Coffee is good for you. For many people, it is actually the single largest source of antioxidants in the diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables… combined (1, 2). Here are a few tips to turn your coffee from healthy… to super healthy.
1. No Caffeine After 2PM
Caffeine is a stimulant. This is one of the main reasons we enjoy coffee so much… the caffeine gives us a jolt of energy and helps us stay awake when we feel tired. But if we drink coffee late in the day, this can interfere with our sleep, but poor sleep can cause all sorts of problems (3, 4). For this reason, it is important not to drink coffee late in the day. If you must, choose decaf or opt for a cup of tea instead, which has much less caffeine than coffee. Abstaining from coffee after 2-3 p.m. is a good guideline, depending on the time you go to bed and how sensitive you are to the caffeine.
2. Don’t Load Your Coffee With Sugar
It is very easy to turn coffee into something completely unsuitable for human consumption. The best way to do that is to put a whole bunch of sugar in it, which is arguably the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Sugar, mainly due to the high amount of fructose, can cause all sorts of serious diseases like obesity and diabetes (5, 6). If you can’t imagine living your life without a sweetener in your coffee, use Stevia.
3. Choose a Quality Brand, Preferably Organic
Just like it is with other foods, the quality of the product can vary greatly depending on the processing method and how it was grown. Coffee beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and various toxins that were never intended for human consumption. For this reason, I recommend that you choose organic coffee whenever possible.
4. Don’t Use Artificial Sweeteners
Putting artificial sweeteners in your coffee instead of sugar might seem like a good idea, given that they’re calorie free. But the evidence doesn’t support it. Multiple observational studies associate artificial sweeteners with all sorts of health problems (7, 8). For this reason, do not put artificial sweeteners in your coffee. Again, Stevia is a natural alternative, but really… unsweetened coffee is wonderful if you just give yourself some time to get used to it.
5. Add Some Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a tasty herb that mixes particularly well with the flavor of coffee. Studies show that cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics (9). If you need some flavor, try adding a dash of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly good.
6. Avoid Low-Fat & Artificial Creamers
The commercial low-fat and artificial creamers you might come across tend to be highly processed and full of unnatural, harmful ingredients. High fructose corn syrup and trans fats are likely suspects, as well as others. I recommend you avoid these like the plague. Instead, consider adding some full-fat cream, preferably from grass-fed cows. Studies show that high-fat dairy products are actually associated with a reduced risk of obesity (10).
7. Add Some Cocoa
Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and associated with all sorts of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease (11). If you want some flavor in your coffee, try adding a little organic unsweetened cocoa to your cup.
8. Brew Your Coffee Using a Paper Filter
Brewed coffee may contain harmful substances known as diterpenes, which can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. However, getting rid of them is simple… just use a paper filter. Brewing coffee with a paper filter effectively removes all the diterpenes, but lets the caffeine and beneficial antioxidants pass through (12).
Article by Kris Gunnars