The Truth about Coffee: The Benefits and Harms of Your Regular Espresso

For years now, there has been so much debate on whether or not coffee is actually good for us. If you are someone that drinks coffee each and every day, here are some of the health benefits that you will likely experience, as well as a few dangers that you need to watch out for.

 

What Exactly is Coffee?

 

Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, with 83% of the population of the United States being avid coffee drinkers. Consisting of a powerful collection of biologically active compounds, many people associate only caffeine with coffee, but this drink actually contains so much more than that, and is packed with thousands of complex substances.

 

Coffee Can Boost Physical Performance

 

Coffee has been proven to be able to increase energy and boost physical performance, making this a great beverage to sip on before a workout.

 

Drinking just one cup of coffee, around an hour before you intend to work out, can improve your performance by up to 12%.

 

Why?

 

Well, coffee increases the adrenaline in your blood, which is the hormone that your body produces to help it to deal with physical exertion. An increase in adrenaline levels then increases your energy, as well as the amount of exercise you are able to do.

 

 

Coffee Helps to Burn Fat and Lose Weight   

 

While you should not depend solely on coffee if you are trying to lose weight, this beverage can definitely help you on your weight loss quest.

 

Coffee is packed with potassium and magnesium, both of which help the body to use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. By keeping your blood sugar levels steady, you will not experience as many cravings for unhealthy foods and snacks, making it much easier for you to stick to a healthy diet.

 

But, don’t forget…

 

Although coffee can help you lose weight, you need to ensure that you are not filling your coffee with calorie-laden creams and sugars, as this will only counter the weight loss benefits that coffee can have.

 

Coffee Contains a Wide Range of Antioxidants

 

Here is a fact that will no doubt surprise you…

 

Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, and outranks both fruits and vegetables combined. 

 

Coffee is absolutely packed with a wide range of antioxidants, including:

 

  • Polyphenols – key when it comes to disease prevention
  • Hydrocinnamic Acids neutralizes free radicals and prevents oxidative stress
  • Cafestol an anti-inflammatory that protects the brain
  • Melanoidins an anti-bacterial and an anti-inflammatory that also gives coffee its distinct aroma

 

So, why exactly are antioxidants so important?

 

Well, the body is constantly being attacked by free radicals, and these cause so much damage to your cells, affecting them as deeply as DNA level. Antioxidants are able to neutralize these free radicals, keeping your body healthier, as well as more youthful, for longer.

 

 

But, here’s the deal…

 

The way in which you prepare your coffee will have a significant impact on its antioxidant content. For example, roasted coffee has many more antioxidants than non-roasted coffee, so always opt for coffee that is as high quality as possible.

 

Coffee Reduces Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

 

Affecting over 300 million people, type 2 diabetes is one of the most common diseases out there, and refers to blood sugar levels being elevated due to a resistance to insulin.

 

There have been multiple studies carried out over the years that look at the relationship between coffee and type 2 diabetes, and the results have been surprising…

 

By drinking coffee on a daily basis, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing diabetes by an impressive 23-67%.

 

Coffee Offers Protection for the Brain

 

As the body ages, neurodegenerative diseases become so much more common.

 

What is a neurodegenerative disease?

 

These are brain diseases that occur due to the death of neurons in the brain. These diseases are always progressive, meaning that neurons will continue to die and the disease will only worsen over time.

 

The two most common neurodegenerative diseases out there are Alzheimer’s, which is also the leading cause of dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

 

Fortunately, coffee can help to protect your brain from both of these…

 

  • Alzheimer’s – Research shows that coffee drinkers have a 65% lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s Studies show that coffee drinkers have a 32-60% lowered risk of developing Parkinson’s, with this number increasing with the more coffee that you drink

 

By protecting the neurons in your brain, coffee will also reduce your risk of developing dementia as you get older.

 

Coffee Improves Mood and Acts as an Anti-Depressant

 

The caffeine that coffee contains is a known stimulant, and, each time you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine blocks the function of one of your brain hormones, known as adenosine.

 

Wondering what this actually means?

 

Well, by blocking adenosine, your brain is then able to enjoy an increase in activity, and releases several other neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine.

