Tag Archives: health

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The good, the bad and the bean of coffee consumption

The one thing the majority of people have on their minds in the morning when they first wake up is coffee. The average American drinks about three cups of coffee per day, according to a 2010 report by the National Coffee Association.

Each year, the U.S. spends more than $40 billion on coffee.

With so much coffee consumption, the question of its benefits and risks arise.

The immediate and obvious benefit of coffee is energy from the caffeine. Coffee accounts for about 75 percent of caffeine consumption in the U.S.

Aside from the boost of energy, recent Harvard studies have proven that drinking coffee regularly can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and gallstones. It also lowers rates of the progression of liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Another study out of Harvard showed that coffee could reduce the risk for depression. The 2011 research showed that women who had four or more cups of coffee a day lowered their risk for depression by 20 percent.

Coffee is laded with essential vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B2, B3, B5 and magnesium. It also contains more fighting antioxidants than broccoli and blueberries.

While there are a number of benefits to coffee, there are also downsides.

One of the most common ones is stained teeth. Coffee falls into the cracks and ridges of teeth, which can cause a yellowing appearance.

To avoid this, dentists recommend consuming coffee during breaks rather than throughout the day. Also, rinse your mouth when you’re finished with your cup to wash the pigments of coffee from your teeth.

A common misconception that revolves around the prevention of stained teeth is to add cream. Studies disprove this notion and say that adding cream does not prevent stained teeth.

Another downside pertains solely to pregnant women. While studies are not conclusive, research suggests that women who drink high amounts of caffeine increase their risk for late miscarriage or stillbirth.

In addition, over 60 percent of people consume their coffee with creams and sugars to add flavor. This causes additional calories.

An eight-ounce cup of straight black coffee only has two calories. Adding in heavy cream and sugar can take those two calories and turn it into 102 calories. While that might not seem like much for people who drink one or two cups a day, the calories slowly start to build up for chronic coffee drinkers.

The average crop of coffee beans is coated in pesticides, so organic coffee is a healthier and safer route. If you prefer decaf, ensure that the caffeine was removed without utilizing chemicals.

The upsides of coffee tend to outweigh the downs. Here’s to the drink that keeps our lives moving.


Arizona Lottery Breaks Sales Records

The Arizona Lottery reports a record-breaking $724 million in sales, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, and the highest amount in the Arizona Lottery’s 33-year history.

Lottery beneficiaries received more than $175 million in net funding during the year. As a result of revenues for beneficiaries increasing 33 percent over the past five years, fiscal year 2014 marks the fifth consecutive year that every beneficiary designated by the Arizona Legislature received full funding.

Lottery dollars support a wide variety of programs under four main pillars: education, health and public welfare, economic and business development, and the environment, benefitting cities and towns throughout all of Arizona’s 15 counties.

Players received a huge payout with nearly $460 million in Arizona Lottery prizes, including 17 winning tickets each worth $1 million or more.

Arizona Lottery retailers big and small earned more than $48 million in commissions during the year from the sale of Lottery tickets, also a record amount.

“Generating essential funding for important state programs, while benefitting the state’s retailers, speaks to the Lottery’s commitment to enrich the lives of all Arizona residents,” said Jeff Hatch-Miller, executive director of the Arizona Lottery. “We are proud to report record-breaking sales for the seventh consecutive year and are already working toward surpassing this record by introducing innovative games to engage new audiences, while continuing to provide a wide range of choices for our core players.”

Director Hatch-Miller credits much of fiscal year 2014’s success to a surge in Scratchers® sales, which totaled more than $483.9 million for the year. The introduction of the popular Lucky Life Scratchers series greatly contributed to the year’s strong ticket sales.

The addition of the new All or NothingTM draw game and a revamp of Mega Millions® also contributed to fiscal year 2014’s financial success. All or Nothing is the first Arizona Lottery draw game offering players the chance to win $25,000 twice daily, Monday through Saturday, by matching all or matching none of the drawn numbers. The Mega Millions game was redesigned in October to have larger starting jackpots, faster-growing jackpots, a $1 million second prize and better odds of winning any prize – all for the same price of $1 per ticket.

In fiscal year 2015, the Arizona Lottery plans to introduce additional new games, beginning with the September launch of $185 Million Cash Explosion, a new Scratchers ticket that offers the highest payout ever for a $20 Arizona Lottery ticket.

Players must be 21 years or older to purchase or redeem tickets. Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize at an Arizona Lottery office or by mail. Overall odds vary by game. All sales are final. In accordance with the ADA, these materials may be made available in an alternative format. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.NEXT STEP (1-800-639-8783). Please Play Responsibly™. Scratchers® is a registered service mark of the California Lottery.