Ah, coffee…the nectar of the gods…
Whether you like to cozy up on the coach with a warm cup and a book or grab an iced coffee on-the-go, there’s a coffee drink for every mood.
For a lot of people, it’s hard to imagine a day without a little caffeine boost from a morning cup of coffee.
But could your daily coffee ritual actually be harming your health?
People have been asking this question for a while so there’s a fairly large body of research on the subject…
The conclusion? For most people, a moderate amount of coffee daily can provide a variety of health benefits including reduced risk of several chronic diseases, increased fat loss, and even reduced risk of early death!
However, it’s important to recognize that the benefits come from the coffee grounds (meaning, black coffee only).
No matter how many antioxidants may be found in black coffee, they won’t counteract the harmful affects of drinking a cup loaded with creamer, sugar, artificial ingredients, and pesticides.
Our goal should be to maximize the benefits of our coffee, instead of minimizing them with unhealthy add-ins.
So today I’ve got 9 hacks to help you make a healthier cup of coffee.
Test a few of these out until you find the ones that you enjoy most. Once you’ve found your favorite, add it to your morning routine. You’ll start each day off right, knowing your taking care of your body with each sip!
Ready to discover your new healthy morning ritual? Let’s do it!
1. Use a clean-ingredient creamer
The number one way to create a healthier cup of coffee is to check the ingredients in your creamer. If you’ve been using traditional coffee creamer and you’ve never checked out the ingredient list before, it may be shocking…
The main ingredients in most “normal” creamers are sugar, and hydrogenated oils, plus a mixture of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. YUCK.
You may be justifying this daily habit by telling yourself that you only use a little. But even a small dose of these harmful ingredients consumed daily, over an extended period, of time could be deadly!
When choosing the coffee creamer you drink daily, it’s so important to check your ingredient lists.
Here’s an easy rule to help you decide what creamer to buy… If you don’t recognize the names of the ingredients listed, don’t buy it!
It can really be that simple!
2. Upgrade your sweetener
If you can’t stand to drink your coffee without a little added sweetness, no worries! That doesn’t mean that you can’t upgrade your coffee habit.
Skip the added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and switch to a natural, low-glycemic sweetener instead.
Stevia and monk fruit are two options that can sweeten your coffee without throwing your blood sugar out of wack.
Side note – For tips on overcoming cravings for sweets, check out my blog post, 3 Proven Strategies to Conquer Cravings for Sweets.
3. Buy organic coffee
Coffee beans are one of the crops sprayed most heavily with pesticides and herbicides during the farming process.
This may not be of concern to you if you’re not consuming if on a regular basis. But, if you’re like most people, you drink your coffee religiously.
While the short term impact of exposure to low doses of pesticides may be minimal, long term exposure has been linked to the development of conditions such as Parkinson’s, asthma, depression, anxiety, ADHD and cancer.
That’s why I think it’s worth paying extra attention to the quality of your coffee beans and going for the organic variety whenever possible.
4. Add a collagen supplement
Collagen supplements have been showing up everywhere in the last few years, and for good reason!
Collagen is a protein found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s the most abundant protein in the body.
It helps make our skin strong and elastic, along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to joint health, it’s essentially the “glue” that helps hold the body together.
As we age, our body’s natural production of collagen declines, often leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain.
Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular for their positive impact on skin and hair health, joint pain, and gut health. Additionally, they can provide a good serving of protein, which can positively impact metabolism and aid in weight loss.
Collagen peptides are an awesome supplement to add into your coffee because they dissolve in seconds and once dissolved, have no taste. One of my favorite collagen supplements for adding into coffee is Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides.
5. Add MCT oil
Mixing a tablespoon of MCT oil into your morning coffee is a great way to make your coffee more filling and reduce your cravings throughout the day.
If you’ve wanted to try intermittent fasting, but are too hungry to make it happen, consuming MCT oil can help you reap the benefits of fasting without dealing with the hunger.
MCT oil helps the body produce ketones, which provides many of the benefits of intermittent fasting and the keto diet without actually needing to go low carb or totally calorie-free.
Other benefits of MCT oil include anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory affects.
– Source: https://draxe.com/nutrition/mct-oil/
Pro tip — Use a frother to mix the oil into your coffee and you won’t even taste a difference! If you don’t want to bother with the frother every day, you can also buy emulsified MCTs which mix into coffee just as easily as a normal creamer.
