Ask any American you meet and you’ll likely find that they consider coffee an essential part of their diet. Not only does it keep us alert, but most of us have grown so accustomed to our favorite beverage that we can’t function without it. While it does have inherent health benefits, we can certainly go overboard with the number of additives we put in our morning cup of “Joe.”
How to Make Coffee for Health Benefits
Many of us drink at least one cup of this stuff a day, but often fail to consider how we can make or caffeine routines healthier. Looking to kick start your day with a boost of energy that is also good for you? Keep reading.
1. Take it Black
There’s a reason that some people drink their coffee black. While Starbucks makes a killing with all the milk, sugar, and syrups they pour into their drinks, the secret to a healthy cup of “Joe” is keeping it simple.
If you’d like to cut your calories, taking it black is your best bet. Without any extra additives, you’ll be enjoying it in its purest form; this ensures you take in less than 10 calories with every 8-ounce cup.
However, making the jump from your favorite drink to freshly brewed grounds might be a bit challenging if you’re used to ordering sweet drinks. The taste will be bitter at first, but your taste buds can learn to adapt to the flavor of this simple beverage.
2. Go for Almond Milk
If you can safely consume nut milk, almond milk should be your coffee’s best friend. This milk is your healthiest option when it comes to finding a dairy alternative for your coffee.
Compared to whole milk, almond milk will bring your daily fix to just under 100 calories for each serving.
Coffee lovers that aren’t used to drinking almond milk will find that though its consistency is a bit thinner, it tastes relatively similar to regular milk. If you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your drink, consider trying the different varieties of almond milk. However, keep in mind that most of the flavors aren’t sugar-free.
Some people that really latch on to drinking almond milk want to make their own. Doing this will definitely make your cup of java that much healthier. With some soaked almonds, filtered water, and a lot of patience, you’ll have your own almond milk.
3. Say “No” to Artificial Creamers
The word “artificial” shouldn’t be included in the same sentence as your creamer. Made with many artificial additives and a lot of sugar, these creamers are one of the worst things to include in your drink. Though you may not notice all these unhealthy additions as you drink your morning cuppa, your body certainly will.
The fake flavors that are part of so many creamers may smell like the real deal, but they certainly aren’t. Many of these creamers contain chemicals that are responsible for the flavor, as well as the shelf life of these products. Filled with mold inhibitors like dipotassium phosphate and sodium stearoyl lactylate, these creamers have little to no redeeming qualities about them.
If you are set on picking up a dairy-free creamer, do your best to avoid the generic brands. Do your research and find organic, unprocessed creamers that are made with your health in mind.
4. Brew Your Own Organic Drink
We understand your desire to run to your local cafe and grab your favorite beverage. It’s quick, easy, and tastes oh-so-good.
However, if you’re looking for a drink that is both convenient and healthy, you don’t have to go further than your own kitchen. Sure, you’ll have to press a few buttons and maybe even grind your own beans, but the reward is worth it.
When brewing your own coffee for health benefits, you know exactly what is going into your cup. While your favorite cafe may advertise its own drinks as being healthy and environmentally-friendly, there really is no way to know what exactly goes into their drinks.
Moreover, when you’re trying to cut back on the calories, going into your favorite local cafe may be too tempting. When you’re home with nothing but the machine and beans, it’s pretty difficult to pack on any extra calories.
Additionally, once you start brewing your own java, you’re in control of the beans that you use. With certified organic beans, you can trust that the beans are free of any harmful chemicals or pesticides.
5. Start Using Cinnamon
Cinnamon and coffee are one of the greatest duos of all time. This blend of flavors is heaven for your taste buds and is also an excellent way to boost the health benefits of your morning cuppa. If you miss the flavor of your favorite cafe’s signature drink, a sprinkling of cinnamon should help ease the pain.
According to experts, cinnamon can reduce any inflammation in the body. Moreover, adding cinnamon is also thought to improve the health of your heart and it has been known to help stabilize your body’s blood sugar.
