Coffee is delicious, smells divine and is a healthy morning ritual. This morning beverage can be beneficial for your health for two main reasons: caffeine and antioxidants. It’s this synergy of nutrients working together in your morning mug that produce the most effective results on your body, mind and daily performance. It’s important to note that these nutrients in isolation don’t have the same effect. In other words, taking a caffeine pill or antioxidant concoction won’t have the same benefits.
As one of the richest sources of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, coffee is excellent for reducing free radicals that create oxidative stress. This greatly reduces inflammation in the body and decreases the risk of inflammatory diseases, as well as conditions associated with inflammation.
- Caffeine stimulates your brain, which gives you an energy boost and improves mental performance.
- Caffeine also increases serotonin, which makes you feel happy.
- Rich in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols that improve carbohydrate metabolism
- Improves brain functioning and memory
- Reduces weight gain, improves blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Decreases oxidative damage and inflammation
- Decreases risk for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality
- Decreases depression
- Decreases periodontitis
- Decreases risk for Parkinson’s disease
- Decrease risk of cancer, especially prostate, breast, liver, gastric and colorectal cancer.
- Protects again cirrhosis of the liver
- May improve athletic endurance when enjoyed before a workout.
Although coffee does boast many health benefits, more is not necessary better. Keep your coffee consumption to 1-3 cups daily. For optimal sleep, avoid caffeine after noon. Make sure you’re using a normal size mug and not one the size of your coffee pot! Excess caffeine can cause dehydration and deplete B vitamins, magnesium, iron and calcium levels.
Buying Coffee — Quality is Crucial
- To reduce toxins (pesticides and mycotoxins), look for organic, whole Arabica beans and grind them just before use. Unless using your beans within 1 week, store them in the freezer to preserve freshness.
- For decaf coffee, always select “organic Swiss Water Process” to reduce your toxic load.
- For drip coffee makers, use only non-bleached filters to avoid chlorine bleach in your coffee.
Healthy Additions: Butter, Cinnamon & Stevia
Avoid sugar filled or artificially sweetened coffee with low-fat dairy products or imitation dairy products. The ingredients below are much healthier, whole food ingredients that support blood sugar levels for improved focus and long-lasting energy.
- Grass-fed butter is rich in omega-3s, beta-carotene, CLA, butyric acid and vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Fresh cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar levels, stimulates circulation and decreases inflammation.
- Stevia, an all-natural herb, contains zero sugars, carbs, calories or toxic ingredients.
Healthier Coffee Recipe: Combine 8-12 ounces organic brewed coffee, 2 teaspoons unsalted grass-fed butter, a dash of cinnamon and stevia. Stir well or blend for 20 seconds for a frothy treat.
Ordering Coffee Out: Select organic coffee when available. For a creamer add unsweetened heavy cream, half and half or almond/coconut milk (in that order). Add cinnamon or stevia for sweetness.
When to Avoid Coffee
- Avoid using coffee as an energy crutch for lack of sleep or skipping breakfast.
- Coffee can be harmful for those that cannot metabolize caffeine well. Signs of poor caffeine tolerance include anxiety, jitters, irritability and sleep issues.
- If you’re caffeine sensitive, avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach and try cold brewed coffee.
- If you MUST have coffee to get through the day, then do a 30-day caffeine reset.
- Pregnant women, children, and those with adrenal fatigue or poor HPA axis function should avoid caffeine.
- Caffeine does initially increase heart rate and blood pressure in people who are not regular users, but those effects usually diminish after a few days.
- Bullet Proof Coffee Recipe
- The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
Would you like to lose weight, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, increase energy and feel better on a daily basis? Contact Certified Nutritionist and Kitchen Coach, Cate Ritter, to improve your health now!