I have a quirk (well, a few, if we’re being honest with each other.) The one that pertains to this blog post is called “supply chain flood.” It involves the tendency of this brain of mine to look at an object and immediately imagine the process that it followed to arrive in my world. For example, sometimes when I look at a loaf of bread, I imagine wind through a wheat field, the rumble of a combine’s engine and the snapping of plants being harvested. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen all the time. I’m far from a synesthete– I just have a very active imagination. But it does happen almost every time I’m in a coffee shop!
While waiting for my Italiano (which is an Americano with half the amount of water), I almost always experience a quick little run through of the beans’ path from stem to grinder. It might go something like this:
A lush mountain is covered with coffee shrubs, which shake slightly while fairly-compensated people collect the red fruits. The messy extraction of beans from pulp sideswipes Star Wars style into trays of green beans drying in the sun. A light breeze stirs as microbes on the beans commence fermentation. When the beans are poured into trucks, they make the sound of 1000s of Kit Kat bars being snapped in half. The trucks rumble their way to the roaster, which churns and rolls them in a gentle heat. There’s a plastic flick as the “open” sign on the door of my local coffee shop is flipped, then murmuring, grinding and steaming. The coffee’s volatile oils evaporate into an invisible cloud of invigoration and finally the barista calls out because my drink’s on the bar.
Another quirk of mine is that I continue to drink coffee despite its sometimes-negative effects on my nervous system (I’ll get into detail below). The imagined process of coffee production provided by my aforementioned mental quirk is always much more idyllic than realistic. All too often, coffee production involves chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers), oxidation, mold/mycotoxins and bad karma via poorly-treated farmers and laborers. These inappropriate ingredients result in the adulteration of a healthful, medicinal, magical brew! For shame!
There’s no doubt that coffee has extraordinary medicinal benefits. Science has demonstrated this very clearly, as has history (humans have been consuming coffee forever-ish, and we’re still here!) There are decades of research behind coffee’s beneficial effects (see this overview from GreenMedInfo.com.) If you do see a study that condemns coffee, consider that a) perhaps it’s a badly done study… unfortunately, they abound because of money, b) a news medium is just trying to catch your eye by stirring up fear, or 3) negative effects reported by quality studies could be due to confounding variables, such as toxins/chemicals/other tagalongs in the bean, and not the coffee itself.
It’s regretful that modern technology and capitalistic-corner-cutting has degraded such a superfood as coffee… but, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was lucky enough to have connected with Andrew Salisbury, CEO of Purity Coffee, and learn about an exciting exception! Andrew sent me a bag of Purity Coffee and I am so grateful that I had the chance to try it. Andrew and his family run this business from their heart. They have created a product that does not compromise quality or safety and I admire that.
I wholeheartedly recommend Purity Coffee because it delivers the medicinal components of coffee without tagalongs that may negate its effects. As confirmed by very impressive 3rd-party lab testing of 100 different coffees representing 46 different brands, Purity Coffee is a rare find! Notable finding include:
- Purity Coffee contained 65% more antioxidants, on average, than the other organic brands that were tested.
- Purity Coffee ranked the highest in antioxidant levels out of all the coffees tested.
- Purity Coffee was free of mold and mycotoxins.
This testing is extremely impressive, but there is one result that is of primary importance: your personal experience. In scientific studies, “n” is the variable used to indicate the number of subjects included in the study. Usually the higher n is, the more relevant the results are. However, when it comes to studies of food, there are way too many variables to generalize. So, in many cases, since you are a dynamic, long-term, 100% unique study in which n=1, the only thing that really matters is the results of your independent study of you and yourself. I know that Purity Coffee is true to its name (pure!) because of my personal n=1 study. Since you’re completely different than me, the following details about my personal experience are irrelevant, but I’ll share just as an FYI:
- Detoxification is something that every human body is doing constantly, especially while we sleep. We detoxify car exhaust, pesticides, preservatives and additives in foods, chemicals in cosmetics, inhaled gasses like bromine from our cars’ upholstery and chlorine from our water (more exposure from showering than drinking, so please get a shower filter!), first or second-hand cigarette smoke and strong cologne (such as on date nights). We’re also detoxing the biochemical byproducts of stress and emotions like anger, sadness, grief and frustration. Anything that adds to our toxic load is undesirable and counterproductive.
- Coffee contains legions of antioxidants that support detoxification! Since Purity Coffee doesn’t add any toxins to the mix, all of its antioxidants can be used to lower the toxic load of the lucky body that’s consumed it.
