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How to Optimize your Office for Healthy Habits

Image of coffee cup in an office environment

What Experts are Saying About Your Choice of Beverage

Ever wonder how to promote a healthier lifestyle in your office space? You probably weren’t until we brought it up. Let’s pause here a moment. It’s crucial to know what you’re drinking whether it’s coffee, tea, or alcohol… right? Of course it is! You’re putting it into your body, so you should know how good or bad it is for you. Now, let’s talk about what you can do to improve not only your diet but your drinking knowledge.If you’re looking for a diet coke replacement or just a healthy office drink to enjoy at work, there are options.

Wine

red wine being poured into a wine glass - healthy office drink

The French Paradox

The year was 1991. An episode of 60 minutes aired one evening featuring Morley Safer and his story on the French diet. Not only French diet but a drink that the French are well known for: wine.

Thus began the French paradox hype. This popular theory has since become a topic of grand speculation.

At the time studies showed the French population consuming large amounts of wine. Wine is the definition of French culture, so of course it’s not surprising they’d have a heavy hand when pouring.

Likewise at the time, the French expressed low percentages of cardiovascular disease.

How is it that the French consume so much wine per person yet they have less heart attacks than Americans?

Sure there are some differences between our cultures that could be a factor in their health. The French spend more time eating, they have smaller portions and they don’t constantly snack on the go.

The questions still remain: can wine decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease? On balance, is it truly a healthy office drink?

What Does Science Tell Us?

To not sound like a medical know it all, we’re going to say that red wine has ‘properties’ in it that make it beneficial. If you’re a real science geek then the word you’re looking for is ‘phenols’. These properties affect cell activity in blood vessels and help to prevent blood clots.

Something called HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) increases when drinking red wine which can also inhibit blood clot formation.

Antioxidants from red wine also help to increase HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clot formation.

Overall, wine can be good for the heart in some ways. Wine can:

  • provide helpful antioxidants
  • prevent blood clots through something we call ‘phenols’
  • increase HDL (good cholesterol)
  • reduce LDL (bad cholesterol)

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Yes, it’s possible that wine can reduce your risk of heart attacks, but this is no excuse to become an alcoholic.

Before you start bathing in the stuff keep in mind that:

  • Studies do show that wine may have a positive impact on a person’s heart health, but it’s not entirely understood
  • Wine could do just as much harm as good

Take a look at what Dr. Josh Axe has to say on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgAZaBZBM5s

Coffee

top down of six varying coffee mugs with different coffee drinks in them

How is Coffee Good for us?

Did you know that coffee can protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease amongst other things?

Prior to the finding of these informational tidbits, it was believed that coffee did more harm than good. This was before researchers realized that smoking and lack of physical exercise was common among people who drank a lot of coffee.

Here’s some good news for your colon. Coffee can improve your health by reducing the likelihood of colorectal cancer by 26%.

Polyphenols in coffee act as antioxidants to limit the growth of colon cancer cells. Additionally, melanoidins produced in the roasting process are thought to increase colon mobility.

Coffee can improve mental focus, though that’s old news since it already runs in bloodstreams across corporate America.

As with wine, coffee should be drunk in moderation. Though it is truly the go-to healthy office drink, too much coffee can increase your risk of heart disease, and too much unfiltered coffee can mildly increase cholesterol levels.


    How to Improve your Morning Coffee

    Put your coffee cup down. You heard us. Don’t drink it yet because there are ways that you can make it twice as good for you as it is now.

    1. Skip the cream and sugar overloading

    black coffee in a mug on a table - healthy office drink

    You’re adding unnecessary fats and calories to your day which can add up to a lot in a month.

    If sweeteners are your religion then try cutting your intake in half or use sugar substitutes like Stevia. I know this is hard to hear for those of you with a hardcore sweet tooth, but your body will thank you for it in the end.

    2. Choose quality organic coffee

    wooden spoon holding whole coffee beans

    Yes we realize not everything labeled organic is good but in this case, it might be.

    If you’re worried about your coffee beans coming into contact with pesticides then it’s best to go with organic beans.

    3. Spice it up

    cinnamon sticks and star anise - healthy office drink

    As it turns out, cinnamon can do wonders for coffee drinkers and those with diabetes.

    Cinnamon has properties that can lower blood sugar and prevents glucose from entering your bloodstream after meals.

    To top things off, it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help your body fight infection.

    Reaching for the bottle of cinnamon yet? You should, science says it can transform your morning cup of joe into a truly healthy office drink. If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, try ginger or nutmeg.

    4. Don’t drink coffee alone

    slice of lemon cake on a plate next to black coffee in a mug

    Unless you’re enjoying a cup of bulletproof coffee which has enough calories to last you an entire morning, consider eating something with your coffee.

    Coffee by itself can suppress your hunger and it can mask the fact that you may be under eating.

    Give Bulletproof Coffee A Try

    coffee beans and coffee in a mug on a wooden cutting board next to bowls of salt and butter - healthy office drink
    Bulletproof Coffee

    Ever heard of bulletproof coffee? It’s part of a Paleo diet and I’m pretty impressed with what it can provide the body.

    Get this — bulletproof coffee is a mix of quality coffee brew, grass-fed butter, and MCT oils.

    Talk about a way to optimize your morning coffee!  

    Everyone should try bulletproof coffee at least once. From there you can gauge if it’s a healthy office drink for every day or if it’s something you should stick to every once in a while.

    OK, we’re not just going to sit here and tout all the benefits of bulletproof coffee.

    Let’s be honest, there are some skeptics out there who have valid reasons to be hesitant about coffee with butter and oils in it.

    We’re going to give you the lowdown on the benefits of bulletproof coffee and the reasons why you should try other coffee options.

