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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Coffee With Healthful Spices

coffeeThe jury is still out on coffee and whether or not it’s good for you. Or not harmful, at least. Is water-processed decaf as dangerous as chemically-processed decaf? Is that as beneficial as caffeinated?

Being more Euro-oriented in my younger days, I used to laugh at the Americans who needed to have a dusting of cinnamon on their cappuccino’s milky foam. Now the laugh is on me.

Turns out that having a small bit of cinnamon each day is good for one’s health— eliminating cinnamoninfections, improving heart health, preventing some cancers—so I’m now the one occasionally tapping some on top of my froth. And, of course, non-fat milk, foam-only for me….

Chocolate is also a good-for-you treat. Again, use a shaker to place a dash in your java. I had a friend once who served us after-dinner macchiato (like a mini-espresso/cappuccino) with a tiny creamer-sized cup made out of chocolate and filled with cream floating/melting inside the coffee demitasse.

chocolateOh my. Oh my. Delightfully delicious.

Not a bad second to that would be a square of rich, dark chocolate dropped into your coffee cup. But that’s all beyond my caloric reach these days. And last time I checked, chocolate was not a spice. Neither is brandy, so watch yourself-!

Here are a few spices to try, whether in your tea, coffee, hot cocoa, along with others that are not listed here…

Nutmeg – fights fungal infections, prevents macular degeneration, improves hair and skin health;

Cumin – antioxidant, improves digestion, increases red blood cell count, prevents some kinds of spicescancer (I’ve tried this and recommend you put it in yogurt rather than coffee-!);

Allspice – anti-inflammatory, boosting immune system, reducing blood pressure;

Cardamom – the Middle Eastern spice that’s often found in coffee there – increases circulation, lowers blood pressure, increases the metabolism; and

orangeOrange peel zest – regulates cholesterol and improves heart and digestive health, provides fiber and helps to suppress the appetite. And if you don’t like the zest, you can steep some orange peel in hot water, with or without tea, which is also said to assist when fighting bronchitis.

Hey, that’s a new one—coffee with orange zest. Might be worth a try.

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