 

Here is what this can do for you:

 

  • Improves your mood
  • A short-term boost to brain function
  • Reduces tiredness and increases alertness

 

All of these effects then work together to fight depression, with one Harvard study showing that coffee drinkers experience a 20% lowered risk of becoming depressed.

 

This also relates to suicide rates, with coffee drinkers being 53% less likely to take their own lives.

 

Coffee Can Lower Your Risk of Premature Death

 

Premature deaths can be caused by so many different factors, including all of the health issues mentioned in this article.

 

By experiencing so many health benefits, it only makes sense that coffee drinkers have a much lowered risk of dying prematurely.

 

How much coffee do you need to drink for this?

 

Studies have shown that when drinking four to five cups of coffee a day, men have a 12% reduced risk of premature death, while women have 16%.

 

However, even just one cup of coffee a day can still reduce your risk of premature death by 5-6%, showing you just how little is needed to make a difference. 

 

Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Cancer

 

Thanks to its phenolic compounds, coffee can have a significant impact on different types of cancer.

 

Numerous studies have been carried out over the years. Here are some of the results:

 

  • A 2012 study found that each cup of coffee a day would lessen your chances of developing endometrial cancer by 8%
  • A 2011 study showed that each cup of coffee a day would reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 4%
  • A 2011 study found that each cup of coffee a day would reduce the risk of bladder, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers by 3%

 

Here is the best bit…

 

When it comes to liver cancer, a 2007 study found that drinking two extra cups of coffee a day would lower an individual’s risk by 43%.

 

Coffee Can Help with Oral Health

 

You are probably thinking…

 

“Coffee is known to stain teeth. How can it help with oral health?”

 

While it is true about coffee staining the teeth, this is a cosmetic problem, and does not actually signify anything about a person’s health.

 

In fact, when drank straight black, the antioxidants found within coffee make your teeth less adhesive. This means that bacteria is not able to hold on to your teeth with much strength, not only keeping them cleaner, but also making them easier to clean.

 

Coffee Can Elevate Cholesterol Levels

 

While coffee does not contain cholesterol itself, it does interfere with the way in which your body produces and regulates cholesterol.

 

How?

 

As mentioned above, coffee contains an antioxidant called cafestol. While this compound does have its benefits, it affects the way in which your body metabolizes cholesterol, leading to raised cholesterol levels.

 

Fortunately, there is a way around this…

 

There are multiple ways to brew a coffee, but, if you do it in an American-style coffee pot, with a filter, then the resulting coffee will actually have quite low cafestol levels.

 

Why is this?

 

Since the coffee only passes through the grounds once, most of the cafestol is left behind in the filter. On the other hand, a French press brews coffee by constantly passing water through the coffee grounds, meaning that the resulting beverage contains quite a bit of cafestol.

 

However, even if you do like a French press, you may not need to worry too much about raised cholesterol levels…

 

Research has indicated that you would need to drink around five cups of French press coffee a day to see an increase in your cholesterol levels, so as long as you ensure that your coffee consumption does not become excessive, then you should not have a problem.

 

Coffee Can Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease

 

While coffee does not increase the risk of heart disease for everybody, it does if you have a genetic mutation that slows down the rate at which caffeine is broken down by the body.

 

Since your body will not be able to metabolize the caffeine quickly enough, this can significantly increase your chances of developing heart disease.

 

Fortunately, this does not mean that you have to completely avoid coffee…

 

Try to stick to just one cup a day, as the risks will only come from drinking two cups or more.

 

Coffee Can Be Addictive

 

If you are quite dependent on your daily coffee, then you will already be aware of the fact that coffee is quite addictive. This is due to the caffeine in coffee, with the term caffeine dependence being coined a few years ago.

 

What does too much caffeine do to your body?

 

A number of things:

 

    • Increases anxiety
    • Disrupts sleep patterns
    • Leads to insomnia
    • Increases blood sugar levels
    • Can lead to spinal bone loss if an individual is not consuming enough calcium

 

A Lowered Tolerance

 

While all of these health benefits that coffee can bring to the body may sound great, keep in mind that many of these effects are likely to only be short term. If you are someone that drinks coffee multiple times a day, then you are likely to soon build up a tolerance to its benefits, meaning that the results will not be as noticeable, and you will be more likely to experience some of the negatives that come with coffee.

