It is time to rethink coffee a “plant-based medicine” (Natural Solutions Magazine). On a recent Goop podcast, Dr. Steven Gundry remarked that, “people who drink 5 or more cups of coffee a day have almost no sign of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's”; Important note, “you can't put milk in coffee because it binds [away the advantages] - you can put coconut milk instead” (Goop).
So what is it about coffee, wine, blueberries and other dark compounds that are proven to help keep our brain alive for the long term? These food favorites are high in polyphenols.
What is a Polyphenol?
In a nutshell polyphenols are antioxidants; “Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens. In the last decade, there has been much interest in the potential health benefits of dietary plant polyphenols as antioxidant. [Studies show] that long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offer protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases” (NIH).
An argument to adopt a plant-based diet, I think so; Polyphenols are, “powerful antioxidant chemicals found naturally in many plants [and] are instrumental in protecting our cells from free radical damage, which are often attributed to chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and dementia” (Women's Health Magazine)
How Best To Take Your Coffee: Bulletproof
Skip the morning muffin for ... coffee, butter, oil.
The official morning drink of Silicon Valley, the best brain boosting way to take your coffee is to ask your local barista for a bulletproof coffee.
Bulletproof coffee is, “a high-performance drink that has a massive impact on your energy and cognitive function” (Bulletproof). The concoction is made up of coffee, organic unsalted grass fed butter and MCT oils - yes you put butter in your coffee.
The mix’s listed benefits are said to, “[trigger] weight loss by way of ketosis, a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive; it kills pesky cravings; and it boosts cognitive function, mainlining a shining dose of mental clarity into your foggy morning skull” (Fast Company).
You do not take bulletproof coffee with any milk, the mix of the three ingredients actually comes out quite frothy and creamy. The energy and feeling of full it provides helps elongate the need to break fast too soon in the morning - especially if you are intermittent fasting, counting carbs or avoiding sugar, consider this morning alternative. I covered the many benefits of intermittent fasting in week 2 of Well, There's This.
Other Sources of Polyphenols
Still not a fan of coffee? Try incorporating these foods below with high polyphenol content.
Herbs and Spices
Dark chocolate (pure cocoa is best, I have an option on the Well,
There's This wellness shop)
Extra virgin olive oil