9 Tips on How to Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier
As you already know, coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and has a lot of benefits and nutrients. Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. It is also one of the few natural substances that can burn fat. However, high doses of caffeine may have unpleasant and even harmful side effects.
“Coffee still has potential risks, mostly due to its high caffeine content. For example, it can temporarily raise blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding need to be cautious about caffeine. High intake of boiled, unfiltered coffee has been associated with a mild increase in cholesterol levels,” Donald Hensrud, M.D. said to Mayo Clinic.
“The bottom line? Your coffee habit is probably fine and may even have some benefits. But if you have side effects from coffee, such as heartburn, nervousness, or insomnia, consider cutting back,” he added.
So, here are some ways to make your coffee habit healthier. Read on for more info!
Don’t drink coffee instead of eating your breakfast
Of course, you can have coffee while you eat your breakfast, but don’t skip your breakfast just because you are serving a coffee. As you already know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Due to its properties, coffee can be a stimulant and can suppress your appetite, so many people tend to replace their meal with coffee.
“Coffee’s stimulant properties may mask the fact you’re undereating, but it’s only temporary. Good self-care means eating enough — not just being buzzed. You can’t run on caffeine you need food — carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, and fiber — for overall health,” said Adina Pearson, RD.
In addition, you can try sparkling coffee instead of diet soda. You can also add some natural ingredients, such as Meyer lemon juice and organic cane sugar.
Try bulletproof coffee
Bulletproof coffee is another healthy way to serve your coffee, as it contains butter and coconut oil and can improve blood lipid function, lowering triglycerides and raising HDLs – also known as good cholesterol.
“The fats from the butter and coconut milk are a great combination to ‘prime the energy pump’ in the morning. You’ll give your coffee some ‘bite’ that keeps you going until lunchtime, plus you’ll get all of the additional nutrients, especially when we choose grass-fed butter,” said president and chief culinary officer at Culinary Health Solutions, Ken Immer, CCHE.
Figure out if you really need coffee
Do you really need coffee? Why do you drink coffee? Is it because you like it? Well, if you drink coffee just because you want to concentrate more at work, it is important to know that it can be a mistake because it can still lead to a lack of concentration.
“Coffee is a pick-me-up, but working toward a normal sleep pattern will make life much better than caffeine. If you’re using coffee to survive on inadequate sleep, your body and mind are still tired and you’ll still not be at your best physically and mentally,” said Pearson. “Chronic inadequate sleep raises stress hormones and contributes to a lot of health problems.”
You can add some natural ingredients
Of course, you can add some natural ingredients, such as cinnamon, to accentuate its benefits and taste. However, cinnamon is a delicious spice that has a lot of medicinal properties, namely that it contains antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and can protect against cancer.
“Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar in many clinical studies. Adding spices add antioxidants and sweetness without calories, helping to cut back on the sugar you might add to coffee. Cloves have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties,” said Swinney.
You should opt for filtered water
Many people don’t use filtered water, because they think that boiled water is good enough. But according to medical experts, filtered water is a good choice because it is healthier than others.
“Filtered water ensures there are not any unwanted heavy metals like lead or copper, that might be found in old pipes. Tap water also contains many chlorine disinfection byproducts which can be harmful long term,” Swinney says. “You should also avoid using well water unless it’s been tested for contaminants.”
In addition, you should avoid using your Keurig. “The water tanks in a Keurig can never truly be flushed and cleaned. We are concerned about mold and bacteria growth in these tanks over time, much like commercial ice machines,” Immer says.
Make your own coffee at home
We have to admit that commercial coffee is absolutely tasty but quite unhealthy. Instead of spending a lot of money on a Starbucks coffee, try to make your own healthy coffee at home.
“What you don’t realize is that the sanitizing solution ends up in your frothed milk! It’s not a ton, but it is there — a small amount on that wand for every frothed carafe! So avoiding lattes is a good choice if that concerns you,” Immer says.
Use paper filters
If you want to drink a healthy coffee, then you should use paper filters. Recyclable paper filters are healthier than other types of filters. “Filtering coffee with paper removes two compounds, cafestol and kahweol, that raise both total and LDL cholesterol levels,” said Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE.
In fact, according to Harvard Health Publications, paper filters are more effective at eliminating diterpenes than permanent or cloth filters and are easier to clean up. Even though they are not as environmentally friendly as others, paper filters are biodegradable.
Drink clean and with a conscience
People who are concerned about the benefits of coffee and how it is grown and picked drink coffee responsibly because they like it.
“Drink clean and with a conscience. Choose fair trade or coffee with other certifications that help third-world farmers improve their living conditions. Give some thought to the packaging involved in single-serve coffee — it requires much more packaging and contains a larger carbon footprint for getting to the store,” said Swinney.
Skip other artificial ingredients
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of coffee, you should skip the syrups, milk, and other ingredients that could increase the calories.
“Pick organic cream to whiten your coffee or make your own packaging-free alternative milk from oats or nuts. Creamers often have artificial flavors, sweeteners, and other additives, so you’re better off using organic milk or cream plus organic brown sugar,” said Swinney.