The Darker The Better...

If you've been following this blog you'll know that I enjoy an espresso or two every day after breakfast. This is my daily 'caffeine fix' – a phrase many people often refer to as their coffee intake. I only have a maximum of two espressos a day but some people have asked me how I can drink such a strong, rich and dark form of coffee.

I suspect their concern is the common perception that espresso contains more caffeine than all other forms of coffee. A shot or two of espresso actually contains less caffeine than many people think. In fact, I enjoy it more for its antioxidant benefits than the proverbial nervous system stimulating effects portrayed by popular culture.

In fact, a recent study has even shown that dark roast coffee may help in reducing body weight (obviously combined with proper dieting and exercise) and restoring red blood cell vitamin E and glutathione concentrations.

Now again, I’m not saying go ahead and gorge yourself on coffee. To get the benefits of coffee (especially espresso) limit yourself to just a couple a day…avoid milk and sugar like the plague. If the espresso is made just right, you really shouldn’t need to add anything to it.

I understand that it’s an acquired taste but once you get past the first day, your palate may just start enjoying the flavor and boldness in your mouth…not to mention the health properties associated with espresso.

Like coffee, I only prefer red wine that’s dense and pitch black in color. It’s a good sign that the winemaker did his/her very best to get the full color and phenolic compounds out of the skins…the deeper the color of red wine, the more flavor and ultimately the more benefits you’re likely to get in the long term.

Again, everything in moderation because drinking a whole bottle of red wine a day is more likely to do more harm than good. Instead, limit yourself to one small glass a day.

While we’re on the subject of items that often provoke the wrong headlines…my favorite chocolate shares similar characteristics to my choice of coffee and wine.

Every Sunday, I treat myself to some good quality dark chocolate…usually around 75 to 80% cacao. With significant amounts of more antioxidants and less milk solids and fat than milk chocolate and white chocolate, it’s my ‘healthy’ treat for the week.

There’s nothing wrong with espresso, red wine or dark chocolate…just remember to keep in moderation and not indulge in either one because like the cliché goes… “too much of good thing can be bad for you!”

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