Why Buy Organic Coffee?

By Jennifer Abbott

What is organic coffee? Why would you buy organic coffee? Does it really matter? Is coffee good for you or bad for you? These are some of the things we will take a look at in this post.

Often we only hear about how coffee is bad for us, regardless of whether it is organic or not. Some might even say, “If coffee is bad for me anyway, why would I even bother to buy organic? While I’m certainly no doctor, there’s a principle that generally holds true: Too much of a good thing can be bad. Certainly research suggests that there are many health benefits of coffee. We will take a look at just a few of those before moving on to the subject of organic coffee.

Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

While there are certainly other health benefits, WebMD list these benefits of drinking coffee:

  • Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (oddly enough, the more the better for this – so they say), colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cavities, and gallstones
  • It can also increase your mood and help with headaches.
  • “Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies.
  • I’m sure Dr. Nicole could list some more for us, and she even gives us this great latte recipe: Perfect Dairy Free Latte, so there must be something good about coffee!

What is Organic Coffee?

As you would likely expect, organic coffee is coffee that is grown and processed without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Read on to learn the details.

Why Buy Organic Coffee? What are the Benefits?

1. Environmental benefits:

The agricultural techniques used to grow organic coffee need to work with the coffee plant’s natural preferences. Since coffee plants naturally love shade often organic coffee is shade grown and bird friendly. What does that mean exactly?

Shade grown and bird friendly coffee is, as you would expect, grown in the shade. Organic bird friendly coffee is grown under a canopy of rainforest trees. In these trees are numerous varieties of birds that feed off the insects under the canopy so there is not as great of a need for insecticides. Also, the tree roots prevent erosion and leaves from the trees help provide natural fertilizer so there is not a need for chemical fertilizer. In bird friendly coffee growing environments nature remains and the earth unharmed. The main problem with this process is that the natural process takes longer for the bean to mature than the processes which use chemicals.

2. Health benefits:

Coffee farms which use chemicals in the farming process do harvest more beans, but the chemicals strip the beans on the plants of many of their natural antioxidants and health benefits. Chemicals also strip the soil of its nutrients so there are less nutrients going into the plant and thus the bean. So if you want the real health benefits of coffee organic is the way to go. Plus, it helps take away the guilt! Go ahead and enjoy the benefits (in moderation of course).

3. Taste benefits:

If you’ve never had a cup of organic coffee, boy, are you in for a treat! Chemicals not only wash away the nutrients, but they also deplete the tastes. Coffee beans in an organic natural environment mature slowly allowing the taste to fully develop. The result is a rich smooth coffee. And yes, the smell is out of this world!

Top 3 Organic Coffee Favorites:

Dr. Nicole asked me to share my favorite organic coffees from my coffee shop. So I’ll end with my top 3 and why they are my favorites:

Organic Peruvian Decaf. This was the first Raven’s Brew Coffee© I ever tasted. It is very very smooth with just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate. I instantly became a Raven’s Brew organic coffee drinker because of my first sip of this one.

Organic Nayarit Decaf. This soon became my favorite decaf variety. Again, very smooth – silky like feel in the mouth. Hints of toffee with a light citric taste.

Organic Mahogany Sweets. Very smooth, sweet and chocolaty. (In my opinion, chocolate goes with just about everything.) Its description is “certified organic bliss.” I couldn’t say it any better.

Jennifer regularly blogs at Principles for Peace. The focus of her site is on inner peace and it is set in a bookstore/coffee shop environment. There you will find regular posts about obtaining inner peace, books recommended for inner peace and her coffee shop. Don’t forget to subscribe to her posts once you get there.

Check out these other great reads by Jennifer Abbott: “A Simple Formula with a Big Life Impact”, “How to Stop Negative Thinking”, “The Art of Peaceful Bill Paying”

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Dairy Free Latte Recipe

Perfect Dairy Free Latte Recipe

  • 2 shots of organic espresso
  • 1 cup heated vanilla (or chocolate) Almond Breeze
  • Pour in a large mug and enjoy!

Calories: 110

Okay you caught me. I drink coffee. Feel free to report me to the naturopathic police, but I do drink coffee moderately, which means less than every single day, and it is typically organic coffee, as non-organic coffee is likely dirtier than any of the top foods on the notorious “Dirty Dozen”….if I must defend myself. *sigh*

The key to enjoying the occasional vice is enjoying it THOROUGHLY, and in moderation of course. When you actively enjoy it, without all the guilt, you will be less likely to miss it. Also, when we give our favorite vices naturopathic makeovers, we lesson the total load of toxins placed upon the system.

If you have the habit of frequenting your local coffee shop, you will likely save money by purchasing a nice espresso machine and grinding your own organic coffee beans at home.

Everybody raves over my latte recipe, and the secret behind it is actually quite simple. I use vanilla flavored almond milk. From my experiment for the “The Best Non-Dairy Milks”, I have found Almond Breeze brand to be the most delicious. Almond milk has a thicker consistency than rice milk or cow milk. Almond milk is also great for those that are sensitive or allergic to soy as soy is one of the top seven food allergens.

Remember when drinking coffee to also avoid the excessive use of sweeteners and artificial creamers as they are typically full of “Kitchen Table Villains” and not part of our mission here of eating a “Whole Foods Diet”.

If coffee is a daily habit for you, consider cleaning up your daily vice and going organic.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Rosemary for Remembrance

rosemaryforremembrance.jpg

Rosemary is a great herb for memory.

