On its own coffee is packed with health-giving antioxidants, but it’s rarely the health drink it could be thanks to the ways most people customize it (think: Starbuck’s GMO-laden Pumpkin Latte). The same is true for tea. Here are 7ways to make your coffee or tea a whole lot healthier:
Choose organic coffee or tea. Both crops tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides (sometimes ones that are banned in North America but legal in countries where these crops are grown) so you may be getting more than just coffee or tea when you select anything but organic.
Choose fair trade for a healthy conscience. Coffee is big business. According to the United Nations it is the second most widely traded commodity (after oil). As such its growth and harvesting is subjected to a wide variety of exploitive labor conditions, including child labor in some countries.
Skip the sugar. Or if you must have it, select a sweetener like organic coconut sugar which has fewer grams of sugar (3 grams) than white or brown sugar (4 grams). It doesn’t sound like a big difference but over time that means you’ll have cut your sugar consumption by 25 percent with almost no effort. Coconut sugar contains natural minerals like chromium that aid sugar metabolism in your body.
Pass on the flavor syrups. Most are made with high fructose corn syrup which has been linked to weight gain and obesity. They also contain artificial flavors and preservatives like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate. Potassium sorbate has been shown in human studies to be both genotoxic and mutagenic. That means it damages the genetic material and can cause mutations linked to disease. Sodium benzoate converts to the carcinogen benzene in the body.
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