Do you need a morning caffeine dose to kick-start your day? In addition to giving you an energy boost, coffee can also keep your alert, improve your mood, and increase your metabolism.
Making a cup of coffee is not difficult but what goes into it will decide whether it will benefit you or ruin your health regimen. Even one “wrong” ingredient can take a toll on your health if you are a regular coffee drinker.
Here are 5 ways you can make your coffee healthier without compromising on its flavor.
1. Avoid Using Sugar
Not everyone likes the bitter taste of coffee. Adding sugar to coffee may make it taste better but what about the health risks associated with it?
Sugar does not have any nutritional value. However, it contains calories that can sabotage your weight loss goals. It can also increase the risk of diabetes and obesity by causing insulin resistance, that increases the insulin levels in the body.1 2 Additionally, using artificial sweeteners is equally harmful. Go for natural sweeteners such as honey, vanilla extract, stevia or coconut sugar. Not only are they rich in nutrients but also low in calories.
2. Use Spices
Adding spices to your coffee can make it taste better. They enhance the flavor and spice up your morning dose of happiness. The health benefits of adding spices to coffee include.
- Cardamom: It neutralizes the stimulating effects of caffeine and improves digestion.
- Cinnamon: This antioxidant-rich spice can relieve pain, boost your energy levels, and improve your heart health.
- Nutmeg: It can relieve pain, soothe indigestion, and detoxify your body.
Avoid adding large quantities of these spices as they can ruin the taste of the coffee and change the flavor.
3. Avoid Flavored Syrups
Vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, or pumpkin flavored coffee is certainly irresistible. Although syrups add a lovely flavor to the coffee, they are packed with artificial colors, preservatives, and sugar. This not only increases your blood sugar but the preservatives in it may cause health problems.
Sugar-free syrups also contain chemicals that may have adverse effects on your digestive system. However, not enough evidence is available on the negative effects of sugar-free syrups.
4. Use Milk Alternatives
Black coffee has several health benefits. On the downside, excess intake of black coffee can make you restless and cause insomnia. If you choose to add milk to your coffee, replace cow’s milk with healthier options such as almond milk or soy milk.
This keeps you from the trouble of digesting lactose, reduces the calorie intake and the health risks associated with the antibiotics and preservatives in the dairy milk. Plant-based milk is not only low in calories but also lactose-free.3
5. Avoid Whipped Cream
The calorie-packed and high-fat whipped cream gives a creamy texture to the coffee once it melts. 100 grams of whipped cream contains 257 calories. If you are one of those who cannot resist the whipped cream swirls on coffee, it’s time to change the habit.
Coffee creamer or coffee whitener is used instead of milk or cream. They are convenient but unhealthy, even though they are non-dairy products. These non-dairy creamers contain hydrogenated oil, sugars, and chemicals. The hydrogenated oil contains trans fats that can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.4
Note: When not consumed in moderation, coffee can do more harm than good even with the right ingredients.
|↑1||Basu, Sanjay, Paula Yoffe, Nancy Hills, and Robert H. Lustig. “The relationship of sugar to population-level diabetes prevalence: an econometric analysis of repeated cross-sectional data.” PloS one 8, no. 2 (2013): e57873.|
|↑2||Ludwig, David S., Karen E. Peterson, and Steven L. Gortmaker. “Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis.” The Lancet 357, no. 9255 (2001): 505-508.|
|↑3||Mäkinen, Outi Elina, Viivi Wanhalinna, Emanuele Zannini, and Elke Karin Arendt. “Foods for special dietary needs: Non-dairy plant-based milk substitutes and fermented dairy-type products.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 56, no. 3 (2016): 339-349.|
|↑4||Dhaka, Vandana, Neelam Gulia, Kulveer Singh Ahlawat, and Bhupender Singh Khatkar. “Trans fats—sources, health risks and alternative approach-A review.” Journal of food science and technology 48, no. 5 (2011): 534-541.|