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Latest Scientific Research Shows That Coffee Is Actually Good For Your Brain

Latest Scientific Research Shows That Coffee Is Actually Good For Your Brain

There’s been a lot of coffee-related news floating around the Internet lately. Most of the studies cited in news articles attempt to highlight the benefits or risks of consuming caffeine on a regular basis. Is too much harmful to our health? Can just the right amount of it significantly improve the quality of our lives as we age?

We’ve read about evidence of how drinking coffee affects blood pressure, energy, our risk of developing diabetes and even our risk of death. Most experts agree that, like many commonly consumed substances, coffee is pretty good to us in moderation. A new study out of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease now shows us evidence that drinking coffee in moderate amounts is even better for us, our brains specifically, than we originally thought.

What is mild cognitive impairment, and what does coffee have to do with it?

We have all heard of the ageing population or perhaps our own loved ones developing debilitating diseases that affect the way they think and behave. Before developing more severe conditions, however, some develop a cognitive decline called mild cognitive impairment slightly more severe than what is associated with normal ageing, but much less severe than diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

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Mild cognitive impairment develops as a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to Mayo Clinic, developing mild cognitive impairment actually increases a person’s risk of developing more severe cognitive disorders.

It turns out drinking a few daily doses of coffee can actually reduce a person’s risk of developing these mild problems related to memory, language and thinking.

How do we know? Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.

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The study

Researchers studied the relationship between average amount of coffee consumed, either changing or constant, and incidence, or occurrence, of mild cognitive impairment in 1,445 “cognitively normal” subjects aged 65-84 years.

Some participants started out consuming a low amount of coffee per day, one cup or fewer, and increased their consumption to one to two cups per day. Other participants consumed a constant amount of one to two daily cups of coffee for the duration of the study.

Results implied that participants who had a constant habit of consuming one to two cups of coffee per day, or a daily moderate amount, had a reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment compared to those who either increased or decreased their consumption.

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What’s the science behind this relationship?

There’s a reason many of us can’t function in the morning without a cup or two of coffee pulsing through our systems. When caffeine enters our bodies, it prevents us from absorbing a certain chemical that normally blocks other excitatory brain chemicals. In much simpler terms, drinking coffee gives us more energy and has the potential to, over time in consistent, moderate amounts, slow age-related mental decline as we get older. With those excitatory brain chemicals free to roam on a regular basis, our brains will most likely remain in much better shape longer than they would if those chemicals remained blocked.

Here’s the key takeaway

The study described above found no association between high or low levels of coffee consumption and reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which means consuming only moderate amounts of coffee per day, one to two cups, had this effect. So if you’re planning to rely on coffee alone to keep your mind sharp as you age moderation, as always, is the best strategy.

Many studies have managed to show us coffee in the morning isn’t the worst possible habit to uphold. What’s important to remember is that too much of a good thing isn’t so good after all – but just the right amount, in this case, can earn you a healthier, clearer mind the older you get.

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Featured photo credit: David Joyce via flickr.com

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Published on March 22, 2019

14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

Greasy hamburgers at lunch or a buttered bagel is not everyone’s idea of a dream lunch. Healthy eating is important but not always so easy when you have little time on your hands. You may be forced to eat snacks that you do not enjoy in a rush.

However, there are recipes that do not involve spending a lot of time or having special culinary skills. Try these 14 healthy easy recipes for busy people on the go.

1. Green Salads

    Photo credit: bake your day

    Salads are super easy to make and require no cooking at all. Just chop up the ingredients and put it in a Tupperware and you are good to go. You can make a lot at once and keep for later.

    Ingredients:

    • Kale
    • Lemon
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    How to make it:

    1. Chop kale into small bite-size pieces. Squeeze out the lemon juice and whisk in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    2. Toss kale in the mix and add bean sprouts or cheese

    2. Chickpea Slaw

      Photo credit: Unsweetened Caroline

      Ingredients:

      • ¼ cup plain yogurt
      • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tbsp. water
      • Salt
      • Black pepper
      • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      • 2 ½ cups of sliced green cabbage
      • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
      • 2 shredded carrots
      • 2 tbsps. sesame seeds (toasted)

      How to make it:

      1. Stir together yogurt, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper.
      2. Add in chickpeas, cabbage, celery, and carrots.
      3. Toss and sprinkle in sesame seeds.

      3. Juice Your Greens

        Photo credit: Loving it Vegan

        Ingredients:

        • A handful of kale
        • A handful of cabbage
        • A handful of parsley
        • A stalk of celery
        • An apple or a pear

        How to make it:

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        1. Place the ingredients one at a time into your juicer.
        2. Put it in your favorite bottle and you are done!

        4. Steamed Veggies And Meat

          Photo credit: Gimme some oven

          This recipe includes meat but does not take years to prepare. Steaming cooks the meal really fast. If you are a vegan, you can use tofu to substitute the meat.

          Ingredients:

          • Broccoli
          • Meat (of your choice)
          • Olive oil
          • Salt
          • Pepper
          • Apple cider vinegar

          How to make it:

          1. Steam broccoli and meat in a steamer while drizzling the meat with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
          2. Remove the broccoli when it becomes soft and the meat when it is well cooked.
          3. Remember to sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

          5. Seared Meat and Vegetables

            Photo credit: Gimme some oven

            A skillet will come in handy for this dish. And yes, it is another meal with veggies and meat, you cannot go wrong with this. It is a mix and matches meaning you can switch up the oils, seasonings, and vegetables according to your taste.