 

So, how much is too much?

 

Drinking more than eight cups of coffee a day would be considered excessive, and would bring about the negative effects mentioned above.

 

So, as long as you stay below this guideline, and do not fill your coffee with sugars, flavors and creams, you will be able to enjoy nothing but the many benefits that coffee can bring to the body.

 

How to Make Your Coffee Even Healthier

 

As mentioned above, you need to ensure that you do not add sugars and other harmful ingredients to your coffee, as this negates its benefits.

 

Here are a few other tips to help you to ensure that your daily brews are as health-boosting as possible:

 

  • Coffee is often sprayed heavily with pesticides, making it worth springing for organic versions
  • For maximum health benefits, drink your coffee straight black
  • Adding a square of 70% cacao dark chocolate to your cup of coffee will give it a chocolatey edge, while bringing you all of the health benefits of the cacao too 

 

 

So, how should you brew your coffee?

 

Well, that all depends on what you are trying to gain from it…

 

  • If you want a coffee that is as “pure” as possible, opt for a French press
  • If you have acid reflux or a sensitive stomach, go for cold-brewed coffees, as these are much less acidic
  • If you have cholesterol concerns, an American-style coffee pot or an instant coffee may be your best bet

 

Do not be afraid to experiment with all of the different coffees, as well as brewing methods, that are out there. While you do want your coffee to be as beneficial to your health as possible, you still need to be able to find a brew that truly satisfies your taste buds.

Maintaining A Healthy Diet On Vacation

Italy is a beautiful country, and you want to take in all the sites and visit the museums, but you have to admit, when it comes to the attractions, food is probably at the top of your list. You’ve heard about the midday Italian soprano; the heaping mounds of spaghetti, the Sicilian pizzas, the succulent meals and tangy cheeses, the rich sauces mopped up with huge hunks of garlic bread, the decadent tiramisu cakes, the thick espresso; you’re already imagining the pictures you’re going to post on Instagram. What you’re not looking forward to is getting back into your skinny jeans when you get home. Here are a few ways of enjoying your vacation without blowing your diet.

Resist the Urge
A study led by Linda H. Clemens of the Consumer Science and Education Department found that women splurge when they eat out and eat normal amounts of other meals during the day. This means they end up taking in many more calories and fat than they need. Clemens advises women to stop thinking of eating out as a special treat which gives us a license to overindulge. She explains, “Many of us grew up thinking of eating out as an event that didn’t happen too often.” However, these days, eating out is much more common. Clemens and other researchers found out that the more women ate out, the higher their total calories, fat, and sodium levels were.

Researchers speculate that there are three main factors contributing to this caloric overabundance from restaurant meals;

  • We choose higher fat and higher calorie menu selections.
  •  Restaurants serve large portions.
  •  We eat all of it.

Melanie Polk, RD, recommends exercising portion control. She says, “Some Americans are now ordering half sized portions, sharing entrees, taking home leftovers, and ordering appetizers as meals,” she says.

Order Meals Your Way
Another thing customers can do to lower their calorie and fat intake while dining out is asking restaurants to customize menu items. According to a National Restaurant Association report, this is happening at 80% of restaurants with meals averaging $25 per person or over and 70% of restaurants with meals averaging under $25 per person. Customer are interesting items prepared in ways other than those that are listed on the menu, are requesting a range of portion sizes, and many are asking to have food “doggy bagged.”

Everything in Moderation
You don’t have to deprive yourself of food, just try to keep it in moderation. Try to sample foods, rather than feast on them.

Walk
While eating is a big part of the vacation, so is walking. Get in some sightseeing, take a stroll after dinner, swim in the hotel pool, or wake up for an early morning hike to burn some of those mealtime calories.

Make Better Choices
Make healthful choices when you find something that appeals to you. Don’t deprive yourself and then resent it. Swap out small things, that you don’t mind sacrificing, such as condiments, sauces, and dressings. Choose Dijon mustard rather than mayonnaise, or marinara instead of white sauce.

