My love affair with coffee goes back many years but it has definitely intensified since discovering healthier ways to drink the popular hot beverage.
Since I embarked on my career as a solopreneur and digital nomad a few years back I found myself trying to find the healthiest way to drink coffee as my location-independent business and lifestyle constantly needed a daily dose of inspiration and stimulation.
Luckily, healthy coffee always gets me off to a right start. I have always loved coffee. It helps that I live in a town with plenty of cafes and lots of choices for the avid coffee connoisseur like myself.
The rich early morning coffee aroma percolated from countless coffee shops on my “work days” and this has boosted my productivity as well as my addiction to caffeine.
Unbeknownst to me at first, it was those powerful aromas that became the inspiration for a life dedicated to a financial and location free lifestyle.
They are an intricate part of the recipe of my daily routine.
Coffee, to me, is the underappreciated secret black elixir for connecting people and releasing the creative juices.
Coffee lovers all over the world know that it’s around a steaming cup of coffee that ideas pop out, and often an insurmountable day melts away with advent of a wonderful caffeine stimulated mental clarity and alertness. Often touted as an addictive crutch, coffee’s lesser known and wide reaching health benefits are relegated to the back burners.
Coffee is inherently healthy for you, so before getting into the amazing ways I’ve enhanced my café au lait, here’s a short list of science backed benefits:
• Decreased risk of developing Type II Diabetes
• Reduced episodes of gout
• Decreased risk of liver cancer
• Decreased risk of cirrhosis
Whether you are a hardened coffee drinker or thinking about exploring it for the first time, keep reading because I’ve got 9 of the healthiest ways to drink coffee I’m sure you’ll appreciate
#1. Make Your Coffee Bullet Proof
Running a location-independent business, often from home, requires a healthy appetite of risk. The ‘wild’ man in me instantly resonated with the sound of a ‘bullet proof coffee’. This formidable coffee combo checks all the right boxes.
Packed with oodles of nutritional value (vitamins A D E K, beta-carotene and omega 3 fatty acids among others) and substantial scientific support for the benefits of its grass fed butter backbone, this yummy coffee blend will have you hooked for life and firing on all cylinders…all day.
To prepare this great beverage, the experts recommend pouring your newly boiled water over freshly ground mycotoxin minimized beans. Next add two table spoons of yellow butter and 1 table spoon of coconut oil. Place into a high speed blender and zap that fluid for a couple of seconds.
As part of the well-known bullet proof diet, this coffee will not only provide a much need mental boost but the potent satiation boosting capacity is a veritable metabolic magic bullet if weight loss is a priority.
#2. Let Your Coffee Be the Spice of Life
Coffee with its robust aromas and rich flavors inherently lends itself to spicy augmentation of every kind. I am pleasantly surprised at the variety of coffee-compatible spices out there. Simply add a quarter teaspoon of the any of the following powdered spices to your mug of coffee and enjoy. Don’t feel restricted but rather strive to be empirical in your goal to find new and exciting flavor combinations.
Cinnamon can improve your sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is great if you are struggling to control your blood sugar. It has also been shown to have enormous impact on lowering your blood sugar levels. Other benefits include anti-microbial action, increased cancer fighting capacity, and ameliorate the progress of neurodegenerative diseases. Cinnamon is a real game changer and with a small pinch in your morning milk (mixes better in the milk than the coffee), you can harness some of the best health promoting benefits spices have to offer. Other healthy spices you can add to your coffee include the following:-
• Nutmeg is great for detoxing and has an incredible impact on the quality of your sleep (with decaffeinated coffee). Adding a small pinch to your morning coffee is sure to cure any halitosis for the day.
• Cardamom is a ginger relative and has all the same benefits. It’s a powerful diuretic and even helps with ailments as different as heart disease, bacterial infections, cancer, and treating type two diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
• Ginger in coffee – have you ever tried it? Before you throw your arms in the air in protestation, try a little. Even the smallest amount (a quarter teaspoon) really mixes well with the heavy coffee flavors transforming that boring cup to something you’d expect to sample in a quaint side alley coffee Shoppe in Morocco. Ginger has loads of medicinal properties for you, touted as a great anti-nausea agent; it also reduces post exercise muscle pain and combats inflammation. There’s simply no reason not to try one of these exciting spices in your next morning cup.
