Coffee has always been in the eye of the storm, subject of countless debates and research and studies. Unfortunately, nothing has been proven conclusively and researchers are still puzzled whether coffee is good or bad for one’s health. While we await the verdict, there are definitely ways to make this beverage healthier.
Avoid Refined Sugar
This is a no-brainer. Popular coffee places come up with innovative drinks to beat the competition. From brightly colored vibrant drinks to concoctions using spices, these cafes leave no stone unturned to woo their customers.
In the excitement of trying out all these drinks, people forget one important thing: sugar. Quite often, these beverages are loaded with refined sugar. Downing coffee from such places could result in the drink piling inches on your waistline. The ‘low calorie’ versions often contain artificial sweeteners, which can be as bad as refined sugar.
Opt for a sugar-free coffee to enjoy the health benefits of the drink. If you simply can’t enjoy your coffee unsweetened, try using some stevia to add sweetness. Organic sugars like raw honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup can also be a good substitute for refined sugar and artificial sweetners.
Avoid Artificial Dairy Whiteners
Artificial creamers are as bad for the health as artificial sweeteners. Artificial dairy whiteners are made from corn syrup solids and trans-fat items like hydrogenated oils. These creamers also contain a host of preservatives.
Swap out the artificial creamer for real cream. Choose an organic brand that offers full-fat cream. Full-fat cream not only soothes your digestion, thanks to butyric acid, it also contains Vitamin K2. According to studies, Vitamin K2 protects the body from heart diseases and even cancer. Quite contrary to the popular belief, full-fat cream could actually aid in weight loss.
Use the Best Beans and Filtered Water
Get the most from your coffee by using premium quality items. This will not only make your coffee taste divine, but you can be assured to really enjoy the health benefits offered.
Begin with clean, filtered water. Also, the quality of your coffee beans can make a world of difference. Spend some extra bucks on purchasing organic coffee beans. Purchasing organic coffee beans could be a healthier shift considering that most coffee plantations use high levels of pesticide. With organic beans, you don’t have to worry about the chemicals. Buy whole beans and grind them by yourself. Coffee beans start turning rancid when they react with moisture and oxygen, losing antioxidants. Make it a habit to freshly grind your coffee beans for a fresh and healthy twist.
Add a Dash of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is the spice a coffee lover cannot stop talking about. It is impossible to not like cinnamon flavored coffee! It’s the best comfort drink in cold and dreary weather.
Just a dash of cinnamon can add antioxidants to your favorite beverage. Furthermore, cinnamon also helps control blood sugar and has been well-known for its medicinal values. Diabetics should definitely add a pinch of cinnamon to their cups as it lowers the serum glucose level. Cinnamon also aids in cutting back on the sugar that would have otherwise been added to your coffee.
Coffee After Meals
While you may think coffee is a great way to start your day, the drink is actually more effective after a hearty breakfast. This is because the bodily response to caffeine is secretion of insulin. The insulin processes the glucose present in the bloodstream. If you haven’t had a meal or a snack with or before your coffee, your body will start feeling exhausted due to the low blood sugar levels. Having coffee on an empty stomach would actually have the exact opposite effect than what you planned! Moreover, since coffee can suppress the appetite, you wouldn’t even realize the body’s need for food until the effect wears off.
Boost Tissue Repair with Coffee
Collagen supplements in the form of powders are now easily available in major health stores and even online e-commerce websites. They also go well with your regular cup of coffee. Collagen is a rich source of glycine, which is an amino acid that can strengthen your body. Moreover, the health benefits of collagen in skincare are well-known by every beauty enthusiast. Apart from tissue repair, collagen also provides alleviation from the pain in the joints and controls inflammation.
For an extra kick and to tone down the bitterness, add a blob of organic butter to your coffee. This coffee preparation was suggested in the popular and widely trending Bulletproof Diet. Using grass-fed butter can not only give your brain a boost but it also acts as a pick-me-up drink which is loaded with energy.
If you are a skeptic of adding butter, substitute with some coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats. Various studies have shown links between medium-chain triglycerides, a healthy fat present in coconut oil, with improved weight loss. Coconut oil can also keep your brain in prime condition and protect it from diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Just remember to blend the fats in since it will not mix entirely with your coffee.
Choco Your Coffee
Chocolate and coffee can never go wrong! But stop right there before you go adding Hershey’s chocolate syrup to your coffee. Instead, opt for organic, unsweetened cocoa to get the chocolaty taste in your coffee.
Just a small teaspoon of cocoa can protect you from cancer and heart diseases. Choffy is a brand of brewed hot chocolate that you can switch to if you follow a Paleo or Vegan diet. It tastes like chocolate but is brewed like coffee and is free from gluten, sugar, and any dairy item.
Similarly, Teecino is a herbal coffee, which is absolutely free from caffeine.
While you enjoy the energetic boost offered by coffee, you should keep the 2pm rule in mind, meaning you should restrict your coffee consumption in the latter half of the day. This largely depends on your sleep schedule and the concentration of coffee. However, in the evenings, you should avoid coffee or any product that contains caffeine since it could disturb your sleep cycle.
Choose decaffeinated coffee or tea instead.
Use Paper Filters
Even though reusable coffee filters may seem like an attractive option, they come with problems. Choose recyclable paper filters to brew your coffee instead. Brewed coffee may contain diterpenes, which are harmful substances that can raise blood cholesterol and LDL levels. Paper filters screen out the cafestol and kahweol (common diterpenes) and allow just the caffeine and antioxidants to pass.
Finally, remember that if coffee is part of your daily routine, simply learn to enjoy the drink without the guilt. Stressing about something is not only going to take the fun out of consuming it but also makes it unhealthy owing to the worries. Just limit your coffee consumption and consider some of the tips given above.
With these tricks up your sleeve, you are good to go and brew your next cuppa coffee.