How much do you love that first morning cup of joe? It’s warm and comforting. No matter whats ahead or how bad last night was I know that cup of coffee is going to give me that “I’m ok” feeling even if just for that first sip. But someone has come along and told you it’s not healthy or you have a condition where caffeine is no longer something your body can tolerate. Say it isn’t so!!!
For those of you who can have coffee, whether in moderation or daily, this is for you.
Let’s make coffee healthy. Coffee has such high levels of antioxidants and essential nutrients you don't have to feel guilty about having a cup. Think of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese and potassium. Sounds healthy right? All in that cup of joe! Some studies have linked coffee to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, alzheimer’s and even some types of cancer (like skin cancer). So how can you maximize these benefits?
Check out my awesome spiced coffee recipe, great for those days when you want to add a little something special. Why not try it over ice or blend it with ice to make a smoothie!
First off you need to make your own - no Starbucks sorry. You can set a timer and prep it the night before. It’s so easy. Want to make it fun? Setup your own little coffee bar with some yummy add-ins. Spices, fancy milk substitutes, frothy fun making devices...Make Saturday and Sunday mornings fun in your house. If you enjoy a cinnamon dolce latte then figure out what you need to recreate this. Almond milk, cinnamon and a little coconut sugar perhaps? Use the ingredients you know are healthier than the highly processed ingredients and an overdose of sugar. You can even add in some maca powder or a little raw cacao powder to make it a mocha! So delish.
Did I mention I have a wicked spiced coffee recipe?
Buy organic, I know this should be a given but I feel the need to say it. You don't want residue or pesticides left on those tasty little beans right?
Use filtered water if you can. When you filter your water you are removing some pretty nasty stuff, potential health risks and future health issues all go down the drain when you filter. Let’s get rid of the fluoride and chlorine from your water, trust me, your coffee will taste so much better. Speaking of filters, if you are using a coffee filter to brew your coffee make sure it is not chlorine bleached.
Ditch the fake creamers and sugary additives. If you drink it black then great! but if you are like me and enjoy cream go for organic. When it comes to sugar I ditched it completely, but if you need to add sugar try to limit it and use the healthiest option possible (I like raw coconut sugar). You can even swap out your dairy for a non dairy alternative, try almond milk or coconut milk. These have a higher concentration of heart healthy, plant based fats. Try adding some healthy Manuka honey or my personal favourite coconut butter, this makes it rich and creamy with a nutrient rich boost and delicious flavour.
Don't forget to munch while you drink. So many people do this wrong. Did you know that coffee sends a signal to your body that prompts the release of sugar into the blood stream. You start to secrete insulin, this means it triggers the conversion to glucose which we convert into energy. So drinking coffee as a replacement for breakfast means you will likely get a spike and then sudden crash of energy, that’s not ideal. If you really can't handle a big breakfast why not try one of my overnight oatmeal or quinoa jars? Those are easy, great on the go and you can make them ahead.
But what about the studies showing a higher mortality rate from drinking coffee? Here is where it can get confusing for people.For every study stating it’s bad you can find one saying it’s good. There are some things that you should be watching out for though.
I'm sure very few of you have heard of Ochratoxin A, a by product of two fungi found in coffee. It's not only a neurotoxin but also a genotoxin, immunosuppressant, and carcinogen. Sounds great eh? Not so much. It can damage kidneys and since there is no limit in some countries (like the US), there is concern regarding contaminated beans. So how do you avoid this? Roasting beans may destroy most of the ochratoxin A, although it is not guaranteed to get rid of it completely. Another way to avoid this toxin is to buy organic from a high end source that you trust. If a supplier buys green coffee beans free of the toxin and then rapidly dry to avoid the mould you can then be assured you are on the right track. At the end of the day I’m more concerned with eating organic and non GMO than I am about stressing over my coffee beans. Yes I buy organic, the rest I just don't stress over. I just wanted to share the info in case you wanted to know, but don't obsess over it.
So what about all my articles where I voice concerns reading coffee intake and high blood pressure, osteoporosis, excess stomach acid (although most of us are actually suffering from too little according to recent studies), decrease in your swimmers (low sperm count fellas), cancer due to acrylamide (a toxic byproduct from exposing to high heat), adrenal fatigue and exhaustion (this is a big one), anxiety, insomnia, perimenopause and menopause accompanied with hot flashes and some gut issues? Well when you fall into these categories then I tend to advise reducing or even eliminating your coffee intake. However a dark roast certainly does inhibit the pro-inflammatory pathway that is linked to muscle aging and inflammation. Not sure where you stand? Perhaps a little gut healing could put you back on the track to enjoying that cup of joe you so desperately miss, want to know how? Schedule a consult and let's chat!