Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and for good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has been linked with a host of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But not all coffee is created equal. The way your coffee is brewed, the type of beans used, and even the way it’s roasted can all affect the end result.
Here are a few tips to make sure your coffee is as healthy as possible.
Hot or cold brew
If you want more antioxidants in your coffee, stick with hot-brewed coffee. The extraction of antioxidants from coffee beans requires a certain amount of heat, making hot-brewed coffee a better choice.
Cold-brewed coffee generally has a higher caffeine content than hot coffee but is less acidic.
So if you’re sensitive to caffeine you might want to stick with hot, if you suffer from acid reflux, go with a cold brew.
Drink your coffee black
If you’re looking to cut some calories from your day without sacrificing food, consider drinking black coffee. Black coffee, including espresso, has around 10 calories per cup.
While it can be bitter, your taste buds will adjust to the bold flavour. The best way to learn how to like black coffee is by slowly reducing the amount of dairy you add to it. Start by noting how much cream or milk you add to your typical cup of coffee. Then, the next day, add a little less. Repeat this process until you’re used to the flavour of coffee without any additives.
Skip the sugar
You may be in it for the caffeine, but coffee is full of antioxidants. One cup has 200–550 milligrams of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, a compound that helps your body process fat and sugar.
If you pile in the sugar though, you could be eliminating any benefits.
Added sugar can wreak havoc on your body and is linked to many serious diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
Opt for a small cup when you do indulge
It’s okay to indulge in a flavoured latte or sweetened seasonal drink once in a while, just opt for the small cup instead of the large one.
Choose an organic coffee
Organic coffee is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, or fertilisers. Organic coffee beans should not be genetically modified, treated with additives, or synthetic ingredients.
Conventional coffee that is non-organic is treated with many chemicals and toxic ingredients, so it’s safe to say that organic coffee is the healthier, better option for you. Because it’s not treated with toxins, organic coffee can be higher in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Sprinkle on some cinnamon
Coffee and cinnamon go very well together. But, along with tasting great, studies show that cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in people with diabetes.
For health benefits, cassia cinnamon, which is typically sold in supermarkets, has been more widely studied than Ceylon cinnamon. But scientists say Ceylon cinnamon is likely safer in very high doses than supermarket cinnamon.
Add some cocoa
Cocoa is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage. It also contains flavonoids, which have been linked to lower risks of heart disease and stroke.
Cocoa also contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, which can give you a little boost of energy.
If you’re a mocha fan, add a dash of unsweetened cocoa powder to your coffees at home and skip the added sugar.
Try a mushroom coffee
Mushroom coffee isn’t made of mushrooms – it’s coffee plus mushroom extract, typically from lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps, or reishi mushrooms. It has less caffeine and doubles down on the inflammation-reducing antioxidants, so it’s good for you as long as you don’t load it down with sugar and dairy.
What’s your go-to coffee in the morning? How do you make your coffee healthier? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?