How did you do on your vacation calorie count this year? Let us know how you made better choices and came home at the same weight you were when you left.

matcha tea on wooden desk

Is Matcha Better For You Than Coffee?

Tea or coffee? It’s the age old question, but if the lines at Starbucks are anything to go by, coffee would be the resounding winner. In fact, even England, the land of tea, has been making the switch, with more with more of the English trading in their beloved herbal oolongs and pekoes for the caffeinated boost of java. However, there is one tea on the market that may give the ol’ cup of Joe a run for its money. Matcha green tea is the latest beverage to come up against coffee as the energizing superfood drink of a new generation. Is coffee a match for matcha? Here are some of the facts about matcha green tea.

What Makes Matcha So Special?
Usually, when you brew your tea, you leave the best of it in the bag. Water can only extract a fraction of the benefits of the leaves, and the majority of antioxidants and minerals often remain unused. Matcha is made unheated stone ground tea leaves, which are far less processed than regular tea leaves so nutrients are preserved. Thus, by drinking match, you are getting all the superfood benefits of the leaves.

Packed with Antioxidants
When it comes to antioxidants, you really can’t get much more free radical defense than you’ll find in matcha. Even goji berries and pomegranates pale in comparison to the uber powerful beverage. One cup of matcha has a ten times as many antioxidants than the usual brewed green teas, and way more than coffee. Coffee doesn’t contain the catechins found in matcha, which are linked with cancer and aging defense.

Clean Caffeine
While matcha does have an equal amount of caffeine a a cup of brewed coffee (34mg) and half the amount of an espresso, the buzz lasts longer and is more energizing. The amino acid L-Theanine in matcha slows down the release of caffeine and also has its own calming effect.

cold matche drinks and matcha powder

Fights Bad Breath
Skip the mouthwash! The catechins in matcha also act as a sterilizer. A cup of the tea after a meal can slow down the growth of disease and halitosis causing germs.

Boosts Metabolism and Burns Fat
Claims to boost metabolism and burn fat are attractive features in almost any product. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming match tea increases the body’s rate of calorie burn from a normal 8-10% of expenditure per day to between 35 and 43%. Another study showed that exercising immediately after bolting down a cup of matcha led to an increase of 25% more fat burned during exercise.

Where Can You Get This Stuff?
Not just for tea time, you can get your matcha in your snacks and meals. Blend the green powder into frozen yoghurts and smoothies, add to porridge, and even cakes. It can even be used as a topical beauty treatment. Matcha supports the reduction of bodily toxins and encourages glowing skin, which makes it great in face masks.

Have you enjoyed the benefits of matcha? How did you get your dose? Does it give coffee a run for the money? Let us know what you thought of the latest beverage to hit the market.

woman holding oil bottle

The Oils Of Longevity

You may have heard people saying they can’t live without their morning coffee, but we usually don’t take them literally. Just when you thought your caffeinated cup had reached the limit in positive attributes, there comes proof that having a cup of coffee each day may be just what you need to keep having more days to have more cups of coffee! And while you’re at it, you may want to pop some fish oil pills too; they apparently have similar effect.

Recent studies show that both coffee and fish oil contain properties which can actually promote longevity. Not convinced? Here’s a look at some of the latest research on drinking coffee and taking fish oil capsules and why it may just be the latest recipe for long life.

What Are Telomeres?
You may have heard of these little caps at the end of our DNA. Telomeres control our lifespan by determining how many times our cells divide and stay alive. As we get older, environmental stressors take their toll, and these telomeres get shorter, meaning our lives do as well. Therefore, keeping them long is key to longevity. The latest way to do that is by drinking your morning coffee with a side of fish oil.

Fish Oil and Longevity
A study in the 2016 issue of Nutrients looked at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on tele mere length in a controlled trial. Experts attribute the increase in length to a reduction of oxidative stress.

An additional study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity seems to support these findings. The study included 106 individuals with an average age of 51 who were considered relatively healthy, divided into three groups. One group received 2.5 grams of long chain omega-3’s per day, a second received 1.25 grams a day, and one received placebo pills that had proportion of fatty acids similar to those found in an average American diet. After four months, results showed a significant increase in telomere length and a decrease in oxidative stress among those who received the omega-3 supplements.

