Do you find you need a morning hit of caffeine before you feel human? Do you find that you can’t hold a decent conversation unless you have had your coffee? Are you yawning and struggling to open your eyes before the flat white hits your bloodstream? Finding your patience with the kids is non-existent unless there is an espresso waking you up?
You are not alone.
Coffee has had a poor reputation over the years. But it is not all bad. There have been some good side effects reported with a daily coffee. A regular coffee has been shown to decreasethe risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstone disease, and some cancers. That sounds a pretty good reason to have a coffee each day to me!
Some of the reasons coffee has been said to be beneficial are related to its phytochemical components and unique fibres that benefit the gut microbiome. By helping the gut microbiome, you have a net benefit throughout the whole body. (This is probably a whole blog or newsletter post in itself!)
But there are some caveats to drinking coffee:
- If you have an autoimmune disease it is better to avoid coffee.
- You should drink only high-quality pure coffee, preferably organic and minimally processed to avoid chemical toxins.
- If you are stressed and using coffee as an adrenalin hit, please avoid, or find an alternative (LIke a healthy breakfast!). Coffee increases your stress hormone, cortisol, and this can lead to a variety of health issues over the long term. It is far better for your health to address the cause of the stress rather than stimulate the adrenals to produce even more cortisol for that “hit”.
- Avoid if you have high cholesterol especially triglycerides and LDL levels.
- Avoid if you suffer from GERD or any type of gastric ulcers or reflux.
- Avoid if you suffer from anxiety.
So, what if you fall in the avoid-coffee group of people? What could you try instead?
Ever seen the super cool crowd sipping on a green hot drink? It’s probably a matcha latte.
What in the world is matcha? Most people have probably heard of a matcha latte and know that it is green. And anything green is good, right? Lol, well, in this case, you’d be right. Matcha is actually ground up green tea leaves. Most tea comes from the same plant, but green tea leaves are picked and dried for shorter periods than black tea.
Not only are matcha leaves picked and dried earlier than most other tea’s, but they’re also shade-grown for the final two weeks of their growth cycle to boost chlorophyll levels. These leaves are then steamed and ground into a fine powder to become your matcha. If you keep your matcha in a dark and air-tight container you will keep the all-important chlorophyll intact.
Some benefits of matcha:
Better Blood Sugar Control
Matcha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and may prevent blood glucose from spiking altogether. Studies suggest that drinking green tea lowers fasting glucose and A1c numbers, which then creates a “significant” decrease in fasting insulin concentrations. When your blood sugar comes down and you’re less insulin resistant, you’ll have an easier time losing weight (which will also lower your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity).
Helps in Weight Loss
Green tea contains EGCG (a polyphenol) and caffeine, a powerful duo that can boost your metabolism, increase fat burning, and prevent new fat cells from forming. A study in healthy women showed that when you combine matcha tea consumption with mild exercise (in this case, brisk walking), you may experience more exercise-induced fat burning with the matcha than without. So instead of going for a walk to get your coffee, try going for a walk and pick up a matcha latte instead.
Energy Without the Jitters
A serving of matcha contains 70mg of caffeine or about 50-75% of the caffeine you’ll find in a cup of coffee. Matcha — and all green tea, for that matter — also contains L-theanine, a naturally calming amino acid that counteracts the jittery feeling you get from most caffeinated beverages.
Positive, Calm Mood
Matcha can enhance mental alertness and lets you focus in a calm, meditative state of mind. Handy if the kids are running a riot! This may be due to the combination of caffeine and L-theanine naturally found in matcha powder.
Which are you going to drink tomorrow morning? A coffee or matcha?
Yours in Health,
Dr. Anthea Holder
(Chiropractor and Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)