“But first, coffee.”
This is a common thing many of us think and say before we take on the day, and there’s no doubt why. For many people, coffee is like a lifeline – a drink for survival from a busy or taxing day.
But more than making us feel ready for anything, coffee provides amazing health benefits, too! From boosting your energy levels to lowering your risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and even cancer, coffee presents itself as a great beverage of choice!
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And because it proves to be good for you, you need to know the best way to drink your coffee, so you can reap its maximum health benefits. This is exactly what we have for you, so keep reading!
Choose organic as much as possible
The quality of your coffee depends on how the coffee beans have been cultivated. Unfortunately, some coffee beans contain pesticide residues that may have adverse effects on those who will consume them.
Today, pesticides are undergoing stricter scrutiny from government and non-governmental institutions. The ideal pesticides must be able to kill pests without causing harmful effects to human health and the environment.
While pesticides have improved over time, they still have some kind of side effect. Because of this, you need to make sure that you’re sourcing your coffee from reputable and quality brands that do away with these toxic compounds.
And if possible, choose organic coffee beans as they are less likely to contain harmful amounts of pesticide residues.
Pick dark roast coffee beans if you want less caffeine
If you’re careful not to take too much caffeine, pick dark roasts. Caffeine is reduced during the roasting process, which is why dark roasts contain less caffeine.
Both light and dark roasts provide benefits. Light roasts contain more chlorogenic acid, which helps stabilize blood sugar.
Dark roasts, on the other hand, have significant amounts of melanoids, which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. So, regardless of the roast you choose, you’re sure to enjoy health perks!
Store your coffee beans in an airtight container
Where you store your coffee beans matters, too. So, make sure that you’re not only choosing quality coffee but quality storage as well.
Most of the bags where you bought your coffee in are not designed for long-term storage. So, make sure that you also have a quality airtight container for storing your coffee beans.
Airtight containers prevent the levels of free radicals in coffee from increasing, preserving the health-promoting effects of its antioxidant content.
Grind whole beans yourself
Buying pre-ground beans is definitely the more convenient choice, but grinding them yourself is the best way to go. Studies reveal that pre-ground coffee beans contain more free radicals, which can cause oxidative damage.
Use a paper filter when brewing your coffee
Cafestol, a compound contained in coffee, is said to elevate blood cholesterol levels. Don’t fret, though, because there’s something you can do!
By using a paper filter in brewing your coffee, you can reduce the amounts of cafestol, while keeping your coffee’s beneficial antioxidants.
Cafestol, however, isn’t a full-fledged villain as it comes with health perks, too! This compound has been found to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Nix the sugar
Coffee is packed with essential compounds that make it healthy, but it can be easily converted into a harmful drink if you’re not very careful.
Added sugar in coffee may put your health at risk, especially if it comes in excessive amounts. Its high amounts of fructose have been linked to various diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
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If you can’t take unsweetened coffee, try natural sweeteners instead like raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar or maple syrup.
Skip artificial creamers
Many of us have grown so used to adding creamers in our coffee. Unfortunately, this is bad news.
Artificial creamers are highly processed and tend to contain ingredients that may be harmful to our health. Some non-dairy coffee creamers, however, are thought to be the better choice.
Whole foods are still the healthier choice, so consider using full-fat cream in place of artificial creamer in your coffee. Milk products from grass-fed cows are also nutrient-dense and may prevent the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
Perk up your coffee with cinnamon
If you want to boost your coffee’s flavor and nutritional power, add Ceylon cinnamon! Studies show that this powerful spice can help treat diabetes, promote heart health, boost brain function, and prevent the risk of cancer!
Simply add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee fix, and enjoy their combined benefits! Just remember to only add a small amount as excessive quantities may lead to negative side effects.
Dash your coffee with some cacao powder
Tired of your basic coffee? Why not dash it with some cacao powder?
Cacao is also packed with antioxidants and magnesium that are linked to numerous health benefits such as lowered risk of heart disease, enhanced brain function, and even improved sex drive.
Instead of adding excessive amounts of sugar to your coffee, make a healthier chocolate-flavored version of your drink instead by dashing some cacao powder in your caffeine fix.
Have your first cup of coffee a couple of hours after waking
Gulping a cup of coffee or two right after you roll out of bed won’t help boost your energy levels. Your body produces high cortisol levels within the first few hours after you wake.
This hormone helps to make you feel alert, so take advantage of this natural energy boost. Also, chugging a cup of coffee around this time may not be ideal as you are less likely to feel its effect on your energy levels.
Experts believe that it’s best to enjoy your first coffee fix between 9:30 in the morning, during noontime or whenever you feel like you need an energy boost – be it at work, school or even at home!
Finish your drink within 20 minutes
Many people love to savor their coffee fix while they are doing other things – reading a book or a magazine or while they are working.
And more often than not, the coffee sits around longer than it should, increasing its acidity. While it has no major impact on health, it can cause heartburn or indigestion, and tooth enamel erosion.
Because the coffee is exposed longer to air, its antioxidant powers may also dwindle. So, if you want to get the maximum health benefits of coffee, finish your cup within 20 minutes from brewing.
According to research, this is the ideal span for drinking your coffee if you want to reap its perks to health.
Refrain from drinking coffee after 2 P.M.
If you have or want to avoid sleeping problems, avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon.
Coffee is one of the best sources of caffeine, which acts as a stimulant, helping to keep you awake and energetic, especially when you already feel exhausted.
Obviously, when you take your coffee late in the day, you will find it more difficult to doze off. And sleep deprivation is linked to various health problems.
Because of this, it is best to limit your coffee intake in the afternoon. If you can’t fight coffee’s call, choose decaf or fix yourself a cup of tea instead as tea contains less caffeine than coffee.
Here’s a tip: Avoid reaching for a cup of coffee after two in the afternoon. If you think you are not sensitive to caffeine, though, and need an energy boost, a cup probably won’t hurt.
As in all things, too much can be dangerous, too. Excessive coffee consumption may reduce its benefits to your health.
So, how much is enough? The considered safe amount of caffeine per day for most healthy adults is 400 milligrams (mg). This corresponds to about four cups of coffee.
Children, meantime, are highly discouraged from drinking coffee, while adolescents are advised to limit caffeine consumption.
When Should You Cut Back on Coffee?
While coffee is linked to a number of amazing health benefits, you should also know how much your body can consume and tolerate.
If you notice side effects such as restlessness, irritability, insomnia, migraine, abnormal heartbeat, frequent urination, upset stomach or muscle tremors, cut back on your caffeine intake. It would also be best to see a doctor, especially if these effects get worse.
Many people love coffee due to its powerful stimulant effects. And because it also comes with impressive health perks, there are more reasons to love it!
Adding coffee to your daily nutrition can, indeed, be excellent for your health. And the good news is, you can do some tricks to maximize its health benefits!
Things, like skipping the sugar and artificial creamers, and adding cacao powder or cinnamon to your coffee, can make your caffeine fix even more powerful!
It also helps to consider how you prepare your coffee and what time you drink it. By following these easy tips, you are sure to savor your coffee better, and reap its maximum health benefits!