But most people don’t think of it as a “health drink”. And it’s certainly NOT healthy the way most people make it with loads of added sugar or artificial sweeteners and artificial creamers.
We may have read debates in the past about how coffee has some compounds in it that could have negative health effects such as small amounts of acrylamides or other possibly harmful compounds in brewed coffee. But, the good news is that coffee has such high concentrations of beneficial antioxidants, phenolic nutrients, chlorogenic acids and other healthy compound, that it more than counteracts any bad compounds.
In fact, coffee is the best source of antioxidants, especially when we don’t get enough antioxidants from fruits and veggies, so coffee ends up being the best resort. Try and diversify your sources of antioxidants from fruits, veggies, spices, herbs, berries, beans, unsweetened organic cocoa, teas, and yes, even coffee if you like it.
So what is the best way to make a healthy cup of coffee?
Here ARE 3 most important tricks to maximize the benefits of coffee and minimize the negatives:
1. First of all, you need to AVOID adding any refined sugar or harmful artificial sweeteners.
What you can do instead is use either a very small touch of organic maple syrup or sachet of natural stevia to just lightly sweeten your coffee. Another option would be coconut sugar which is a healthier than plain sugar because it contains some minerals and other nutrients, and has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. On the other hand, if you like your coffee black with no sweetener at all, that’s the healthiest way.
If you’re getting your coffee at a coffee shop, make sure to avoid all of those fancy range of coffees (cappuccinos, flavored lattes, frappuccinos, etc) as they are almost ALWAYS loaded with extra sugars or artificial sweeteners. Some of those fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks or other coffee shops can have 300-400 calories in just one cup of coffee! Definitely a bad choice for your body, your blood sugar or insulin levels.
A latte or cappucino can be okay as long as you make sure to ask for it unsweetened, and then use your own stevia if you need a light sweet taste. Since almost every coffee shop only has either sugar or artificial sweeteners as options, always carry sachets of stevia on you when you know that you might be expected to be at a coffee shop on a particular day.
2. You also should try to AVOID any of those terrible artificial creamers (liquid or powder), which are usually made with corn syrup solids and hydrogenated oils (harmful trans fats). Instead, use a little bit of full-fat cream (organic grass-fed if you can find it, as the CLA and vitamin K2 in grass-fed cream is very healthy).
Or, if you can’t get grass-fed cream, the next best option now is coconut cream as one of the healthiest creamer alternatives. You can buy cans of organic coconut milk, and then after opening the can (shake the can well before opening), store the coconut milk in the fridge in a container. Note that the cans of coconut milk are much creamier and better as a coffee creamer than those cartons of “coconut milk drink” which are just watered down coconut milk.
The thick creamy coconut milk is the healthiest option for coffee creamer because it’s loaded with super healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known to boost your immune system and your metabolism! Plus, coconut milk in coffee is just plain delicious! It’s the best healthy creamer option by far aside from just using real grass-fed dairy cream.
3. If you want to load your coffee up with more healthy antioxidants and good taste, consider trying some added cinnamon to your coffee (cinnamon can help control blood sugar and has many other health benefits). It’s also really tasty in coffee!
Also occasionally add a teaspoon of organic cocoa powder (non-sweetened) to your coffee to make your own cup of mocha (but without the loads of sugar in a typical mocha you’d get at the coffee shop, so just use a little stevia to sweeten). The added cocoa powder also gives you great taste and a good dose of extra healthy antioxidants (and cocoa is also known for helping to lower blood pressure!)
It is healthy to drink coffee about 7 times a week, and only 1 cup per day, as excessive amounts of caffeine can cause adrenal fatigue over time in some people. Some people drink 3-4 cups per day and they get a massive headache if they don’t have their daily coffee due to caffeine withdrawal. Hence this can be avoided.
You can drink various teas like green, oolong, black, and white teas at other times, which are much lower in caffeine. Or other herbal teas many times which have no caffeine at all. But despite the caffeine content, there is loads of data that show the high antioxidant levels and health benefits to coffee.
Lastly, it’s extremely important to choose organic coffee beans, as conventional coffee is one of the most heavily treated crops with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Remember that one of the many health risks with these chemicals is that some pesticides can act as “xenoestrogens” in your body, disrupting the hormonal balance for both men and women. Chronic xenoestrogen exposure can also be one cause of “stubborn abdominal fat” in both sexes as well as “male boobs” in men… so choose organic as often as you can with most foods, but especially with coffee!
So Enjoy your Cuppa knowing that it can actually do your body good when consumed in moderation.