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5 Counterintuitive Reasons to Love Your Coffee Even More

5 Counterintuitive Reasons to Love Your Coffee Even More

I love my coffee. It’s such a big part of my life that I often take for granted. From the sound and smell of a freshly brewed coffee pot in the morning, to people chatting about their daily lives in a coffee shop, to that moment when I raise that hot cup of coffee and taste java, I love the entire experience.

With all of the coffee I drink in a day (about 4 cups), I had to wonder if it was actually helping me in ways I didn’t even realize. Of course, we’re all different and have different reactions to coffee, but I wanted to know if coffee actually had benefits other than jump-starting our morning and keeping us awake. There are many health benefits to drinking coffee, but some of these reasons to drink coffee might surprise you.

1. Coffee can help you build positive habits.

We often hear about people who say they are addicted to caffeine and have developed bad habits around drinking coffee. In my experience, coffee can actually be used as a reward for building up positive habits.

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One powerful habit that is beneficial to me is my morning routine. I tested out some ways to get up earlier, and the one thing that always motivated me to get up and get going was my morning coffee. So, I set up a reward system for getting up to meditate, shower, and eat breakfast. When I did all these three things, a nice cup of coffee was my reward. If you prefer other types of coffee, try making your favorite espresso drink, buying iced coffee packets, or simply purchase an automated coffee pot.

2. Coffee can help you live longer.

Several studies have shown that people who drink coffee live longer. It turns out that coffee has hundreds of other compounds besides caffeine. Many of these compounds are antioxidants, which prevent oxidation in the body by blocking free radicals. Antioxidants are believed to slow the aging process, as well as fight off cancer and heart disease.

Even more good news: the magic number of coffee drinks (8 ounces) per day is between four and five. Any more than that, didn’t seem to make any difference.

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3. Coffee can help you nap.

Say whaaaat? Yes, it’s true. Ever heard of a coffee nap? According to a Japanese study, the coffee nap is the most effective way to combat sleepiness and increase performance level.

Why does this work? The key is to take the nap immediately after consumption (before the caffeine kicks in), and it takes about 20 minutes for that caffeine to kick in. Napping helps to clear out a chemical called adenosine, which at increased levels, can cause fatigue. Then caffeine (an adenosine blocker) swoops in just in time. In my experience, the coffee nap is the best way to combat that afternoon slump.

4. Coffee can help your liver.

An interesting new study shows that drinking two cups of coffee per day can decrease your chances of getting alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver by as much as 43 percent.

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Why is that? Researches aren’t 100 percent sure yet, but suspect it has to do with coffee’s antioxidant or anti-inflammatory compounds. This is not to suggest we should all now safely consume more and more alcohol, but it does show that coffee can help counter the effects of toxins in the liver.

It will be interesting to see if certain compounds in coffee will be used to protect the liver or other vital organs.

5. Coffee can be relaxing.

Coffee affects people in all different ways. For some, it can cause people with anxiety to become ever more anxious. Or, it can cause some people to get the jitters, but it doesn’t affect everyone this way.

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According to best-selling author Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, coffee can be relaxing for some people. Not only can some people drink coffee at any time of day with no physical effects, many also find the ritual of drinking coffee relaxing: the hot coffee, the smell, the taste. It can become a deeply ritualistic and relaxing experience.

If you coffee does affect you negatively, you may try tea instead for a similar effect. But for some, coffee provides unique relaxing benefits counterintuitive to what one would think.

Coffee is now the number one consumed beverage worldwide. All this coffee consumption has hidden benefits that many of us don’t even realize. There are even more reasons why drinking coffee is beneficial to our well being. So the next time you brew your favorite cup of coffee, remember these five counterintuitive reasons to love your coffee.

Featured photo credit: Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

Dragon what? No, this is not a medieval-times myth where knights save princesses from fire-breathing dragons and win the coveted dragon fruit from a magical tree. That said, real dragon fruit does contain some pretty magical benefits that can make you feel like a beautiful princess or a knight in shining armor.

In tropical and subtropical regions in South America and Asia, the dragon fruit flourishes and grows in abundance. Appropriately named, the dragon fruit’s outer skin is cactus-like, resembling that of the scales of a mythical dragon. Considered a cactus plant, its vibrant green and reddish-pink hues indicate that the fruit is full of nutrients, while the creamy white flesh spotted with black seeds gives way to many rich and natural properties.

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Also known as pitaya, these fun-looking fruits contain around 60 calories each and are rich in vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. And that’s not all. This is definitely one of the best “super fruits” out there.

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    Photo credit: Source

    1. Better Than Cheerios

    Dragon fruit has an extremely low amount of cholesterol, which ultimately helps the body break down this fruit quickly, keeping you happy and healthy. It’s the perfect fruit to maintain your weight and satisfy your sweet tooth.

    2. Heart Healthy

    Americans have increasing problems maintaining cardiovascular health. Fortunately, this fruit has an amazing superpower that helps decrease bad cholesterol levels and replenish good levels. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, helping the heart stay in great condition.

    3. Fill Up On Fiber

    To clean up your digestive system, eat a dragon fruit. They have a high fiber content, which can assist with poor digestion and constipation. Eating the flesh and seeds, which contain good protein, will keep your body fortified and satisfied.

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    4. Active Antioxidants

    To rid the body of free radicals and cancer-producing properties, you can eat foods that contain antioxidants. Believe it or not, dragon fruit is giving acai berries a run for their money.

      Photo credit: Source

      5. Fights Diabetes

      The high amount of fiber in dragon fruit can ultimately help regulate diabetes, as it can stabilize blood sugar levels by suppressing sugar spikes. However, with any dietary changes or modifications, always consult your doctor to make sure this is a good food for you.

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      6. Reduces Signs of Aging

      Eating a dragon fruit with its rich antioxidants can keep the skin tight and young. You can even make a face mask using the fruit combined with honey as a natural alternative to anti-aging masks.

      7. Treating Colored Hair

      Dragon fruit juice is an excellent agent for treating colored hair. By simply putting the juice or a conditioner containing dragon fruit on your scalp, you can protect your chemically treated or colored hair. This will keep the hair follicles open, allowing your hair to breathe and remain healthy and smooth.

      8. Suppresses Arthritis

      Arthritis directly affects the joints and causes severe irritation and immobility. Adding dragon fruit to your diet can help you fight these ailments. Dragon fruit’s benefits for people suffering from arthritis are so great that it’s commonly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory fruit.”

      9. Avoiding Acne

      This treatment is not just for teenagers. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit becomes a great topical ointment. Turn a slice of dragon fruit into a paste and apply it to your reddened areas on your face or skin, then rinse with water. For best results, use twice daily.

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      10. Soothe Sunburned Skin

      By combining dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey, you can create a compound much like aloe that can soothe burned skin. Abundant in vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturize sunburned skin and release heat from the affected area.

        Photo credit: Source

        How Can You Make Dragon Fruit a Part of Your Daily Routine?

        Tired of the everyday apple or banana? Go ahead, you get permission to pick up the exotic fruit because it’s so good it should be forbidden. Dragon fruit is so easy to eat that all you need is a spoon to dig out its goodness, similar to a kiwi. Or, you can easily bite it right off of the peel for a quick fix. One dragon fruit will suffice as a snack, but soon you’ll be craving more. Try some of these recipes that call for dragon fruit here.

        Just remember, even though they look beautiful on your counter, they are much more than a simple decoration. Reap the benefits of dragon fruit!

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