Growing up I was never a big coffee drinker. That is until I went to Costa Rica at the age of 17 and fell in love with their rich, bold beans and was able to appreciate their simple yet decadent rich, black cup of coffee. For me, drinking coffee became a welcoming morning ritual, one that I truly enjoyed. However, once I had a kid – and then two – my simple enjoyment of coffee turned into a MUST!
Coffee is now something I feel like I can’t live without! And while I do go through sporadic periods where I try to cut it out for a while, both my brain – and my digestion – seems to become more sluggish, and I truly just miss that smell of roasted coffee beans to start off my day with. Well, that is until I started drinking Cold Brew Coffee everyday, but I’ve got to say it still smells great – and tastes even better!
So how do you get a healthier cup of coffee? Well it all depends on how it’s prepared and what you add to it after the fact. So without further ado, here are your 7 Tips for a Healthier (and Better Tasting) Cup of Coffee:
1. SKIP THE SUGAR
I’m going to make #1 easy – and something we all should be doing already – ditch the sugar and use some tasty stevia drops (I love these from @NuNaturals) or other natural sweetener (ie, Monk Fruit) instead. You can also sweeten your coffee with a little bit of honey or agave, just be aware that these still contain “sugar” so the calories and sugar grams can add up quickly! Another great tip is to soak your cold-brew beans with a couple dates before serving. This will give an almost caramel-like taste to your coffee. (See more about cold-brew, below).
2. CHOOSE ORGANIC
Just like the Dirty Dozen, coffee beans are something that should always be purchased Organic. Why? Well first off, there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production, which means cleaner beans, air, land and water. Instead, the coffee is grown with Organic fertilizers like coffee pulp, chicken manure or compost. Organic farms are also better for the environment because they emit less carbon than chemical farms, while also reprocessing significant amounts of carbon. Finally, Organic coffee beans are richer in antioxidants and many say they can actually taste the difference! So, win for you, win for the planet!
3. TRY COLD-BREW COFFEE
Have you heard of it? Seeing that it’s everywhere these days, I’m most certain you have! But did you know that cold-brew is actually healthier than drip or French Press coffee?! That is because it brews up to 50% less acidic, meaning that it [may be] gentler on your digestive system. It also has a much smoother finish because of this, which ultimately leads to a tastier cup!
And now, with so many great and inexpensive “cold-brew machines” for at home use, you can make your own for much less than it cost to [always] buy the pre-made stuff – as long as you don’t mind spending a day or two waiting (since that’s how long it takes to “brew”). If you’re looking to buy your own, check out this list from Amazon, here. You can buy some pretty great bottles of the pre-made stuff too in case you don’t like the idea of brewing your own. Chameleon Brew is one of my favorites (we have a review for them coming soon).
Oh, and if you still like “hot” coffee, you can always heat up the cold-brew on the stove [I don’t like microwaves], to ensure you get your nice warm cup of Joe without any added acidity!
4. GRIND YOUR OWN BEANS
Like most foods, buying fresh is better. So why would coffee beans be any different? Coffee beans contain several B vitamins, antioxidants, minerals (such as magnesium and manganese), and even small amounts of other trace minerals. However, in order to retain the most health benefits, the beans should be ground right before the brewing process. Once the beans are ground, air, time on store shelves, the heat from the trucks (while being transferred to the store), etc. can cause the natural oils in coffee to go rancid or even to taste stale. And who wants to drink stale coffee?!
5. GO DAIRY-FREE
Choosing non-dairy milk and/or creamer for your coffee is one of the simplest ways to improve the overall nutrition of your cup of Joe. By switching out the dairy, you will not only get a great tasting cup of coffee, you will also avoid the extra bloat and “stomach issues” that drinking dairy will often give! Instead of milk, try adding unsweetened almond or cashew milk to your coffee. Even rice, hemp, oat and coconut milk are options! However, make sure you choose the unsweetened varieties because there can be a lot of hidden sugars in those “Original” ones.
6. ADD IN HEALTHY FATS
Have you heard of Bullet Proof Coffee? I could write a whole article about what it is and the benefits of it, but that’s for another time. To state it simply, Bullet Proof Coffee is a mix of coffee + healthy fats all blended together to make a delicious “brew” that can help fuel your morning (or whatever time of day you need an extra boost! In fact, this mixture has been said [by many!] to:
7. INCLUDE ANTIOXIDANTS AND PROTEIN
Did you know that starting your day off with protein is an essential way to keeping you healthy, fit and trim. Your body has just been “fasting” for 12 or so hours – hence the name break-fast – and needs some protein to help refuel your muscles and set your day off on the right foot. Moreover, your body can never have enough antioxidants – to help fight inflammation, ward off sickness, etc. – so getting some first thing in the morning is always a great idea!
So what does this have to do with coffee? Try adding some ground up chia seeds to your coffee (they contain protein, healthy fats and antioxidants), or some cacao, cinnamon, almond butter etc. Blending these up in a blender, along with the coconut oil mentioned above, is best, but if you are pressed on time you can always rapidly stir them in your morning brew with a spoon and they will still taste great! I also like to add in my Green Machine JABitUp Powder which also contains Chlorella, Sprirula, Wheatgrass and Moringa (as well as Cinnamon, Inulin Fiber + MORE) for an added boost of healthiness! [If you want to learn more about JABitUp’s Powders, CONTACT me here.]
So there you have it, 7 Tips for a Healthier (and Better Tasting) Cup of Coffee! Starting your day off right can help set up the rest of your day for success, so why not do it with coffee!