6. Add cinnamon
Cinnamon is a majorly underrated superfood in my opinion! The science on its benefits for blood sugar regulation and increased insulin sensitivity have made it especially popular in the diabetic community.
Even if you don’t have diabetes, some research is beginning to suggest that it may have a beneficial metabolic impact, even for generally healthy individuals.
Additionally, cinnamon shows other health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Not to mention, it tastes delicious!
I love to add a few dashes of cinnamon to my cashew milk before frothing it for my homemade lattes. SO GOOD.
7. Add cacao or cocoa powder
A lot of people get confused on the difference between cacao an cocoa.
While all both are derived from cacao beans, the level of processing is the differentiator.
Cacao refers to the un-roasted, minimally processed beans. Products made from cacao (such as cacao powder and cacao nibs) are often touted for being vegan and having a higher concentration of antioxidants than chocolate, since they have not been diluted with any added sweeteners or milk products.
Cocoa, like cacao, is also undiluted by sugar, milk or any other added ingredients. However, it is made from roasted beans. This is what is usually used to create chocolate or sweetened chocolate products.
Since cacao is less processed than cocoa, it is believed that the nutrients are better preserved, and thus, considered the healthier option.
However, both cacao and cocoa are low in calories and sugar, high in antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron and are known for their anti-inflammatory affects.
Basically, you can’t go wrong with either one!
If you’re a chocolate lover like me, you’ll love adding cacao or cocoa powder to your coffee and creating a homemade mocha latte!
8. Add adaptogens
What the heck is an “adaptogen” you ask??
The term refers to a class of herbs that, when consumed, are known to “adapt” to the body’s needs and protect against various stressors.
Some of the most popular adaptogenic herbs are ashwaganda, chaga, maca, and cordecypts.
These ancient herbs have been used for centuries to naturally treat things like inflammation, stress, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, fatigue, and much more.
While a sprinkle of ashwaganda here and there in your smoothie may not do much, adding an adaptogen to your morning coffee routine is a great way to create the consistency needed to truly reap the benefits of these powerful herbs.
l used Four Sigmatic’s Chaga Elixir daily during the months leading up to my wedding to boost my immunity and help protect me against any COVID scares…
In case you’re wondering, I never got so much as a sniffle during that cold and flu season, so I do believe it helped!
9. Metabolism Super Powder
I started using the Sakara Metabolism Super Powder a little over month ago and it has quickly become my favorite thing to add to coffee!
It has a dark chocolatey flavor that isn’t too sweet (only 1g of a coconut sugar/stevia blend in each serving) but still makes me feel like I’m sipping on a delicious cup of hot cocoa.
I froth it in with my cashew milk, MCT oil and espresso to create THE MOST delicious mocha latte…it’s the highlight of my morning!
On top of the cacao and coconut milk powder that gives it the creamy, chocolatey taste, it’s also formulated with other functional ingredients that promote fat burning, reduced sugar cravings, gut health, reduced bloating, and healthy digestion.
I already started to feel a difference in my body after just a few weeks of using this…I especially noticed an improvement in my digestion, gut health, and bloating.
Since I only use half a serving per day (the suggested serving size is just a little too much to easily mix in my coffee), the price is only $1.50 per day (if you buy the large bag).
If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, you can shop it here and use the code XOLAURENH at check out for 20% off your first order (bringing the price down to just $1.20 for a half-serving per day!)
One Last Thing…
A moderate amount of coffee daily can definitely be a part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s full of antioxidants and studies show it can be beneficial for weight management and protection against some chronic diseases.
That being said, it’s important to recognize that what’s healthy for one person, isn’t necessarily healthy for everyone.
YOU are the expert on your own body, so only you can decide if coffee works for you.
If you notice that a cup or two a day makes you anxious, negatively impacts your sleep, or creates a caffeine dependency, then listen to your body and your intuition…
You can certainly find an alternative (like decaf coffee, chai tea, or macha) that works better for you!
But for those who feel great with a cup or two a day, these 9 hacks for a healthier cup of coffee will help you maximize the health benefits of your morning routine so look and feel your best throughout the day.
Cheers to that!
July 22, 2021