Make Your Coffee Healthier: 5 Simple Swaps to Make Over Your Morning Cup
About 83% of Americans are coffee drinkers and that number is on the rise. The typical coffee drinker is guzzling down around three cups of a coffee per day. So not only are most of us drinking it, most of us are drinking a lot!
There’s something undeniably satisfying and comforting about starting your day (or hey, maybe perking yourself up mid-afternoon) with a hot cup of coffee. And, for many of us, it’s an intrinsic part of our daily routine.
The bottom line is that the last thing we want to hear is that we need to ditch our morning coffee. And luckily, we’re not here to tell you that!
You certainly don’t need to forego this vital part of your day if you’re trying to be healthier in 2019. But there are a few totally doable, simple healthy coffee ideas you can try out tomorrow with your morning coffee.
You won’t lose out or feel deprived of any flavor or any of the perks you love about coffee so don’t worry! We won’t be telling you to drink it black and sans any flavor. Life is too short!
What you will lose is a lot of unnecessary fats, sugars, artificial flavors, and other junk you may be unknowingly guzzling down along with your caffeine fix each day.
Make These 5 Changes to Your Coffee to Keep It Healthy and Wholesome:
Like with any health resolution or goal, don’t think you have to overhaul all your habits overnight. Pick one or two of these ideas and try them out tomorrow, and work your way up to making yourself a much healthier morning coffee.
1. Lose the Sugar
Skip the white sugar or – even worse – artificial sweeteners. Ironically, many of us have been led to believe that artificial sweeteners are better than regular old cane sugar, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It may seem like a great idea to reach for one of those colorful little packets as a way to get your sweetness fix without any calories. But, unfortunately, since these artificial flavors are all synthetic and lab made, our bodies get a hit of chemicals along with the sweetness.
Skip the white sugar or – even worse – artificial sweeteners.
These man-made chemicals can put our immune systems under fire. And ultimately wig out our hormone levels too. They can even make us gain weight in the long run by messing with things like our hunger hormone, insulin.
Good old-fashioned sugar is at least real and recognizable in our bodies, but don’t load up. If you sweeten your coffee, either choose small amounts of the real deal (no more than a teaspoon ideally), or even honey or agave nectar.
If you order your coffee out somewhere, just ask for it sans sweetener so you’re not unknowingly drinking more than you bargained for.
2. Use Spices for Flavor
One of the easiest and also healthiest ways to still get a lot of flavor in your coffee is by spicing it up. A lot of coffee shop lattes and frappuccinos get most of their flavor from artificial flavoring, excessive sugar, and saturated fat-loaded creams and milks. And this is likely what your taste buds may be used to.
So, if you choose to wean yourself off these for healthier alternatives, expect that it may take your taste buds a couple of days or so to adjust. But adjust they will!
Add a sprinkle or two of cinnamon to your coffee for a warm, comforting flavor. Or get more inventive with spices such as turmeric or nutmeg.
Not only will these spices add depth and flavor, they’re essentially calorie free. And, they’ll also give your circulation and digestion a healthy boost. Cinnamon has even been linked to lowered blood pressure.
3. Choose Organic
A little-known but important fact is that coffee is one of the more heavily sprayed, pesticide-laden crops on earth. If you’re drinking conventional coffee instead of organic (which many of us do), you’re also sipping on quite a few pesticides and fertilizers that the beans were sprayed down with.
Obviously, we’d never knowingly throw back a cup of pesticides, but that’s basically what we do unless we buy organic beans. Almost all grocery stores will carry at least a few organic options so be sure to buy those. Or make sure you’re frequenting coffee shops that serve organic brews.
4. Check Your Creamer’s Ingredients
Along with sugar, creamer is what most people use to flavor their coffee. Who doesn’t love a good hazelnut creamer or a seasonal peppermint or pumpkin spice hit of flavor?
Whether you’re stirring creamer into a brew you make at home, or ordering out, a lot of the flavor and creaminess in our coffee is also giving us a ton of extra calories, fat, and artificial ingredients.
While a little splash now and again might not be the end of the world, it’s always best to avoid processed, artificial ingredients whenever possible – especially if it’s something you’re religiously consuming every day.
Artificial sweeteners, thickening agents, partially hydrogenated oils, and sketchy preservatives like sodium stearoyl lactylate? No thanks. Instead, use actual plant milk and a little real sugar or agave.
5. Ditch the Keurig
It might not be a traditional health tip in the way you’d normally think of, but it’s not only important to think about what you put in your coffee, but also what you’re making it in. Keurigs are convenient and trendy and understandably so, given how easy they make it to brew with one push of a button.
However, not only are their disposable coffee pods pretty darn terrible for the environment and your waste-footprint, but they’re also not a huge win for our health. The design of Keurig makes it hard to clean and even harder to ensure the water you’re brewing with is fresh.
Since the water tank is never fully drained and your Keurig is thus never totally dry, it can become the ideal host for bacteria and mold. And unfortunately no, the hot water passing through the machine isn’t hot enough to kill any lurking microbes or germs.
If you’re not particularly thrilled about the idea of sipping down some mold with your mocha, stick to a coffee-making method more conducive to deep cleaning, such as a pour over funnel or a French press! The planet and your health will thank you.
With these healthy hacks and swaps, your morning routine is about to become even more positive! Not a Morning Person? Become One With These 5 Tips
The Takeaway on Healthy Coffee Ideas
Morning coffee is something of a sacred daily ritual for so many of us. And now, even the most health-conscious of us can still enjoy it thanks to these healthy coffee ideas.
So put some coffee on, enjoy your cup, and sip to your health!
Need something other than your morning coffee to get you out of bed? Practice This Morning Yoga Routine For Energy and Focus (Free Class)
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