The two main types of long chain omega-3 fats are most often found in fish such as sardines, herring, salmon, and mackerel. Alpha-linolenic acid is a short chain omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in flaxseeds and walnuts.

Coffee and Longevity
Coffee is already a well known source of antioxidants which makes it a life lengthening beverage. Scientists ar the Journal of Nutrition used data from the Nurse’s Health Study form 1976 to explain the link between coffee drinking and telomere length in 4780 female nurses, and found a direct correlations. Of the nurses, those who drank 2 cups of coffee daily had a 29% higher chance of having an average telomere lengthen while the odds were 36% higher in those who drank 3 cups.

However experts are quick to point out that while coffee may be very beneficial to your health, caffeine may not. Although researchers from the University of Scranton say coffee is America’s number one antioxidant source, they are also quick to remind us that regular and decaf have the same antioxidant levels, and too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects. Try to keep caffeine consumption at a moderate 300-400mg daily, about 3 to 4 cups of coffee to keep away anxiety and depression.

What do you think? Is fish oil and coffee the new Breakfast of Champions? Let us know!

Eggnog

Spice Up Your Coffee This Holiday Season

One thing is for sure. There are going to be a lot of pictures of coffee on social media this holiday season, and why not? its extremely photogenic! What will be your contribution to this season social media caffeine extravaganza? How will you stand out in this endless sea of nutmeg and cardamom? How will you show your individuality in through your choice of java this season? Here are a few festive ideas for the getting jiggly with the java this holiday season.

Eggnog
Why not? It’s already in the fridge, it’s creamy, milky, delicious, just the thing to add to your coffee. Just pour a few tablespoons of the nog in your mug and wait for visions of Christmas to appear,

Irish Coffee
Now we’re talking. After you face the the lines at the mall, come home and unwind, mix some Irish whiskey with some Irish creme liqueur, pour it in your coffee, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Now, a nice dollop of cream on top and let the celebrations begin.

Peppermint Mocha
For this festive java, get some Dutch cocoa powder, some half and half, and some crushed peppermint sticks and blend them together in your regular cup of coffee. Can you hear the sleigh bells?

Pumpkin spice latte

Pumpkin Spice Lattes
You don’t have to leave your house to get a pumpkin spice latte (unless you just really want to see that barrista again.) Just buy yourself some of that pumpkin spice creamer you’ve seen in the grocery store and drop a teaspoon in your coffee. Add cream and sugar, a tiny amount of cinnamon and boom! – instant holiday cheer!

Skinny Eggnog Latte
For those of you who are looking to get through the holidays without gaining weight, we’ve got you covered, here’s a really simple recipe to help you get your java on without the extra calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of lite eggnog
  • 1/4 cup of non-fat milk
  • 1/2 tsp of stevia
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/2 shot of rum (optional)
  • Nutmeg

Instructions:

  • Brew coffee and pour into mug
  • Combine milk, stevia and eggnog into a small pan and whisk until frothy and heated. (1-2 minutes). Add mixture to coffee.
  • Top with nutmeg and/or whipped cream
  • Add shot of rum

Weighing in at 151.4 calories and 3 grams of fat, this is likely to give the local coffee chain a run for the money. And if your more the frappe type, just put the ingredients in a blender and skip the heat. Bon Appetit. Happy holidays and let us know how you’re spicing up your coffee this season!

woman with healthy skin

Foods For Healthy Skin

Why is it that some women always seem to look great? Obviously, there are some who invest in designer wardrobes, top of the line haircuts and treatments, manicures, pedicures, the list goes on. But there are some women who seem to need none of that stuff. No matter how simply they’re dressed, or how little effort they’ve put in, they just seem to shine. It’s the skin.

According to a PMC study on mate choices and facial preferences, healthy skin is one of the most important determinants in picking a mate. The study finds that, “there is a large and obvious selective advantage in detecting healthy partners for social exchange and mate choice” and people are “more willing to reciprocate trust from healthy looking social partners than from social partners who are unhealthy looking.” The research goes on to explain that, “skin health may be a particularly useful marker of current health condition,” and we all want to be attractive, right? Jessica Wu, MD and author of , “Feed Your Face,”says, “My conclusion is that naturally gorgeous skin often starts with your diet.” So let’s dig in!