#3. Stay Clear Of Refined Sugar and Be Picky About the Artificial Sweetener You Use
Refined sugar is not a good idea. If you can steer clear of the sweet stuff, you can avoid a whole bunch of physical and even mental challenges for you and your loved ones. If you love sweet coffee then why not try some of these healthier alternatives.
With only 70% sucrose and a meager fructose level maple syrup is a healthier alternative with its great antioxidant profile. I would recommend it not only for the great organic flavor it possesses but also the lower impact it has on generating a rise out of insulin. With the glucose induced rapid rises in insulin negated, maple syrup is less likely to create the havoc (think type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome) commonly associated with refined white sugar.
One last shout-out to an incredible all-natural and enormously healthy (way more than refined sugar), is the plant-derived nectar of the Mexican indigenous Agave plant.
I love the artificial sweetener because it seamlessly sweetens our coffee with zero calories. It’s a no brainer if you are going to cut calories in order to lose some extra poundage. Little known unwanted impacts of this switch include a slow process of sweet taste sensation desensitization. What this basically means is that with excessive artificial sweetener use, we lose our capacity to detect the natural sweetness in foods.
In addition to this some claim artificial sweeteners, because they are devoid of caloric value, increase the craving for high caloric foods. This can be understood as a kind of back firing of the whole sweetness minus the calories benefit. Currently there are five FDA-approved non-carcinogenic artificial sweeteners and one natural low-calorie sweetener, Stevia.
#4. Cacao or Cocoa
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can find and offers myriad health benefits such as proteins, vitamins, natural carbohydrates and monounsaturated fats among others. Studies show that the methylxanthines caffeine and theobromine that are found in cacao have significant health benefits.
Theobromine has been shown to protect the enamel surface of teeth and together with caffeine is an excellent cough suppressant and bronchodilator (opening the airways). Not to be confused with cacao, cocoa is a heat derivative of cacao that comes at a lower nutritional value and price. There’s no surprise we’re all for a great tasting coffee drink made from cacao for one of the healthiest ways to drink your coffee.
Try a cold brew (you’ll need to leave it to stand overnight) coffee by adding 4 ounces (113.3 grams) of coarsely ground coffee to one table spoon raw organic cacao nibs (the tips of the cacao beans) add 4 ounces (113.3 grams) room temperature filtered water. Pour water into container with dry ingredients and allow to stand for 12 – 24 hours.
For that something extra, add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg or half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Before serving filter the mixture through cheesecloth or use a coffee filter, fill a glass with ice and add milk or sweetener to taste.
#5. Coconut to the Rescue
Use coconut oil to enrich the flavor of your coffee with big health benefits to boot. Coconut oil has a long list of wonderful benefits which included but not limited to, ameliorating Alzheimer’s disease, lowering the risk of heart disease and hypertension, cures urinary tract infections and lowers inflammation and arthritis.
Because coconut oil won’t readily mix with your black brew a high speed blender is recommended. Coconut milk has an equally impressive resume of benefits like lowered cholesterol, blood pressure as well as being antibacterial and is a supremely healthy alternative to milk or cream in your coffee. Ever heard of coconut sugar? Neither had we until recently and with a low glycemic index of 35 (white sugar is 58), this sweetener is less likely to mess with your insulin levels or metabolic resilience.
#6. The Vanilla Thriller
I love all things coffee and I love all things vanilla. Combining these two ingredients can create an intoxicating delicious drink packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and the capacity to lower your cholesterol. There is simply nothing more alluring than that fresh crisp vanilla flavor and combining it with your favorite blend of Coffea Arabica isn’t hard at all. If vanilla pods aren’t stocked in your local grocer then rest assured that regular cooking grade vanilla extract has up to 90% of the antioxidants found in unprocessed vanilla. There’s simply no reason not to try a delicious cup of strong Arabica with a sumptuous splash of vanilla for added flavor and good health. A great and simple vanilla infused coffee recipe is to add a dash or two of cinnamon to your coconut milk and warm over a low flame on the stove or for a couple of seconds in the microwave. In another cup, pour freshly filtered black coffee to which you can add a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Pour the milk-cinnamon mixture into your cup of freshly brewed coffee while stirring. Keep adding the milky mix until your coffee is a rich golden brown colour, perfect for drinking!
