6 Tweaks to Make Your Coffee Healthier
Fresh roasted gourmet coffee is a treat all by itself.
Single origin coffee beans grown at high altitude and rated by professional cuppers at 86 points or higher makes for a triple crown of gourmet coffee.
But what if you could enjoy your morning brew and also get even more healthy boosts from your coffee routine?
Look no further.
Here are six easy coffee add-ons to try to make your coffee even healthier. Try these tweaks to get the most out of your coffee routine.
6 Tweaks to Make Your Coffee Healthier
1. Coconut Water
Popularly used for rehydration (similar to a sports drink) or to help with an illness, coconut water is a safe, additive to coffee.
Although the Mayo Clinic considers plain water to be a better alternative than coconut water, they acknowledge that coconut water has natural electrolytes.
Examples include potassium (most people do not get enough potassium), sodium and manganese but amounts vary based on the maturity of the coconut.
2. Collagen Powder
If you’ve read about dermatologists suggesting people spike their morning smoothie or coffee with collagen powder, here’s why.
Although the studies done so far on collagen are small and at least partially funded by industry, many doctors find the results promising.
According to WebMD.com, “as a protein source alone, collagen is an excellent one, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar.”
Benefits of collagen that preliminary research has revealed are that it’s a powerful wound healer, able to stop bleeding, recruit immune and skin cells, and stimulate new blood vessel formation, skin aging prevention (fewer wrinkles and improved skin elasticity).
When shopping for collagen powder, seek a trusted brand with a third-party label like NSF or USP.
Since medieval times, cinnamon spice (ground up bark from the cinnamon tree), has been both a medicinal treatment and flavor enhancing tool for desserts and candy – and coffee too.
One of the most significant findings is its relationship to better brain health such as improved memory and learning.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “in addition to being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, lipid-lowering, and cardiovascular-disease-lowering compound, cinnamon has also been reported to have activities against neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”
4. Medicinal Mushrooms
It is no secret that mushrooms are a rich source of nutrients and bioactive compounds that offer tremendous medicinal attributes which are valuable for human health.
Along with enhancing bone health, preventing cardiovascular disease and boosting the immune system, therapeutic applications of edible mushrooms include:
But adding it to coffee may seem odd.
The types of mushrooms that are recommended by experts to support the immune system are Turkey Tail, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi or Cordyceps.
Here’s how it works according to Microsoft News. “Dried mushrooms are boiled and liquefied into an extract and then added to coffees and teas for an added superfood boost” to your coffee or tea.
Alternatively, mushroom powders are available too.
When shopping for these make sure to get a powder made from “whole mushroom fruiting bodies.”
Some mushroom powders are made with grain fillers or from the roots of the mushroom rather than the mushroom body.
Read the labels carefully to ensure you select one that will truly offer health benefits.
Fans rave that this combination results in a robust coffee or tea that is not compromised by any taste of mushrooms.
5. Fats (Bulletproof Coffee)
Most people do not think twice about adding milk or cream to their coffee. Milk is a great source of vitamins.
But they may raise an eyebrow at the suggestion of adding butter or ghee to coffee.
Also known by the brand name Bulletproof coffee, adding a source of fat such as butter to your coffee may offer health benefits and enhance your coffee drinking experience.
The idea behind it is since fats can make you feel full faster, you may find that you actually eat less.
Fats burn slowly within the body which makes them a prolonged source of energy. This helps in the reduction of appetite when compared to adding sugar to coffee. Sugars will spike your blood sugar levels and decrease your ability to burn fat.
Butter coffee creates a rich, frothy drink. So starting your day with some butter coffee can help decrease your appetite and calorie intake.
An alternative to butter is ghee, popular in India and Pakistan.
Ghee is more concentrated in fat than butter because its water and milk solids have been removed.
According to Healthline, “test-tube and animal studies suggest that these fats may reduce inflammation and promote gut health.”
Ghee removes all the milk sugar lactose and milk protein casein. This makes it a better option for people who manage allergies or sensitivities to dairy.
Coconut oil is another option for making a fat enhanced coffee.
6. Dark Chocolate
Got a sweet tooth?
Adding chocolate with a high percentage of cacao instead of sugar may be a better alternative for your health.
A Clarkson University and University of Georgia study revealed that a caffeine and cocoa combination in coffee created two effects.
First, quicker response rates were observed. Second, the chocolate coffee combo decreased “caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects.”
A research abstract published at PubMed.com about cocoa shows that it is loaded with antioxidants and associated with all sorts of health benefits.
For example, cocoa helps in weight loss. It also enhances cognition and positive mood and is linked to reduced risk of heart disease.
The best method to mix chocolate into your coffee is to scrape in thin chocolate shavings. Then slowly stir them into your coffee. The small pieces will melt easier.
Alternatively place a dark chocolate square in the bottom of your coffee mug. Then pour your hot coffee over the top. Then give it a minute to melt and then stir. You may end up with some residue at the bottom of your mug but you’ll save the work of making the shavings.
Another option for your chocolate fix is to try adding a bit of cocoa powder to your coffee for some flavor enhancement and potential health benefits.