – RD, LD, CDE, MS, PhD. | Feb 16, 2017 1:07:56 PM

Your cup of coffee is not only giving you the caffeine that you need for a quick pick-me-up.”  In fact, the effect of caffeine doesn’t last for long. For some people, caffeine may even increase blood pressure temporarily. But coffee is not only about caffeine, it is actually rich in some antioxidants that promote health. Some of the health benefits include increased cognitive function, increased physical endurance and decreased risk for diabetes type 2, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and memory loss.

The problem with coffee is not the coffee itself, but all the condiments it comes dressed up with, including creamer, sugar, artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors. Unfortunately, putting fat and sugar into your coffee adds a fair amount of calories to your daily intake which can result in weight gain, and consequently, negatively impacts your health. For example, while a 16 ounce cup of black coffee has zero calories, a sixteen ounce cafe mocha has 360 calories and a 16 ounce non-fat mocha has 220 calories.

So, what is a better option? Instead of adding creamer, try adding skim milk, soy milk or almond milk. Next time you order a cup of coffee, ask for a skinny latte. A sixteen ounce cup contains only 80 calories and helps you meet the requirement for calcium and vitamin D. Most soy and almond milk come fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well.  You can also add cinnamon, chocolate powder or vanilla for additional health benefits.

How much coffee should a healthy adult have in a day?  One cup of regular coffee has about 130mg of caffeine.  According to Academy of Nutrition, three cups or 24 ounces is considered moderate coffee consumption. If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or other health issues, consult your doctor first.  

Topics: heart health

Written by Elize Rumsley – RD, LD, CDE, MS, PhD.

Elize is registered and state licensed, has a BS in Human Nutrition and a MA and PhD in Nutrition Science.

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