Week 11 | My Morning Go-Tos: The Benefits of High Fat Coffee and Chlorophyll Water In The Morning
Week 2 of Well There’s This had me talking about intermittent fasting and how for the first few hours of the day I restrict my intake of food and for a total window of 15 or 16 hours per day. There are many benefits to restricting calories for a majority of the day which I do mostly overnight to make fasting easier, but come morning I drink a series of low-caloric liquids to set my body right. Dr. Josh Axe explains, “if you're on a time-restricted fast and you're in no-eating hours, it's best to stick to no- or low-calorie drinks like water, coffee (with no milk), and tea” (Pop Sugar). My morning intake of fluids is low calorie and has to do with allowing my body certain health benefits. Here is how I start my day!
Coffee with Coconut Oil
To tell you the truth I hardly drink coffee, but I am thinking of incorporating it into my morning regime because of its antioxidant properties and for the advantages of mixing coffee with coconut oil; “High-fat coffee involves mixing organic, freshly brewed hot coffee with a source of healthy fat that contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). This twist on traditional coffee has been widely popularized in recent years for having a massive impact on improving energy levels and cognitive function, especially when used in the context of [intermittent fasting]”, explains Dr. Robin Berzin for Well and Good. She continues, “to prevent the morning crash that might accompany extending an overnight fast, I’ve found that high-fat coffee provides a morning boost that keeps you in [a fat-burning state that fasting allows] while also providing heightened mental clarity. Use coconut oil because 40–50 percent of the fats in coconut are naturally MCTs.
By starting your day with a high-fat, carbohydrate-free coffee instead of a meal, your body is able to use these eight to 10 medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) as fuel for the brain. A good rule of thumb for making high-fat coffee is using about 1 tablespoon of fat for every 1 cup of coffee. Additionally, adding organic cinnamon can help to further balance blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity through its natural herbal properties" (Well and Good).
Chlorophyll is a pigment found in plants. It is commonly described as 'green blood' or the 'blood of plants'; “The chlorophyll molecule bears a striking resemblance to hemoglobin, the red pigment in human blood. The red blood pigment is a web of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms grouped around a single atom of iron. Nature’s green chlorophyll pigment is a similar web of the same atoms, except that its centerpiece is a single atom of magnesium” (Laura Kissman Wellness).
Benefits of Chlorophyll include:
1) Chlorophyll Increases The Production of Red Blood Cells
In 1934, Dr. P Rothemund discovered that, “chlorophyll stimulated the synthesis of red blood cells in a variety of animals” (Hippocrates Institute). Why are red blood cells important? “The primary role of red blood cells is the transport of respiratory gases” (NIH); That is, blood carries oxygen to tissues, where there, “cells use oxygen to transfer energy stored in food to a usable form...Cells [harness] energy to perform vital functions such as powering muscles (including involuntary muscles such as the heart)” (Science Ing). Blood also carries waste products away from tissues including carbon dioxide; “These functions require adequate amounts of red blood cells in circulation” (NIH).
Be sure to consult your doctor, but “are you feeling weak or fatigued? You may be experiencing symptoms of anemia. Anemia occurs when your red blood cell (RBC) count is low. If your RBC count is low, your body has to work harder to deliver oxygen throughout your body” - oxygen that would be used by your cells to create energy (Healthline). In 1936, “Dr. Arthur Patek conducted a study in which fifteen patients with iron-deficiency anemia were fed different amounts of chlorophyll along with iron. Iron alone had already been shown to reverse this condition, but Patek demonstrated that when chlorophyll and iron were given together, the number of red blood cells and the level of blood hemoglobin increased faster than with iron alone. As stated by Dr. Patek, “this study may serve to encourage the use of a diet ample in greenstuff” (Hippocrates Institute).
2) Cancer Fighter
Especially if you eat a lot of red meat, (cooked meat releases toxins that increase colon cancer risks), a study out of Oregon State University, “found that chlorophyll...can bind to potential carcinogens and interfere with how they’re absorbed within the human gastrointestinal track. This helps stop them from being circulated throughout the body and reaching susceptible tissues, such as those within the joints or heart” (Draxe).
3) Other Benefits
Chlorophyll in studies has been linked to improving liver detoxification, it speeds up wound healing, and it has been shown to improve digestion and weight control (Draxe).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Traditionally, “apple cider vinegar is used to remedy digestive distress, aid in detoxification, and to reduce intestinal bloating” (Holistic Ingredient). Per an NIH study, “unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is known to improve digestion by stimulating bowel movement. 'The Mother' (the cloudy strings floating in the bottle) contains pectin and probiotics, which help flush out toxins and regulate stool. Additionally, pectin decreases LDL cholesterol levels, and the acetic acid found in vinegar speeds up the fat burning process. If you drink it regularly before breakfast, it suppresses the appetite, aids weight loss, soothes the gastrointestinal tract, and prevents stomach bloat, cramps and gas” (NIH).
There are advantages to drinking apple cider vinegar right before a meal. In week 7, I touched on the importance of paying attention to how many grams of carbohydrates you eat a day; As you intake carbs, the body breaks them down to sugar. Sugars enter the blood, and as a result blood sugar levels increase and hormones that signal cells to store sugar and fat are set off (Harvard). It turns out that, “drinking a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, diluted in water, before a meal will help you control your blood sugar levels” (BBC).
In a 2016 study, participants were asked “to eat two bagels, after having fasted overnight. [Doctors] measured their blood sugar levels before and after eating and, as [they] expected, bagel consumption was followed by a large and rapid rise in their blood sugar levels. The next day [doctors] asked them to consume another two bagels, but this time [they were asked] to knock back a diluted shot of apple cider vinegar just before doing so. It turned out that the cider vinegar...had a big impact, reducing the amount of sugar in the volunteers' blood by 36% over 90 minutes. This could be because the acetic acid in the cider vinegar suppresses the breakdown of starches, which means that if you consume it before a carb-rich meal, less sugar will get absorbed” (BBC).
Green Tea Extract Drops
Green tea extract is a more concentrated form of green tea - on the Well, There’s This wellness shop, I carry green tea extract drops where one serving is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea. Taking green extract drops is so easy, I take a dropper and chase it with a glass of chlorophyll water in the morning. Studies have shown the benefits of green tea include the fact that it is high in antioxidants and thus, “helps reduce oxidative stress by fighting cell damage caused by free radicals. This cell damage is associated with aging and several diseases”, consumption improves heart health, it protects brain cells, it can help with weight management, green tea extract may help with inflammation of the liver, it reduces the risk of cancer, it is good for skin health, and more (NIH and Healthline).
My aunt starts her day off with a cup of hot water and this is probably where I get it from. To my hot water I add lemon however and benefits include reducing appetite which I most often need to finish off my 15 hours of fasting from the night before; “The polyphenols in lemon may aid in reducing appetite," explains registered dietician Erin Palinski-Wade (RD) . You can enjoy this cocktail hot or cold but “according to ancient Chinese medicine and Indian culture, starting the day with a glass of hot water helps kick-start the digestive system” (RD). Starting my day off with water also puts me on my way to being hydrated.
(Be sure to consult your doctor before changing your diet or adding any of the following to your regime.)