- I happen to be encoded by a few genes that make my body much less efficient at detoxification. I get by, but when I overdo it, I falter. When I consume coffee that contains a bunch of toxins, I feel it right away. Specifically, I feel sludgey and dumb and sweaty and keyed-up and off-kilter and wired-yet-tired… and I don’t sleep well. Gas station coffee is notorious for this… but I love road trips and don’t sing along to my road trip mix as well if I’m not fueled by caffeine. I know it’s dumb of me to knowingly poison myself. My body screams at me to “just don’t!” and yet I still do… Spoiler alert: it turns out I am flawed!
- Inflammation causes or contributes to nearly every single health issue, whether acute or chronic. It’s not the enemy, though. The act of digesting food and extracting its energy causes inflammation. Inflammation is required and okay because there are mechanisms in place to keep it in balance. It’s when inflammation gets out of control that we’re in trouble. Balance is the name of the game and imbalance is the enemy. Living in our modern society is a challenge. As mentioned in #1, above, we are surrounded by sources of inflammation. So, to maintain balance, we need to do the antioxidance (I hope I made that word up!) Green vegetables and good fats are sources of antioxidants that also deliver crucial vitamins and minerals, but do you eat enough veggies? Honestly? Honestly. Most people do not. But even if you do eat enough colorful vegetables, you may need to step it up to maintain balance! Coffee to the rescue!
- Here’s a study comparing coffee to wine, tea & cocoa.
- Here’s a list of foods on the ORAC scale (ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Coffee ranks staggeringly high among the accessible, not-exotic foods.
- Some people are not great at metabolizing caffeine, yet they consume it anyway. I happen to be one of those people. If I drink coffee or tea after 2pm, I will witness the subtle movement of moonlight across my bedroom ceiling from midnight to 4am. (My Dad, on the other hand, can drink a double espresso at 11pm and then immediately fall asleep. Grrr.)
- If you are caffeine-sensitive, you certainly already know it. Gauging by actual life experience is the golden rule (studies in which n=1=you), but you could also refer to your genetics (via 23andme). A gene called CYP1A2 codes for caffeine-dismantling enzymes. If your CYP1A2 status is anything but “normal,” your caffeine metabolism skills are likely less efficient. (Find my primer on genetics here.)
- Because I’m a Master (Mad) Scientist, I drank a cup of Purity Coffee at 2PM and guess what: my sleep was not disrupted! I will not be repeating this experiment because some of Pandora’s boxes should remain closed, but I was excited by the results. My conclusion is that caffeine is only part of my problem and other factors (such as toxins found in most other coffee beans) either further impair my CYP1A2 enzymes’ ability to degrade caffeine or kick off other unrelated physiological cascades that result in sleeplessness.
- Coffee is good for you as long as it doesn’t come along with toxic stow-aways! Purity Coffee is a great option to maximize antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds without taking on a greater toxic load.
- Moderation is key! One cup of coffee is great, two cups might be great, too… three might be pushing it, four of five is definitely something that shouldn’t happen every day. More is not always better!
- Storage of coffee is important! Heat, light and air will oxidize your beans and degrade the antioxidants. Minimize by storing whole beans in an air-tight container in your freezer. If you like convenience in the AM, feel free to pre-grind small amounts, but store them in air-tight jars in the freezer. (Same deal for other fragile foodstuffs like flax seeds and nuts.) When I see bags of beans sitting on coffee shop floors, or open bags of ground coffee in AirBnBs, I cry a little inside.
- Consider cutting out the sugar… I know, I know… at least consider decreasing it? Sugar is not great. Science is as sure about sugar’s ill effects as it is about coffee’s healthful effects!
- Try cold-brewed coffee. It tastes smoother than hot-brewed because it has a completely different chemical profile. (Read about that here) Bonus: it is very, very easy to make (Put fresh coffee grounds in a large mason jar, fill with water, put in the fridge, let it sit overnight, drink, repeat.)
- Consider adding fat to your coffee (using a blender)! Oh, it’s so delicious and has health benefits, too. (Read about that here (same link as info about cold-brew, above.))
- Bag of Purity Coffee from www.PurityCoffee.com
- Coffee farm by Vandelinodias from https://pixabay.com/photos/cafe-plant-red-cafe-farm-ro%C3%A7a-2339260/
- Mug of coffee by Matthew Henry at https://burst.shopify.com/photos/coffee-with-milk