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Ingredient of the Week: Coffee

Ingredient of the Week: Coffee

 

Beloved Liquid Gold:

 

Being the second most traded commodity in the world is a big deal; culturally embedded across the globe, coffee makes the world go round. Whether you take your coffee black or half and half, no one can deny its significance in our society today.

 

Coffee beans are not actually beans, but seeds - however, their resemblance to a bean is what earned them that name. Coffee seeds are kept inside a plump red fruit (coffee cherry) that grows in coffee shrubs that can grow up to 9 meters high.

 

Although its origin is up to question; legend says that coffee was first discovered by a goat sheppard in the Ethiopian plateau. He realized something quite curious occurred after his goats ate this small, rounded cherry. The goats would be so hyperactive that they were unable to sleep at night. The herder told his monastery and brewed a drink made by the same berries to find that it kept him more alert and awake. Word spread quickly thereafter - eventually becoming the global phenomenon it is today.

 

Caffeine: Why It’s Truly The Good Stuff

 

We all know that the reason why coffee is so consumed around the world is due to its taste, and its caffeine content. The compound gets absorbed into the bloodstream and travels directly to the brain. Coffee’s power extends far beyond its ability to allowing someone finish their term paper, or wake up in the morning.

 

Caffeine has been studied in depth and studies show that it is linked to burning fat and increasing the metabolism. One study shows that the caffeine present in coffee increases the metabolic rate 3-11%. Furthermore, because caffeine is a stimulant, it stimulates the brain to produce adrenaline. This increases the fight or flight response to be acuter - it’s been shown that caffeine increases physical performance by 11-13%.

 

Taking a Look Inside the Bean:

 

What a lot of people don’t know, is that beyond caffeine, coffee actually contains a lot of vitamins that are beneficial for your health and for your skin. For example, its antioxidants content prevents the aging of your dermis (skin) and protects you from light, heat and free radicals.

 

When applied directly to the skin, the caffeine present in coffee acts like an anti-inflammatory. It reduces puffiness and swelling by restricting blood flow to the area applied - this is particularly effective in the under-eye area.

Furthermore, unlike most exfoliants that you can buy at the store - coffee grounds are the most natural and gentle ‘grains’ that you can use to achieve smooth and silky skin. The stimulating properties of coffee makes your skin look brighter and plumper - applying it in the morning will give you a fresh and awake look.

 



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