    Start Off With A Recipe

    Here’s a go-to recipe for bulletproof coffee to get your morning started:

    • 1 cup coffee
    • 1 tsp or more coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
    • an optional pinch or two of Stevia extract

    Mix all ingredients in a blender for 20 seconds or until frothy.

    If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can try adding brain octane oil for an extra powerful punch of energy.

    And there you go, you’re done! It’s an easy recipe to follow and allows for some wiggle room if you prefer a little more coconut oil than most.

    Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee

    One thing to note is that, by adding things like grass-fed butter and coconut oils, you’re taking in a lot of healthy fats. If you drink it in the morning it can boost metabolism, boost energy, slow down caffeine consumption, and burn fat for energy throughout the day.

    Yes, that’s a lot of calories for a supposedly healthy office drink. But! It offers you more than just additional calories.

    Take a look at one of the ingredients in bulletproof coffee.

    One serving of organic, grass-fed butter has 2% of a person’s daily value of vitamin K. Meaning, it’s optimal for normal blood clotting and bone health.

    Grass-fed butter versus normal butter is higher in not only vitamin K, but vitamins A, D, and E as well. Let’s not forget an added dose of antioxidants.

    As for coconut oils, the keyword to focus on here is MCT oils.

    There is a multitude of benefits to MCT oils. Just to name a few, it can promote weight loss, boost energy, and contains fatty acids to help combat yeast and bacterial growth.

    Drawbacks To Bulletproof Coffee

    Some cons of bulletproof coffee have to do with the uncertainty of its effectiveness. Obviously, it adds calories to your diet and it’s also not 100% proven to live up to everyone’s expectations.

    If you’re one of those who thrive on a nutritious breakfast, then bulletproof coffee on it’s own may not cut it.

    A sausage, egg, and toast breakfast can provide you with the same amount of calories with many more nutrients like protein or fiber. There’s also a better chance that an actual meal will fill you up than a single cup of enhanced coffee.

    In some cases, drinking bulletproof coffee can increase overall levels of cholesterol. This is due in part to consuming large amounts of saturated fats like butter and coconut oil on a daily basis. This increases the good cholesterol, as well as the bad, which is not optimal for those who have concerns about their cholesterol levels.

    Kombucha

    Image of kombucha bottles

    You might have heard a lot about this trendy beverage and why it’s become so popular. In terms of healthy office drinks, kombucha takes the cake. Before we get into the benefits of kombucha, let’s understand what it is we’re drinking.

    The words kombucha and probiotic go hand in hand and that’s because kombucha is a fermented tea.

    Before fermentation starts, strains of bacteria and yeast are added to tea on top of a whole lot of sugar. Kombucha is then left to ferment for a week up to a month depending on who is doing the fermenting.

    It can undergo multiple fermentations and even take on the flavors of added ingredients like spices or other fruits. What’s produced from this fermentation are gases and trace amounts of alcohol that can range from .3 to 3 percent.

    Now that we know what it is, we can start to understand what the hype is all about.

    The Lowdown on Probiotics

    The reason why kombucha is good for your gut is thanks to probiotics. If it weren’t for probiotics then most of the marketing surrounding kombucha would cease to be relevant.

    flower in a belly button with hands around it - healthy office drink

    Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms consumed through fermented foods or supplements.

    We have a microbiome in our gut that is exponentially important to maintain. Kombucha is a great way to keep that in check since it brings a lot of good bacteria into our system.

    Gut bacteria imbalances can occur due to poor diet, medications, or illnesses. This can result in detrimental consequences such as obesity and severe digestive issues.

    A big key to our health is keeping the bacteria in our digestive system in balance and probiotics are a great way to keep the balance.  

    It helps to promote healthy digestion alongside a stronger immune system and even weight management.

    What else can it do?

    Aside from probiotics, kombucha also contains antioxidants and B vitamins.

    Okay, we already talked about the benefits of antioxidants from wine. Did you know that antioxidants can combat free radicals that cause cell and liver damage?

    You heard that right. Another one of kombucha’s benefits is the ability to kill bacteria.

    Acetic acid produced during kombucha’s fermentation process is powerful enough to kill harmful microorganisms.

    Kombucha made from black or green tea displays exceptional antibacterial properties. This kind of kombucha can protect against Candida yeasts.

    What if we said that it can also give you the energy you need to get through your day and improve your mental well being?

    Yup, you’re probably rethinking kombucha at this point.

    Kombucha can do some good for your health. But before you start preaching it to your coworkers keep in mind that it’s not for everybody.

    What can it not do?

    Well, it won’t cure cancer, no matter how much you will it to. The reason why we say this is because the hype around kombucha may exaggerate the benefits it possesses.

    Another thing to remember is that some kombucha teas have varying levels of alcohol. If alcohol is something you’re trying to avoid then you can try finding a kombucha with low levels of alcohol or skip this beverage altogether.

    Some kombucha brands have a lot of sugar which may not be an optimal choice if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake. If this is the case then try low sugar brands like KeVita for a more healthy office drink.

    If you want a better perspective on where kombucha got started and what it can do check out this video from Business Insider:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clp_HCEplBU

    Final Thoughts…

    Do you drink coffee because you like the taste or because it spikes your energy levels? Same goes for kombucha and wine. Do you drink kombucha or wine for simple pleasure or for something deeper?

    While we may have touted all the wonderful things about wine, coffee, and kombucha, these benefits should be taken with a grain of salt. We don’t mean literally, but don’t let us dictate how you like your coffee.

    By this, we mean that there is no one miracle elixir that is going to fix every plaguing issue. It’s important to do your research about what you drink and why you are drinking it.

    At the end of the day, the only person who can determine what’s good for your health (aside from perhaps your doctor) is you!



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