We all love a cup of Joe to help us shake off the early morning jitters and beat the rush hour traffic! But have you ever wondered why you feel drained out by midday or keep getting off your chair to get coffee every hour? Think again. It’s the excess caffeine and the unwanted sugars loaded up in your body that drives you insane and makes you get your fix of coffee regularly. Now, we all know how difficult it is to quit a long-standing habit. But to help you on the way, here are a few healthy alternatives to coffee.
Healthy Substitutes For Coffee
1. Tea Or Chai
Native to India, chai or tea is one of the most consumed beverages all over the world. It can be prepared in various forms and is consumed either as a black tea or with the added goodness of milk. An average cup of tea prepared with milk and some Indian spices and herbs contains about 10–20 mg caffeine, which is considerably lesser than that of your regular cup of coffee.
The added milk gives the tea a creamy texture along with the goodness of calcium and vitamin D. But this beverage is amazing not just because of the taste but also due to its good source of antioxidants, which help in cleansing toxic wastes from the blood.1
2. Wheat Grass Juice
This natural energy drink with a lush green color is full of vital minerals and nutrients. It acts as your perfect early morning energy shot with essential nutrients like vitamin A, C, and E along with calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.2
It is also called the green blood owing to its rich color and the multitude of benefits that our own blood derives from it. Wheatgrass should always be consumed on an empty stomach or along with other fruits and vegetables as it makes you feel nauseated when taken after a meal.
Hate eating a fruit or a veggie because of its taste? Blend it into a smoothie and voila, you’re done! Blending any foods takes away their pungent tastes or smell while retaining the full dose of nutrients and vitamins. And this is just partly why smoothies are another favorite on the list of coffee substitutes.
Smoothies are really tasty and can be made with not just a variety of fruits and veggies but also different types of nuts! This gives you an extra shot of protein along with the goodness of added natural fibers.3
4. Green Tea
It is one of the most well-known forms of tea, right after the traditional tea or chai on top of this list. Green tea is typically made from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is available in thousands of varieties and flavors. Also, it is not processed as extensively as the regular black tea.
Green tea primarily consists of catechins, the antioxidants that are believed to fight and prevent cell damage.4 And, it is believed that regular consumption of green tea in your daily diet can improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol levels.
5. Lemon Water
Now, this might not be the tastiest of substitutes for your cup a Joe, but warm lemon water is what the doctor ordered for your liver. You could even have a chilled version of this by adding some lime zest and lemon juice to a glass of water to shake off your late afternoon sluggishness. Remember, keep it simple!5
6. Pomegranate Juice
Not every juice needs to be green to be called healthy and natural. Blood-red pomegranate juice is full of vital nutrients that energize you instantly. To add to it, it also contains the highest levels of antioxidants, even more so than green tea and red wine.6
7. Dandelion Root Coffee
This is the closest you can get to having the actual coffee but without the unwanted effects of caffeine or the withdrawal signs when it wears off. Dandelion root coffee comes in a combination of roasted dandelion and chicory root blend, which gives you the flavor of a regular coffee. Also, the root is known to purify the blood along with cleansing the liver.7
8. Probiotic Drinks
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are naturally found in foods like yogurt, fermented sour pickles, and naturally aged cheese. These days, you find these live cultures being incorporated into healthy sparkling juices to help counteract the imbalances in your gut due to certain medications.8
9. Tender Coconut Water
It is one of the most naturally refreshing drinks that you could ever find. With about 94% of water, you need not worry about extra sugars or unwanted fats. Coconut water is also rich in electrolytes, which makes it a perfect substitute for your caffeine rich creamy latte and gives you an energy boost while keeping you hydrated along the way.9
|↑1||Serafini, Mauro, Daniele Del Rio, Denis N’Dri Yao, Saverio Bettuzzi, and Ilaria Peluso. “Health benefits of tea.” (2011).|
|↑2||Padalia, Swati, Sushma Drabu, Indira Raheja, Alka Gupta, and Mamta Dhamija. “Multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood): An overview.” Chronicles of young scientists 1, no. 2 (2010): 23-28.|
|↑3||Castillejo, Noelia, Ginés Benito Martínez-Hernández, Perla A. Gómez, Francisco Artés, and Francisco Artés-Hernández. “Red fresh vegetables smoothies with extended shelf life as an innovative source of health-promoting compounds.” Journal of food science and technology 53, no. 3 (2016): 1475-1486.|
|↑4||Ruch, Randall J., Shu-jun Cheng, and James E. Klaunig. “Prevention of cytotoxicity and inhibition of intercellular communication by antioxidant catechins isolated from Chinese green tea.” Carcinogenesis 10, no. 6 (1989): 1003-1008.|
|↑5||González-Molina, Elena, Diego A. Moreno, and Cristina García-Viguera. “A new drink rich in healthy bioactives combining lemon and pomegranate juices.” Food Chemistry 115, no. 4 (2009): 1364-1372.|
|↑6||Gil, Maria I., Francisco A. Tomás-Barberán, Betty Hess-Pierce, Deirdre M. Holcroft, and Adel A. Kader. “Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing.” Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry 48, no. 10 (2000): 4581-4589.|
|↑7||Choi, Ung-Kyu, Ok-Hwan Lee, Joo Hyuk Yim, Chang-Won Cho, Young Kyung Rhee, Seong-Il Lim, and Young-Chan Kim. “Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits.” International journal of molecular sciences 11, no. 1 (2010): 67-78.|
|↑8||Dietrich, Christoph G., Tanja Kottmann, and Manuela Alavi. “Commercially available probiotic drinks containing Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea.” World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 20, no. 42 (2014): 15837.|
|↑9||Yong, Jean WH, Liya Ge, Yan Fei Ng, and Swee Ngin Tan. “The chemical composition and biological properties of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water.” Molecules 14, no. 12 (2009): 5144-5164.|