For most people, the morning doesn’t start until they use their coffee grinders and enjoy that first sip of java. Not only does it wake up the brain, but there are other benefits of coffee. It can improve cognitive function. It can also protect you against type 2 diabetes and liver disease. That steaming cup can even decrease the risk of depression.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to turn that healthy, fat-free, one-calorie drink into a fatty sugar bomb of unhealthy calories. How can you take that morning cuppa and make it a healthy powerhouse?
Here are five ways to make your morning cup of coffee that much healthier.
1. Brew with filtered water
You are careful about what water you drink. This should mean that making your morning coffee is just as important. That cup of Joe is 98 percent water, so the type of water you use is key to making your morning java healthier.
Water from the tap can include heavy metals, mercury, and arsenic. Asbestos from water pipes can even be found in drinking water. Over time, these impurities can wreck havoc on your health. The Specialty Coffee Association has posted water standards based on scientific standards. By adding a filter to your faucet, you can reduce the unhealthy impurities that get into your water.
2. Avoid all caffeine after mid-afternoon.
Knowing when to consume caffeine and when to stop can alter the benefits of your favorite brew. Caffeine makes you alert, which is great in the morning. But some people are more sensitive to the energizing affect of this natural stimulant if caffeine is consumed later in the day. Avoiding a cuppa after mid-afternoon could ultimately help you sleep better at night. Studies explain that your circadian rhythm is affected by caffeine.
Studies have also shown that some people have a common genetic mutation that can be slowed down by the consumption of caffeine. The body doesn’t break it down as it should and this can increase the risk of heart disease.
Studies have shown that good sleep is synonymous with good health. The affects of prolonged sleeplessness due to drinking too much coffee too late in the day can lead to weight gain, inflammation and, even type 2 diabetes. Limit when you drink java and you will reap the benefits.
3. Brew only organic java.
Coffee that is certified organic is important for your health. Java that is not organic could have pesticides and other harmful chemicals that, over time, can be very harmful to your health. That morning mug that is grown organically also has the added benefit of being grown in chemical-free soil, giving you more nutritional benefits.
4. Use alternatives to milk and cream.
Milk and cream can start out your day with a lot of fatty calories. What sorts of alternatives are there? Coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk are all easy dairy replacement choices.
Oat water can also be used as an alternative to high-fat creams or highly chemical creamers. It provides a vegan solution for dairy. Oat water is made simply by blending dry oats with filtered water. Just as with oats, oat water can aid in digestion, lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar, and possibly help prevent cancer.
Another favorite alternative to dairy is coconut oil. Not only will this add a tropical twist to your morning brew, but studies have shown that coconut oil can help elevate HDL cholesterol. This is the good cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease and strokes.
5. Spice up your morning Joe.
There are three spices that can make your morning beverage routine healthier and tastier. Use them individually, or combine them for a healthy start to your cup of coffee.
Cardamom is a popular spice trick for caffeine-loving Scandinavians, who likely know of the health properties in this aromatic spice. According to a study on cardamom, the heady spice has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Like its close cousin, ginger, cardamom aids in digestion and calms the tummy and reduces bloating. Besides helping to relieve flu and cold symptoms, cardamon also freshens the breath. Just sprinkle some in your cup, and enjoy the benefits of coffee.
Cayenne pepper is another spice that can make your java healthier. Add a quick dash of cayenne to the grounds before brewing. One cayenne study reveals that the capsaicin in the pepper can help boost your metabolism. That same powerful capsaicin can reduce blood pressure and aid with digestion. That extra spicy kick may also work with java to be that one-two punch you need to wake you up in the morning!
Cinnamon makes your morning brew taste sweeter without adding sugar. According to one study, cinnamon can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Those who already have type 2 diabetes may want to sprinkle some cinnamon into their brew as studies say that the fragrant spice actually helps improve cholesterol.