Sometimes all we need is a good, strong cup of coffee to start the day. Whether your reason for reaching for that cup is for the taste, the caffeine, the smell or its health benefits, for many of us the day doesn’t really start until our coffee cups are empty.
Is coffee healthy?
This is a loaded question. For many individuals, yes, coffee is a healthy addition to your daily meal plan. In fact, research shows that coffee is likely associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and several cancers. However, for some, caffeine found in coffee can have negative effects on the body and coffee creamers and flavorings can add unnecessary calories.
Ideally, we’d pick a good quality coffee bean and drink our coffee black since sweeteners and creamers can quickly compromise its health and nutritional value.
7 coffee boosters
If coffee is a must for you, add even more health benefits to your cup with the right coffee boosters.
By adding a touch of grass-fed butter to your coffee instead of cream or sugar, you’re likely to get a welcome boost of energy – especially if you’re following a keto diet. On top of that, you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in coffee more efficiently and benefit fully from the healthy fats in the grass-fed butter itself. Try using a hand blender if you want to create a frothy, latte-like style coffee.
Originating from Peru, maca root is related to radishes and turnips, resembles a parsnip, and has a flavor profile similar to that of butterscotch. The plant’s popularity has rocketed in recent years due to its aphrodisiac qualities and a myriad of health benefits. If you add the powdered form of maca to your coffee, you can enjoy enhanced energy levels, better physical performance and improved stamina (in and outside of the bedroom!).
Using a nut-based creamer, like almond milk, is an easy way to avoid any unnecessary calories. As many coffee creamers now contain inflammatory agents such as sugar and hydrogenated oils, swapping regular dairy for nut milk can help balance inflammation levels. This will also nourish your body with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Other equally delicious alternatives include coconut, cashew and oat – just make sure to buy plain, unsweetened varieties for a genuinely healthy substitute.
Next time you grab a coffee from your local coffee shop, you may wanna give that cinnamon shaker a second glance. Not only does the flavor complement coffee beautifully, but cinnamon has also been shown to lower glucose levels after a meal — helping to stabilize type 2 diabetes. Small amounts of the spice are healthy but use it sparingly, as when eaten in excess can result in adverse effects, such as liver damage.
Adding spices to your coffee is a great way to include natural sweetness and up your antioxidant levels, minus the sugar or calories. Other spices you can experiment with are anti-inflammatory turmeric and anti-microbial cardamom.
Similar to gelatin, collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals and is usually in a lot of wintery bone broths. Change your coffee routine up and sprinkle a scoop of collagen powder to your cup for a coffee booster that’ll help you stock up on protein from the get-go. Rich in amino acids, collagen is known to reduce joint pain, aid tissue repair and keep your skin soft and hydrated.
From helping with weight loss to improving gut health, coconut oil is a pretty impressive nutritional all-rounder. Just like adding grass-fed butter to your coffee, coconut oil works in a similar fashion, allowing the healthy fats to be absorbed more readily. On top of that, the tropical flavor of coconut makes it much easier to drop those artificial, sugar syrups.
Alternatively, if coconut oil isn’t your thing, then try tahini or macadamia butter. They are both rich in flavors that blend perfectly with coffee.
Try making your own homemade version of caffè mocha by combining a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to your cup of coffee. It’ll give you all the satisfaction, without the extra sugar. Loaded with antioxidants, cocoa has been proven to reduce heart disease as well as balance out cholesterol. Enjoy it sugar-free, or drizzle a bit of maple syrup if you’re feeling indulgent.
Healthy Alternatives to Coffee
If you don’t drink coffee now, you don’t need to start just for health’s sake. There are a number of healthy alternatives to coffee — perfect for those who don’t love the stuff and for those looking to cut down — that’ll add some excitement to your mornings.
If you’re looking to lower your coffee consumption, brewed chocolate will lend you a similar brewed experience to coffee, but without the caffeine. It boasts that intense roasted flavor, a deep brown color and all the richness of a satisfying, hot coffee.
This one is a quiet winner when it comes to weaning off caffeine. It’s a herbal alternative to coffee made out of a blend of roasted grains, herbs, fruits and nuts that are ground to brew and taste just like the real thing.
Using dandelion root, flowers and stems, you can create a wonderfully healthy alternative to coffee. If you aren’t sure it’ll hit the spot, you’ll be surprised how similar it tastes (minus the acidity and bitterness). Plus it has contains of vitamins A, K and C.
This herbal drink is made from dried yerba mate leaves, in the same way as tea. This drink tastes similar to green tea and will give you that coffee-buzz with slightly less caffeine content and some amino acids thrown into the mix too. It also helps you focus more and will impact your sleep less.
Wake up and smell the coffee
There are so many cool coffee combinations out there that why stick to your regular coffee routine? Jazz your java up with creamy ingredients and tasty spices, and indulge in some hot and healthy satisfying goodness. Bye bye Starbucks, hello mouthwatering homemade beverage!