As you spice up your cup of java with cinnamon, don’t go overboard. Certain adverse side effects can occur with too much cinnamon. Just a few dashes of this spice is all you need.
6. Embrace the Chocolaty Goodness
For some reason, when we think “healthy,” we automatically banish any fun foods from our minds. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case with chocolate.
While chocolate can get a little too sweet at times, pairing the right type of chocolate with your drink will make getting caffeinated that much more exciting. When searching for the best chocolate to add to your cup, it’s best to go with dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa. In moderation, these chocolaty additions have amazing health benefits.
Regularly consuming dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa can help prevent cancer and balance your cholesterol. Similarly, the double whammy of caffeine and chocolate allows for increased productivity and quicker response rates.
In addition to the boost that chocolate gives caffeine, it can also help reduce any of caffeine’s negative effects. If you often feel jittery or anxious after consuming caffeine, the chocolate addition can help reduce these anxiety-inducing effects.
That’s good news for mocha lovers everywhere.
7. Experiment with a Bit of Butter
Bulletproof coffee is still a thing. This buttery trend, known to its fans as Bulletproof coffee, took off a few years ago.
You can concoct your own Bulletproof drink by adding grass-fed, unsalted butter to your cup of morning motivation. This crazy concoction will boost your energy, without any added cream or sugar.
Essentially, you’ll be making a latte with this Bulletproof method. All you need is the butter and an immersion blender to whip up your first batch.
In addition to being creamer-free, this Bulletproof recipe has been known to trigger weight loss through ketosis, stave off cravings, and boost cognitive function. This is due, in part, to the number of calories that are in the butter.
8. Don’t Drink Caffeine Before Eating Anything
Having your daily caffeinated beverage prior to eating anything may seem like a quick way to start the day, but in reality, it’s incredibly unhealthy.
Getting into the habit of guzzling down caffeine without anything in your stomach can damage your stomach’s lining and cause caffeine-related anxiety to increase dramatically.
Moreover, having a rush of caffeine on your empty stomach can force you to vomit and no one wants to begin their day that way. Though it may take a bit of extra effort, make sure to grab a bite before you start drinking your daily dose. This will help you stay healthy and alert throughout the rest of the day.
9. Get Into Golden Lattes
These golden lattes are all over Instagram and in the hippest cafes in your city. This bright yellow beverage is full of health benefits, thanks to its number one ingredient: turmeric.
The turmeric in golden lattes is what makes this drink so magical. This spice can boost your immunity as it is loaded with antioxidants. Similarly, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help to fight joint pain and inflammation.
Golden lattes are also thought to increase your cognitive function. The ingredients in these lattes help to preserve your memory and even prevent you from developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
In addition to turmeric, golden lattes often contain ginger and cinnamon, which have powerful antioxidant properties as well.
10. Consider Cold Brew
Cold brew may be the latest trend in our caffeine-crazy world, but there’s a reason so man people have jumped on the cold brew trend.
With cold brew, coarsely-ground beans are steeped in cold water for almost 24 hours. This process allows the cold brew to maintain a higher number of antioxidants than the traditionally brewed beverage. Once the grounds are filtered out, the concentrated concoction must be diluted before you can drink it.
Cold brew lovers point to the fact that cold brew is less acidic than the regular kind, which makes it easier on the stomach for anyone who deals with acid reflux.
This lack of acidity helps make the cold brew sweeter in comparison to its hotter counterpart. This natural sweetness almost eliminates the need for sugar or any other additives, dramatically reducing the number of calories in one cup of cold brew.
Final Thoughts on Coffee for Health Benefits
Though many of us turn to our favorite caffeinated beverage to help us wake up each morning, using coffee for health benefits can do so much more for us. To really take advantage of the majority of its benefits, it’s best to strip the drink down and keep it simple.
Don’t detract from your java’s wonderful health benefits by packing on the unnecessary calories and unhealthy additives. If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle and drink a cleaner cup of coffee, be sure to keep these 10 tips in mind.