#7. Filter That Water and Make Sure the Coffee Beans are Organic.
There are a whole bunch of chemicals in your regular tap water of which heavy metals like mercury and lead are a definitive slow poisoning agent when consumed in large quantities. Unfortunately heavy metals are not destroyed by any heat-facilitated method such as boiling and only a good quality filter will be able to effectively detox your drinking water. It seems a no brainer then to have a custom under-counter water filtration system installed in your kitchen. In addition, the quality of your cuppa is going to show marked improvements in aroma and flavor without the contaminants. ‘Organic’ is the buzz word of the twenty-first century and for good reason. Without a standard of quality coffee, producers could sell goat poop among their beans and you wouldn’t even know. When are you out and about in your local grocery shopping for that perfect coffee bean, keep in mind that the designation ‘organic’ on the packaging is confirmation that after careful inspection by the relevant departments, the producers of that bean were cognizant to make a bean that subscribed to, among others, fair-trade, endorses equal opportunity employment policies and did not make use of excessive pesticides or artificial additives. This is reassuring because the reality is no amount of spices or clever cold brewing techniques can negate the deleterious impact of a broth made from insecticide (or worse) soaked coffee beans.
#8. Pure Peppermint Perfection
Like everything on our list of 9 healthiest ways to drink coffee, peppermint essential oil has no shortage of benefits. Positive impacts of peppermint oil have been noted for the symptomatic treatment of pruritus (itching), to ameliorating inflammatory bowel syndrome, alleviating post-operative nausea, and as an anti-fungal agent for folk with antibiotic resistant candida. Whether you’re looking for something different or for a novel dinner party finisher to impress the in-laws, peppermint oil is the way to go. Simply add three drops of peppermint essential oil to your cup of coffee and stir. You will be pleasantly surprised at the soothing and satisfying impact this has on any that typical large meal induced indigestion. But don’t stop here, get those creative juices flowing and combine some of the spices mentioned above for a unique blend of your very own.
#9. Heavenly Hazelnut oil
Hazelnut oil is an excellent source of the so called ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and it has been lauded as a valuable dietary component for those who suffer from gallstones and to calming any flaming ulcers. This stuff has ubiquitous healing applications like no other. Whether you eat it, drink it, put it in your hair or on your skin – hazelnut oil simply rocks. For this reason we’ve included this wonder of nature as a great way to augment your daily coffee intake to the levels of medicinal proportions. Since the oil isn’t going to mix with your brew of coffee, transform your morning coffee into an energizing emulsion with the aid of a blender and why not combine a dash of cinnamon to round it all off?
We hope this has been a wonderful read of what we believe to be 9 of the healthiest ways to drink your coffee. There’s a paradigm shift we are hoping you will make as you read these entries that embraces the idea that coffee can and should be enjoyed for its health promoting effects and that coffee mixes as easily with fat or oil based ingredients (with the help of a blender) like farm butter, coconut oil, hazelnut oil, and peppermint oil as it does with the better known water based additives like vanilla extract, coconut milk and ice.
As a coffee-mad location independent entrepreneur, I wanted to help dissolve any negative wrap coffee may have accumulated over the years by highlighting 9 simple yet enormously effective ways to enjoy and enhance the health benefits of that amazing little black bean. In sharing this list of the healthiest ways to drink coffee with you, I hope to inspire you to take your coffee drinking to a new level of flavor as well as health inspired sophistication.
If you found this article enjoyable, informative or helpful please pass it on to your friends and family. We would love to hear from you, so feel free to share your coffee drinking exploits in the comment section below.