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Last Updated on January 22, 2021

What Drinking Coffee Does to You

What Drinking Coffee Does to You

The chances are that you saw the title of this article and winced a little. Usually, things which are enjoyable bring negative side effects to our bodies. Alcohol, chocolate and fast-food are all fine examples of things which are enjoyable at the time but have negative long-term side effects on your health. So how does coffee compete with these ‘naughty’ foods and drink?

Drinking coffee is a great way to stay alert, both physically and mentally. It helps wake you up in the morning and aids your productivity, and help relieve workplace stress. Many of us drink up to 5 cups of the coffee a day, in various forms, from a black coffee to a mocha, or even one of those frozen coffees you can get from Starbucks. No matter how you like to mix it up, you need to be aware of the impact drinking coffee is having on your body.

Starting with the negative things about coffee…

One big rumour about coffee being bad for you comes from the effect it has on raising blood pressure. Although a temporary increase in blood pressure does occur, it is only really a problem if you already have naturally high blood pressure or are pregnant. Research suggests that limiting coffee consumption to 2 cups a day should reduce the harm coffee has on your baby’s health.

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    As with most things, too much coffee is bad for you. If you consume too much coffee (over 5 cups a day) you increase the likelihood of thinning of bone marrow. This impacts on how susceptible you are to a fracture, so, particularly for the elderly, keep coffee consumption to a sensible level.

    The other side effect which many people experience when they begin drinking coffee is an inability to fall asleep. Often, this is because coffee (or anything with caffeine in it) has been consumed too soon before sleep. To overcome this, I like to stop all caffeine consumption after 2pm each day, but remember that this affects different people differently.

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    So if they are the main negative impacts of drinking coffee, what about the positive side effects?

    Coffee’s positive side effects

    There are some surprising findings in the benefits of drinking coffee regularly which I think you will find comforting:

    • The British Coffee Association states that coffee can reduce the risk of fatal liver disease by up to 40%, with the most significant improvements being seen in people with already damaged livers…
    • The chances of developing type II diabetes, the UK’s fastest growing type of diabetes, are shown to be reduced with regular consumption of coffee.
    • Colorectal cancer is the world’s 3rd most commonly found cancer, and although research findings are mixed, there is a common trend showing a reduction in the chances of developing this type of cancer by around 20-50%.
    • According to further research, regular coffee drinkers may have less of a risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in later life – by as much as 60%!

    There is no doubt that the findings here are pleasantly surprising. So if you were worried about drinking coffee, remember the facts above and how they are in your favour.

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    How you can make the most out of drinking coffee

    Finally, there are a few simple things to remember when drinking coffee. You will want to invest in a decent coffee machine as instant coffee can be highly processed. This will reduce the amount of benefit you receive. Stick to 2-4 cups a day unless you suffer from high blood pressure or are pregnant, in which case, ask your GP about the level of coffee is safe for you to consume.

    Coffee has a positive impact on your health and should be enjoyed. Each cup can help your body in the long-term just as much as it does in the mornings and through your average day. Keep a check on how much coffee you are drinking and enjoy every sip.

    Useful Links:

    National Archives on caffeine

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    The British Coffee Association

    What makes a good coffee?

    Featured photo credit: Close-up of a wonderful cup of hot coffee via Shutterstock and inline photo by anthony_p_c via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    17 Power Pressure Cooker Recipes for Rushed Weeknight Meals

    17 Power Pressure Cooker Recipes for Rushed Weeknight Meals

    Weeknights are wild. There are hobby meetings, sports events, date nights, late-night work calls, kids’ bath time, TV show premiers (of course), and there’s also… dinner?

    Trying to cram in making a recipe, eating dinner (let alone enjoying the meal) and cleaning the kitchen in under an hour always seemed like it would take some sort of divine intervention. Well, let me introduce you to the power pressure cooker, aka the game changer.

    The power pressure cooker makes the impossible possible. You can create a healthy, balanced meal in under an hour from start to finish. Even decadent dishes such as braised short ribs or whole meals such as salmon with potatoes and broccoli can be enjoyed from start to finish with breeze on a weeknight.

    Is there anything easier than throwing your whole meal in one pot and letting the pot do the work? I can’t think of anything. It’s as if you significantly upgraded the already kitchen staple, the crockpot.

    Here are some of my favorite power pressure cooker recipes to get dinner on the table under pressure:

    1. Ramen Soup

      For those nights when all you need is a big hug, ramen is the perfect dish! High in anti-inflammatory ingredients such as fresh ginger, garlic and spinach this 20-minute soup is good for you in every which way.

      This quick ramen is balanced with lean protein from the chicken and soft-boiled eggs, starches from the noodles, and a salty broth that makes you crave more!

      To bump this recipe up even more nutritionally, try doubling the carrot and spinach for extra vitamin power.

      ~ Check out the recipe here!

      2. 4-minute Salmon, Broccoli and Potatoes

        What is better than a perfectly balanced meal in just 4 minutes? I can’t think of anything!

        This wonderfully fatty fish blends so well with the super food broccoli and starch of the potatoes that you won’t believe it was done in such a short amount of time!

        Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids (aka fish oil) that helps our heart, skin, joints, GI tract, and much more!

        ~ Check out the recipe here!

        3. Beef Gyros

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          A warm pita wrapped around freshly made gyros, toppings, and even Tzatziki sauce, oh my! This recipe goes from fridge to plate in under an hour with only 15 minutes of prep time!

          When creating the Tzatziki sauce, be sure to grab plain Greek Yogurt. This yogurt is naturally higher in protein, adding another nutritional benefit to this great dish! You can also opt for a whole wheat pita to add some extra fiber too!

          ~ Check out the recipe here!