Rosemary is often added to recipes dedicated to those that did not survive breast cancer for “remembrance”.

William Shakespeare even wrote in the play Hamlet, “There is rosemary, and that is for remembrance”.

Not too long ago we had some random spring snow here in Seattle, and whenever the sun is not shining (almost all the time) I am drawn to the garden for some sort of UV-free inspiration. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How Coffee Causes Fatigue

cup-of-coffee.jpgDo you Really Need that Afternoon Cup of Coffee?

I will not dispute the fact that many people (me included) simply do better with a nice cozy cup of coffee or tea to start their day. But what I do wonder, is if people really need that afternoon stimulant pick-me-up.

They say in order to ensure a good night’s sleep that one should not consume caffeinated beverages after 2pm. Caffeine in our system leaves us jittery and irritable and unable to engage in sound sleep for the most part. The lack of great sleep one night leads to a groggy morning the following day, which then sets the stage for another drowsy afternoon fueled by caffeine…and the caffeine-sleep pattern perpetuates.

So, you may be intrigued enough at this point to consider giving up your afternoon stimulants, yet may be left wondering “what can I do to treat a bad case of the afternoon slumps”.

When I worked at Virginia Mason we would refer to 4pm as “Slump time”. The nurses would feed me peanut M & M’s which they referred to as “Prozac” to treat my “slumpies”. After making it through Naturopathic Medical School I have learned a few helpful tips better than peanut M & M’s for treating the afternoon slumpies:

First of all PREVENTION is the best medicine, so be sure to eat protein and vegetables for lunch. A high carbohydrate lunch will simply make the slumpies a million times worse. Before reaching for an afternoon cup of caffeine, consider trying the following first: Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Should the Coffee you Drink be Organic?

February 27, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Caffeine, Coffee, Organic

If you simply think about where most coffee is grown, the argument in your mind against buying organic coffee should dissipate as quickly as a fresh shot of espresso in steamed milk.

Most coffee is grown in third world country environments.

Coffee is also notably one of the most pesticide ridden foods. Although organic coffee might be a tad bit more expensive, I opt to spend my organic dollars on it as it only makes sense to me that one of my main vices be as clean as possible.

Although it would be best for the environment if we all always bought everything organic, I understand that this is not always feasible.

The “Dirty Dozen” are the top 12 most pesticide ridden foods that you should be buying organic. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Caffeine

January 10, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Caffeine

PhotobucketACTION IN THE BODY AND COMMON SOURCES

Caffeine is a drug used by millions of people daily that stimulates the body. Many people may experience undesirable effects of caffeine stimulation. Caffeine stimulates a person’s “fight or flight” reaction.

Mental activity and feelings of alertness are increased and generally the body is prepared for quick action. These are the primary effects and generally why caffeine is used. However, “What goes up must come down.” The down is the rebound of caffeine consumption that occurs after the dose wears off. This is caffeine’s secondary effect. Symptoms of the secondary effect are why caffeine was consumed the first time. The rebound mental dullness, sleepiness and physical sluggishness may cause a person to desire another dose. This is the cycle of stimulant use. The up and down cycles place excessive stress on the systems of the body and can become addictive.

Some of the adverse primary effects of caffeine stimulation on specific body systems include:

Central nervous system
Stimulation which can cause behavioral changes; insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, ringing in the ears, muscular tremor, headaches, lightheadedness.

Cardio-vascular system
Rapid heart rate, irregular heat rate, palpitations, increased or decreased blood pressure, decreased blood flow to the brain, cold hands and feet.

Digestive System
Increased gastric secretion, gastric irritation, ulcers, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and anal itching.

Immune system
Decreased immune function, decreased thymus gland size, decreased levels of circulating antibodies.

Urinary tract
Kidney and bladder irritation, diuresis, increased frequency of urination, burning during urination.

Secretory glands
Increased sweating, fibrocystic breast changes.

Metabolic
Increased or decreased blood sugar levels, pancreatic cancer, depletion of minerals and water-soluble vitamins and dehydration.

Reproductive
Caffeine is known to cross the placenta and the safety of caffeine exposure before birth is still unknown. Caffeine is passed unchanged through breast milk and is known to contribute to nervous irritability of nursing infants, as well as the above-listed symptoms.

Withdrawal
After discontinuing caffeine consumption, opposite (secondary) effects, as well as headaches, may result for a short while until the body re-equilibrates.

COMMON SOURCES OF CAFFEINE

Beverages Serving Size Caffeine (mg)

coffee, drip 8 oz =175-245
coffee, perk 8 oz =95-200
coffee, instant 8 oz =65-170
coffee, decaffeinated 8 oz =3-8
tea, 5-minute steep 8 oz =65-160
tea, 3-minute steep 8 oz =30-80
hot cocoa 8 oz =3-16
caffeinated soft drinks 12 oz =35-55

Foods Serving Size Caffeine (mg)

milk chocolate 1 oz =1-15
bittersweet chocolate 1 oz =5-35
chocolate cake 1 slice =20-50

Over-the-Counter Drugs Dosage Caffeine (mg)

Anacin, Empirin, Midol 2 tabs =65
Excedrin 2 tabs=130
NoDoz 2 tabs=200
Aqua-Ban (diuretic) 2 tabs=200
Dexatrim (weight control aid) 1 tab= 200

Note
Other sources of caffeine are Yerba mate, Guarana leaves, Yon pon and Kola nut. These ingredients are in many herbal energy and weight loss formulas, so it is important to read labels.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™