Sunday, August 26, 2007

What about coffee? To drink or not to drink?

My husband and I consider ourselves coffee lovers but that does not make us connoisseurs. We get our coffee beans direct from baguio every now and then. Ours is a mixture of Arabica, Benguet and Barako. Lately though, I haven’t been sleeping very well. I discovered that having two cups of coffee a day (one in the morning and one after lunch) does give me a bit of insomia. In nursing school, I have learned a few things about coffee, its pros and cons to health. And here they are:

The good news:
*Caffeine increases intellectual activity when fatigued or bored.
*Caffeine speeds up fat metabolism during exercise while conserving glycogen and glucose thereby maintaining brain activity and reducing hunger.
*Caffeine prevents crystallization of cholesterol and reduces risk of development of gallstones. Coffee has a protective effect against cirrhosis of the liver.
*Coffee has shown a protective effect against colon cancer likely due to enhanced colonic activity of the colon and antimutagenic components in coffee.
*Coffee may lower the incidence of Parkinson’s disease due to high anti-oxidant activity.
*The theophylline in coffee may be protective against asthma.
*Coffee has four times the anti-oxidants of Green Tea, makes an excellent anti-depressant, and enhances performance and memory.
*Caffeine dilates the arteries of the brain and may counter migraines. (Caffeine is also a cause of migraines.)
*The FDA considers caffeine to be “Generally Recognized as Safe.”
*Coffee may reduce the incidence of kidney stones by increasing the flow of urine and decreasing its concentration.
*Coffee lessens the incidence of bladder cancer in smokers due to its diuretic effect.
*Minerals like magnesium and antioxidants may contribute to coffee being shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
*Coffee has the ability to reduce the release of histamine from mast cells thereby having anti-allergic properties. With all of these conflicting studies, it is apparent that common sense must prevail.

The bad news:
*Coffee, including decaf, has high amounts of vitamin K, which affects coagulability of the blood – bad for people at risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
*Decreases quality of sleep.
*Caffeine may cause problems with blood sugar control after meals for type 2 diabetics.
*Coffee excites more rapid peristaltic movements of the intestines resulting in shorted transit times and less absorption of nutrients.
*Coffee hampers the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and B’s.
*Coffee contributes to caries in the teeth.
*Coffee stimulates more frequent urination and subsequent loss of various vitamins and minerals such as B, C, calcium, iron and zinc.
*Caffeine may aggravate osteoporosis by leaching calcium from the bones.
*Caffeine may increase intraocular pressure in persons with glaucoma.
*Coffee may interfere with proper levels of homocysteine and cholesterol by inhibiting vitamins folate, B12 or B6.
*Coffee is one of most heavily pesticide sprayed crops.
*Caffeine aggravates stress in people who drink it every day.

So, what’s your verdict?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chops in Coke

I really have not thought of a name for this recipe but it has been a frequent dish on our family table. This is when there's nothing inside the freezer to cook but porkchops. Well ladies, I have invented something... a speedy way of turning an unexpected to a miraculous, mouth-watering meal! It's so simple to do... you will find this dish on your table often as well. Happy Coke-ing!


1 Coke Litro
1.5 kls. Porkchops
a couple of bay leaves
1 bulb sweet onion sliced
cracked pepper
salt to taste
a pinch of dried mixed herbs (optional)
1 heapful teaspoon of sweet ginamos (those from the bottle will do. The spicy ones are preferable)
fried garlic for garnishing

In a medium casserole, arrange and spread the chops around. Pour in the Coke, onion and bayleaves. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes until meat is tender. Add in salt, freshly cracked pepper. Just before serving, try to take out the oil that have surfaced then add in the ginamos until evenly mixed. The meat is so tender you can serve immediately with the sauce as a rice topping with sprinkled fried garlic! Yum!