It’s International Coffee Day today so seeing as I love coffee so much I thought it would be appropriate to share with you my top 10 ways how to make your coffee fix a little bit healthier.
If you love coffee then you will know already how good it is for the soul but it does have a dark side and can easily be abused, so like anything this good, it’s all about balance and moderation.
I like my coffee strong, made with a dash of milk and I limit myself to one cup per day. My morning usually centres around that coffee and as I do only have one I make sure it always good quality.
Refrain from adding sugar to your coffee
Coffee by itself is actually believed to be a healthy beverage, very high in antioxidants. However, many load their coffee with sugar and syrup. I have never understood this - coffee has such a strong, unique flavour that should be enjoyed, not overpowered with sweetness. It’s a bit like eating fillet steak that has been cooked well done…you shouldn’t! Adding sugar to your coffee quickly turns a healthy beverage into an unhealthy one.
Try adding cinnamon instead
One way of overcoming the sugar habit is to add a pinch of cinnamon to your coffee. Cinnamon is a spice that helps to satisfy the sugar craving, giving your coffee a nice, warm flavour. Cinnamon also has many health benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels, is loaded with antioxidants and may lower the risk of heart disease.
Don’t drink coffee after 2pm
Coffee is a rich source of caffeine, which we all know is a stimulant. It can give you a much needed boost in energy and keeps you awake when you are feeling tired. This is great but not when you are trying to sleep at night. If you drink coffee too late in the day, it can interfere with your sleep, and poor sleep leads to all sorts of other health problems. If you are finding you are having problems sleeping then avoiding caffeine late in the day could be one thing to try.
Don’t drink too much coffee
As I mentioned above, drinking a moderate amount of coffee has some health benefits. However, drinking too much coffee can have adverse effects on your health. The recommended amount of coffee you should drink varies, and can depend on many different factors including weight and sensitivity to caffeine. However, my recommendation is that you drink no more than three caffeinated beverages per day.
Add good quality milk to your coffee
Avoid adding artificial creamers to your coffee which can be packed full of nasties and like sugar, make a healthy coffee, unhealthy. Instead use a dash of full fat milk or perhaps a dairy alternative such as coconut milk. If you like your coffee to be creamy then opt for real organic full fat cream. The taste will be better and so is the quality.
Add a spoonful of coconut oil or grass fed butter
Have you heard of the bulletproof coffee? It was designed as part of the bulletproof diet - a high fat, low carb keto diet - to be a high-calorie breakfast replacement. I don’t recommend meal replacement at all but by adding some quality fat to your coffee makes it more substantial and gives you an energy boost plus all the health benefits of the oil or butter. It’s not for everyone, I find it too greasy, but it might be a good way to prevent snacking.
Or even cacao powder
If you still feel like you need some flavour in your coffee, how about adding a spoonful of cacao powder? Cocoa is high in antioxidants and has loads of other health benefits. A caffè mocha without the high sugar content!
Make your coffee good quality and organic
Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world so if you are serious about your coffee it is essential to spend a few extra pennies and buy really good quality, organic beans.
Increase the quality of your water
Our daily coffee is more water than anything else, so if you are using good quality, organic coffee beans why would you not also consider the quality of the water that you are using?
Eat before you drink a cup
Coffee works the best when you have something to eat with it. Not good news for those of you who like to have your first cup coffee on waking up. The reason for this is that your body releases insulin is response to the caffeine found within coffee. This in turn causes a drop in blood sugar levels, which can leave you feeling depleted and tired. Having your coffee with your breakfast or with a small snack is the answer and the best way to gain the health benefits.