1. Walnuts
Eat walnuts? If you do, you are eating the only nut that has a significant level of omega-3 fatty acid. That’s great news if your not too keen on fish, which also contains loads of the nutrient. Walnuts have alpha-linolenic acid, which protects from eczema, plus they’re great on froyo and ice cream.

2. Kale
Kale is a powerful source of both lutein and zeaxanthin, which are nutrients that neutralize free radicals from UV light, and can even safeguard against wavelengths that penetrate sunscreen. Just one cup of these mean greens give you 134% of you daily vitamin C and 133% of your daily vitamin A, both of which are known for their skin firming properties.

3. Rosemary
According to a study done by the International Journal of Epidemiology, the regular consumption of four or more herbs per day, such as rosemary or thyme, was known to reduce the risk of melanoma by 60%. These herbs contain large amounts of antioxidants and block the sun’s free radicals before they cause damage to the skin.

4. Almond Milk
Since Dr. Wu says, “Research shows dairy is highly inflammatory, which means it will aggravate acne, wrinkles, and rashes;” it is suggested that almond milk is used as a more skin-friendly alternative. Use it in your coffee and on cereal for better skin health.

5. Soy
A study of middle-aged women in Japan found that those who ate 40 milligrams of an isoflavone found in soy had improved elasticity and fewer lines in their skin when compared with subjects who received a placebo. The isoflavone, known as aglycone is effective in preventing collagen from breaking down, thereby decreasing the chance of sagging and wrinkles. You can get your 40 mg dosage in 1 oz. of dry roasted soybeans, 3 oz. of tempeh, or 6 oz. of tofu.

Got some more info on healthy skin food? We love to hear your comments. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these and what you think.

Coffee and wine on the table.

How You Take Your Coffee Could Suggest What Wines You Will Enjoy

When it comes to picking out wine it can be overwhelming to decide exactly what wine varietal will be most enjoyable to your specific tastes. When it comes to your morning cup of coffee, it’s probably incredibly easy for you to determine exactly what suits you. In fact, your coffee routine is most likely second nature; you like what you like and you stick to it. Interestingly, the way you enjoy your coffee can actually help you figure out what wine varietals may be most suited to your palate preferences. There are three main components that guide your palate through a drink, both coffee and wine. Here, we share what these guides are and what wine you might like based upon how you take your coffee.

Your Palate
Your sense of taste is directly related to your sense of smell. Aroma, a term used both for coffee and wine, is an important aspect of your palate profile. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term body in reference to wine, such as a full-bodied red, but you might not be exactly positive what that means. The body of your drink, coffee or wine, is simply how your drink feels inside your mouth. You may change what type of body you prefer based on your mood, the weather and whether you are drinking wine to celebrate a big promotion or unwind after a hectic day. Lastly, acidity is an important element of your palate profile. Acidity may seem a bit difficult to determine, but it’s actually quite simple. If you were to pick up a piece of sour candy right now, would you like or not? If you would, you prefer drinks that are highly acidic, zesty and lively. If you would rather not pucker up with sour candy, you enjoy a light acidity.

Women having coffee in a bar.

Your Coffee of Choice
Black – If you enjoy a straightforward cup of black coffee, chances are you will enjoy a wine with an equally straightforward, strong flavor. Wines that feature spicey notes and a higher level of acidity are great choices to look to. Argentinian Malbec, Cabernet Franc or a Beaujolais nouveau are all wines that fit the flavor profile for a black coffee drinker.

Coffee with Sugar – If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you probably drink your coffee with a bit of sugar. Looking for sweeter wines is a good bet if you take sugar in your coffee. Some wines to start with are Moscato, Riesling or Zinfandel.

Coffee with Milk – If you take your coffee with milk, you enjoy soft, smooth flavors. When you’re looking for a wine that suits you, look for an aged wine with low acidity. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon are two choices that have low acidity but still feature a smooth texture and flavor.

