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Forget Cream… Try This In Your Coffee

Forget Cream… Try This In Your Coffee

Are you one of the 54% of American adults that drinks coffee every day? After years of slogging down cup after cup of joe, is your morning routine starting to become a little boring? Want to try a healthier option, or a more decadent one? Ditch the cream in your coffee and spice up your java fix with these unusual add ins.

Butter Coffee

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    As bizarre as it sounds, butter in coffee is not exactly a new concept. In Singapore, coffee beans are stir fried in butter before being strained through a filter into your mug.

    Adding a dab of butter to your morning coffee is becoming increasingly popular with adherents to the paleo diet. The butter imparts a certain silky, creaminess to your brew. The taste of butter comes through, but it balances well with the bitterness of the coffee. A plus side to this combination is that many regular drinkers of butter coffee report that drinking it makes them feel more satiated, which can be good for those on calorie restrictive diets.

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    Bulletproof Coffee

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      Deeply akin to butter coffee is the increasingly popular bulletproof coffee, which was created by Dave Asprey at the Bulletproof Executive blog.

      Asprey’s creation also calls for butter (about 2 tbs), though it stipulates that you only use unsalted, grass-fed (like Kerrygold brand). In also includes the addition of 1-2 tbs of MCT oil. MCTs are medium chain triglycerides which are naturally found in coconut and palm kernel oil. MCT’s are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage.

      Bulletproof coffee is said to promote high energy, fat loss and brain function… all while tasting great.

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      Coffee with Condensed Milk

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        Those who have visited Vietnam are well aware of how well condensed milk pairs with java. A traditional Vietnamese iced coffee can easily contain a quarter to half cup of sweet, thick condensed milk. The combination is absolutely delicious and does the dual task of making your coffee creamy and sweet at the same time. This drink is great both hot and cold, and replacing the coffee with a hot shot of espresso is equally fantastic.

        Affogato (Espresso and Ice Cream)

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          In the mood to treat yourself to something special? Try an Affogato. The name is Italian for “drowned” and it traditionally takes the form of a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or gelato) topped with a hot shot of espresso. The hot liquid melts the ice cream and leaves you with a rich, creamy drink. If the sheer deliciousness of those last two sentences isn’t readily apparent to you, then we can never be friends.

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          Some even add a shot of premium amaretto to the mix to even further improve this luxuriant beverage. Affogatos are perfect for hot summer afternoons and, when served with cookies make a perfect after dinner party dessert.

          Coffee and Cinnamon

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            Swapping out cream and sugar for cinnamon can save you about 70 calories per cup of coffee. In addition, cinnamon has numerous reported benefits, including softening sugar spikes, reducing cravings, strengthening the immune system, reducing congestion and even boosting brain function. One study even found that just a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition to all these benefits, cinnamon adds a delicious taste to your coffee, that is worth trying out.

             

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            Pour some new life into your morning pick me up with these delicious additions to your coffee and be sure to check out this deeper look into the wide world of brown, caffeinated goodness.

            Featured photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2019

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

            But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

            I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

            Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

            1. Nuts

            The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

            Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

            Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

            Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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            2. Blueberries

            Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

            When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

            3. Tomatoes

            Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

            4. Broccoli

            While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

            Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

            Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

            5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

            Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

            The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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            Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

            6. Soy

            Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

            Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

            Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

            7. Dark Chocolate

            When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

            Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

            8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

            Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

            B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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            Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

            Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

            To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

            9. Foods Rich in Zinc

            Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

            Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

            Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

            10. Gingko Biloba

            This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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            However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

            11. Green and Black Tea

            Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

            Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

            Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

            12. Sage and Rosemary

            Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

            Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

            When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

            More About Boosting Brain Power

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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