          4. Shrimp Boil

            This recipe is perfect for summer beach nights, a classic shrimp boil recipe that you don’t have to spend all day preparing! This recipe is fun finger food to the max! It is delicious, satisfying and tastes the best when served on a picnic table.

            To take this recipe to the next level, adjust the proportions of veggies to protein. By increasing the corn and decreasing the amount of Andouille sausage, you can decrease the total sodium and calories while increasing the fiber and vitamins!

            ~ Check out the recipe here!

            5. Mexican Quinoa

              The perfect one pot meal with fiber, protein, and lots of flavor! This is a vegetarian and meat-lover dream!

              Quinoa is the perfect substitution for white rice in this classic recipe while complimenting the beans to create a protein filled dish. Plus the addition of all those vegetables creates a meal that is bursting with flavor. Top this Mexican quinoa with fresh avocado to perfectly round it out.

              ~ Check out the recipe here!

              6. Lo Mein

                This Lo Mein will stomp any greasy, take-out craving you have without the usual guilt! It is not very often, you can replace a sinful bowl of take-out with something so delicious and easy to make at home!

                Make this Lo Mein in less than 15 minutes from start to finish. That’s faster than it takes for the delivery person to show up at the door!

                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                7. Whole “Rotisserie” Chicken

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                  Everyone knows that the secret to batch cooking is to have a whole chicken cooked to use in various ways throughout the week!

                  This recipe makes the most perfectly moist rotisserie chicken that can be used as is, for tacos, for soup, and for sandwiches all week long!

                  Tip: keep the bones and scraps to make an amazing chicken stock to have on hand! Cooking the stock longer and at a lower temperature will create a delicious bone broth rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins.

                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                  8. Chicken and Lentil Soup

                    This is the coziest soup around! Rich in protein, fiber, and B vitamins, this soup will meet all your cravings!

                    It also couldn’t be easier for a rushed weekday meal, all you have to do is chop and let your power pressure cooker do the work!

                    In just 30 minutes, you will have a warming soup that the whole family can enjoy!

                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                    9. Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls

                      Is there anyone out there that doesn’t enjoy a good burrito bowl? This veggie bowl is the perfect one-pot meal that is easily customizable!

                      From vegans to meat-lovers, everyone will enjoy this easy, fiber-rich bowl. Add whatever toppings you please to create a burrito bowl that is just as good as a restaurant’s!

                      ~ Check out the recipe here!

                      10. Rice and Beans

                        The classic rice and beans dish is a staple for many reasons. It is full of perfectly complimented proteins, great texture, and balanced seasonings. Now, you can create this filling balanced meal in under an hour! No more pre-soaking those beans!

                        This perfectly seasoned, filling balanced meal will have everyone fighting for another bowl!

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                        ~ Check out the recipe here!

                        11. Summer Quinoa Salad

                          Your fresh in-season berries were made for this quick salad!

                          Take this nutrient dense salad to a party or serve it as light, summer dinner to have everyone asking for the recipe!

                          The quinoa, fruit, vegetables, and nuts create a dish that is perfectly balanced with all the food groups. You can top this salad with cooked chicken breast or leave it as-is to meet everyone needs!

                          ~ Check out the recipe here!

                          12. Minestrone Soup

                            This Minestrone Soup is quick and veggie full making it perfect for any weeknight dinner! It is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and Vitamin A making it the perfect dinner for the whole family!

                            Tip: Use whole grain noodles to increase the fiber and B vitamins of this tasty dish!

                            ~ Check out the recipe here!

                            13. Lemon Garlic Chicken

                              Make your protein and side dish at the same time with flavorful chicken that the whole family will love! In less than an hour, you can have a beautiful and balanced plate with veggies and protein.

                              This flavorful lemon garlic chicken will give you the protein and excitement to spice up any plate!

                              ~ Check out the recipe here!

                              14. Chicken Fajitas

                                Quick, easy and very few dirty dishes are used to create these fajitas that will rival even your favorite Mexican restaurant!

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                                Feel free to top these with whatever you wish but be sure to include fresh avocado for a bump-up in vitamins and minerals.

                                Tip: If you enjoy sour cream on your fajitas, opt for plain Greek yogurt that is higher in protein, lower in calories, and just as tasty!

                                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                15. Coconut Chicken Curry

                                  A big bowl of coconut chicken curry over rice is what dreams are made of! This bright, flavorful dish is full of vegetables and lean protein without the dryness!

                                  What can usually take a few hours, create this colorful dish in just 30 minutes with your power pressure cooker!

                                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                  16. Cashew Chicken

                                    This take-out classic can be on your plate in just 20-minutes but you can pretend you took hours to create it when everyone asks for the recipe! You can double the green bell pepper to increase the veggies without sacrificing any flavor. Serve this classic over brown rice for extra fiber and minerals.

                                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                    17. Meatloaf

                                      Meatloaf has been a menu staple since sliced bread but never did it only take 20 minutes to make! This recipe includes the meatloaf and the sides to create a one-pot dream. Perfect to serve after long weekdays, this dish is a comforting staple.

                                      And don’t be fooled by the short cooking time, this meatloaf is the best of both worlds- it’s juicy and fast to make!

                                      ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                      Despite its apparent roots in the crockpot concept, power pressure cooker meals are apt to be much healthier. Without the need for fatty sauces to create flavor and prevent dryness, the power pressure cooker uses the heat generated by the water to cook the food. This leads to more flavor without dryness and overall leaner meals.

                                      The power pressure cooker is the answer for anyone striving for healthy, balanced meals with a crazy weeknight schedule.

                                      It really can do it all. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll feel great after enjoying healthy, balanced meals while easily juggling all the activities you enjoy!

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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