            Ingredients:

            • Ground meat (of your choice)
            • Vegetables (anyone you fancy)
            • Organic oil/butter
            • Store bought sauce/dressing
            • Salt

            How to make it:

            1. Cook meat with heated organic oil/butter in a skillet over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
            2. Add in shredded and chopped vegetables and stir until the meat cooks and the vegetables are semi-soft.
            3. Put your salt or dressing to give it some extra flavor.

            6. Green Smoothie

              Photo credit: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

              Smoothies are quite filling and combine fruits and vegetables for a healthy breakfast if you need to rush out in the morning.

              Ingredients:

              • 1 tbsp. Spirulina
              • 1 banana
              • 1 cup blueberries
              • Milk/Soy milk
              • Blend till smooth and enjoy. To make it thicker, add ice in with the ingredients.
              • A tea smoothie

              Note: If you like green tea, then try out this smoothie that uses your favourite tea and fruits:

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              • ¾ cup green tea
              • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
              • 2 tsp. lemon juice
              • 2 tsp. Agave nectar
              • 1 small pear
              • 2 tbsps. fat-free plain yogurt

              How to make it:

              Blend until smooth.

              7. Feta Omelet and Toast

                Photo credit: Improved Health Club

                Toast and eggs will definitely taste different from this recipe.

                Ingredients:

                • Chopped broccoli
                • 2 eggs
                • 2 tsp. Feta cheese (crumbled)
                • 2 slices toasted bread
                • Olive oil

                How to make it:

                1. Cook broccoli for three minutes in heated skillet.
                2. Mix feta, eggs, and dill in a bowl and cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes.
                3. Eat with toast.

                8. Banana and Almond Toast

                  Photo credit: Dolly and Oatmeal

                  This recipe is sure to keep you full until lunchtime.

                  Ingredients:

                  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
                  • 1 slice rye bread
                  • 1 sliced banana

                  How to make it:

                  Cover toast with almond butter and put banana slices.

                  9. Quinoa

                    Photo credit: Kitchme

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                    You can cook the quinoa the night before to reduce the amount of time spent on the dish.

                    Ingredients:

                    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
                    • 1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
                    • 1 small tomato (chopped)
                    • 1 scallion (chopped)
                    • 1 tsp. olive oil
                    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
                    • Salt
                    • Pepper

                    How to make it:

                    Gently toss all the ingredients in a bowl and voila, you are done.

                    10. Hummus and Beans

                      Photo credit: Pinch and swirl

                      Mashing your beans to create hummus takes just a few minutes.

                      Ingredients:

                      • ¼ cup canned white beans
                      • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
                      • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
                      • 2 tsp. olive oil
                      • Assorted Vegetables (chopped)

                      How to make it:

                      1. Combine beans, chives and lemon juice in a small bowl and mash till smooth.
                      2. Add assorted vegetables.

                      11. Egg Sandwich

                        Photo credit: Home Sweet Eats

                        Ingredients:

                        • 2 cooked eggs (chopped)
                        • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                        • 2 tbsp. red bell peppers (chopped)
                        • ¼ curry powder
                        • Salt
                        • Pepper
                        • Rye bread
                        • ½ fresh spinach

                        How to make it:

                        1. Combine eggs, yogurt, bell pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper and stir well.
                        2. Place the spinach on the rye bread and egg salad.

                        12. Swiss Sandwich and Ham

                          Photo credit: My Recipe Magic

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                          Whip up a simple but tasty sandwich.

                          Ingredients:

                          • 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                          • ¼ Tsp. dried dill
                          • 2 slices bread
                          • 1-ounce lean sliced ham
                          • 1 pear (sliced)
                          • 1 1- ounce slice Swiss cheese

                          How to make it:

                          1. Combine yogurt and dill in a bowl and stir until blended.
                          2. Spread mix on bread slices with ham, pear slices, cheese, and bread slice.

                          13. Salmon Noodles

                            Photo Credit: Killing Thyme

                            Noodles take just a few minutes to cook and are extremely tasty.

                            Ingredients:

                            • 4 ounces noodles or spaghetti
                            • 5 ounces asparagus (cut)
                            • 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet
                            • 1tbsp sesame oil
                            • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes
                            • Salt
                            • Fresh pepper
                            • 4 ounces cucumber (cut)
                            • ½ avocado

                            How to make it:

                            1. Cook noodles for 6-8 minutes until soft.
                            2. Strain and then add asparagus to boiling water.
                            3. Cook for 2 minutes then rinse with cold water.
                            4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.

                            14. Spaghetti Squash

                              This is one of my favourite recipes on the go (all it takes is 20 mins)! I substitute pasta for spaghetti squash. No plate needed.

                              Ingredients:

                              • 1 spaghetti squash
                              • 2 tsp of olive oil
                              • 2 pinch’ of salt
                              • 2 pinch’ of pepper

                              Steps: 

                              Check out the detailed steps in this full recipe here.

                              All these recipes can be prepared with ease and have carbs, proteins and fat to keep you energized until your next meal.

                              Featured photo credit: Brandy S via unsplash.com

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