Espresso – Espresso features a thick, bitter flavor that suggests you would find wines with hearty flavors and high tannins pleasurable. Consider Chianti or Medoc wines if you enjoy a strong, bitter flavor.

Tea – Tea drinkers we have you covered too. Not everyone enjoys coffee so if tea is more your speed, look for wines that are dry and savory. A Sauvignon Blanc or Sangiovese are crisp, fresh and bright flavors that tea drinkers will appreciate.

Of course, when it comes to wine the most important rule is to drink what you like. However, if you find you’re having a hard time getting started finding wine varietals that you do like, this may be a fun way to experiment. Use this guide and see if how you take your coffee really does have an impact on the wines you prefer.

Various spices in bowls and spoons

Eat Well: Foods for a Peaceful Life

Most of our lives are lived at a breakneck speed rushing from one commitment to another. Sometimes, it seems that the last thing we have time for is to eat mindfully and for our physical health. However, eating not only helps improve our physical health, it truly does affect your mood. A diet high in sugar, fat and junk tend to leave you susceptible to mood swings as your body goes from sugar to sugar crash throughout the day. Not only does your mood fluctuate, but poor diet has been linked to anxiety disorders, depression and lack of energy. Check out the following tips on choosing foods for a more peaceful life.

Large cup of coffee with coffee beansDrink Your Coffee
Sure, energy drinks and soda are quick, convenient and available everywhere. And in the short term, they seem to be awesome because caffeine triggers the release of dopamine in the brain which increase clarity and focus. However, with the caffeine boost from sugar laden drinks also comes with a mood busting sugar crash. However, you don’t have to go without caffeine, simply switch to coffee. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health survey found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee daily were at a 15% lower chance of suffering from depression. Additionally, coffee contains plant-based nutrients that work in the body in a manner similar to how anti-depressants work. Like anything, coffee should be enjoyed in moderation as too much stimulation can lead to anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Salmon dish with side salad Scarf Some Salmon
Today, people are pretty programmed to avoid fatty foods, but a little bit of fat can go a long way in improving your mood. However, your diet is probably significantly lacking omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish, such as salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain contains more omega-3 fatty acids than anywhere else in your body. Research supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a part of psychiatric treatment. These may help even out moods and decrease depression. Experts suggest that you aim for two to three servings of salmon (or other oily fish such as sardines or mackerel) per week.

Carved turkeyGobble up Some Turkey
You know that you tend to feel drowsy after a big Thanksgiving meal and you most likely know that the turkey is the cause. Turkey contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that the body does not produce on its own. Tryptophan is important because the body requires tryptophan in order to make the feel-good chemical, serotonin. Experts recommend ingesting about 320 milligrams of trytophan each day. A four ounce serving of turkey or chicken is plenty to receive your daily amount. If you aren’t a big fan of turkey, or you’re vegetarian/vegan, you can find the same amount (320mg) of tryptophan in one cup of soybeans.

Bowl of spanish Eat Your Spinach
Eating spinach may not result in the immediate muscle-boosting strength that Popeye got, but it does significantly impact your mood. Spinach is high in the B vitamin, folate. Research shows that when you have a high concentration of folate in your blood, you are less prone to bad moods, clinical depression and you think more clearly. In just 1/2 cup of cooked spinach (or 2 cups raw) women receive 33% of the recommended daily allowance of folate. An important thing to note is that folate is water-soluble, which means that you do not store it in your body. Because it isn’t stored, you need to consume it continuously to reap the zen benefits.

Various spices in bowls and spoons Spice up Your Life
Besides not being good for you, lots of salt on food as the sole flavoring can get boring. Instead, experiment with different spices to create dishes that will blow your mind. One of the most highly touted spices is tumeric. The reason experts advise tumeric is that it contains curcumin, which gives tumeric it’s signature yellow color and acts as a natural anti-depressant. Some preliminary research suggests that curcumin also lowers levels of chronic stress and that it also stimulates the release of both serotonine and dopamine.

Foods are not only meant to nourish your body, but to nourish your mind. Improve your mood while keeping stress levels at bay by chowing down on some of these super good mood foods.