The beverage of choice for millions across the world every morning has its energy boosting perks, but there are mixed reviews as to whether coffee plays any role in a healthy lifestyle or not. If coffee is indeed as bad as it’s been said to be, are there any ways make your coffee healthy? Let’s get to the bottom of this.
Coffee: Good Guy or Bad Guy?
Coffee has earned a bad rep over the years, being blamed for a number of health issues including dehydration, heart disease and stunted growth.
Sorry, folks! You can’t blame coffee for your height or your dehydration. Though it is true that coffee is a mild diuretic (meaning it causes your kidneys to push more sodium and water out of the body), you won’t lose more fluid through urine than you take in by drinking something caffeinated. You are more likely to become dehydrated by just not taking in enough water.
Heart disease has been linked to coffee drinking as well, but recent research shows it would take roughly 6+ cups per day consistently to increase this risk. In addition, the lifestyle factors connected to heavy coffee drinkers are likely more to blame than the actual coffee itself. Skipping meals, cigarette smoking, a sedentary job and lifestyle, creamers with high fat and sugar content, etc., are also destructive to heart health and overall wellbeing.
Finally, moderate daily intake of coffee actually is known to provide some potential health benefits. Studies have shown that moderate coffee intake may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.
So what’s the verdict–good guy or bad guy? Like all things wellness, it can vary depending on personal sensitivity to caffeine and a number of other lifestyle factors. In general, coffee’s benefits seem to be somewhat neutral if consumed in moderation alongside a balanced, healthy diet.
If you notice non-optimum symptoms like withdrawal headaches or the jitters, you should take these warning signs into consideration and possibly consult a healthcare professional. Your body doesn’t throw out signals for no reason. Scale back your intake or consider decaf or half-caffeinated coffees instead. And please… don’t use coffee as a meal replacement!
Make Your Coffee Healthy: Add a Little Wellness to Your Morning Brew
Now that we’ve determined a cup or two of coffee each day won’t harm you, let’s dive into the ways coffee can be leveraged to benefit your overall wellness routine:
Sprinkle in some cinnamon. In addition to the comforting and delicious warmth of cinnamon, it also packs some powerful antioxidants. Daily cinnamon in your coffee will enhance flavor, alleviate breath issues while providing natural anti-inflammatory properties and cutting the risk of heart disease. (And so much more.) If you’re feeling adventurous, try a little turmeric and black pepper in your coffee for an even more intense super-coffee.
Ditch the dairy. Step into any nearly grocer today and you’ll see a whole section dedicated to non-dairy alternatives. Almond, cashew, walnut oat and soy options exist in both creamers and milks, and if you haven’t tried them yet… They’re delicious. Make the switch and not only will you NOT miss dairy, but your body will also thank you for the decreased saturated fat, risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease as well as digestive upset and other serious health concerns.
Hide supplements in it. As a teenager I was shocked to learn that our family spaghetti sauce recipe, much to my surprise, contained shredded carrots. Parents know how to hide healthy ingredients like vegetables and vitamins in tasty foods. Learn from the oldest trick in the book and sneak those supplements you’ve been avoiding into your coffee–i.e. collagen powder, protein or consider products like Laird Superfood Creamers or Coffee Boost.
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Coffee + Consistency
A factor which matters [arguably] the most in wellness is consistency.
That which is done daily and habitually has a better chance of producing an impact on overall health. This applies to diet, exercise, mental wellness, physical therapy, and the list goes ever onwards. Coffee presents a unique opportunity to piggyback other choices right into the mix. Every. Single. Day.