Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Many health professionals believe it’s also one of the healthiest.
For some people, it’s the single largest source of antioxidants in the diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined.
Here are a few tips to turn your coffee from healthy to super healthy.
- DONT TAKE COFFEE AFTER 2 P.M.
Coffee is one of the richest natural sources of caffeine in the diet.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is one of the main reasons coffee is so popular. It gives you a jolt of energy and helps you stay awake when you feel tired.
But if you drink coffee late in the day, it can interfere with your sleep. Poor sleep is associated with all sorts of health problems.
For this reason, it’s important not to drink coffee late in the day. If you must, choose decaf or opt for a cup of tea instead, this contains much less caffeine than coffee.
Abstaining from coffee after 2–3 p.m. is a good guideline. That said, not everyone is equally sensitive to caffeine, and some people may sleep just fine even if they had coffee late in the day.
Nevertheless, if you feel like you could improve your sleep, avoiding coffee late in the day could be an effective strategy.
- DO NOT LOAD YOUR COFFEE WITH TOO MUCH SUGAR
Although coffee is healthy in itself, you can easily turn it into something harmful. The best way to do that is to put a whole bunch of sugar in it. Added sugar is arguably one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet. Sugar, mainly due to its high amount of fructose, is linked to all sorts of serious diseases like obesity and diabetes.
If you can’t imagine living your life without a sweetener in your coffee, use a natural sweetener like stevia.
- CHOOSE A QUALITY BRAND, PREFERABLY ORGANIC
The quality of coffee can vary greatly depending on the processing method and how the coffee beans were grown.
Coffee beans tend to be sprayed with synthetic pesticides and other chemicals that were never intended for human consumption.
However, the health effects of pesticides in food are controversial. There is currently limited evidence that they cause harm when found at low levels in produce.
Nevertheless, if you are worried about the pesticide content of your coffee, consider buying organic coffee beans. They should contain much lower amounts of synthetic pesticides.
- APPLY MODERATE INTAKE OF COFFEE
While a moderate intake of coffee is healthy, drinking too much may reduce its overall benefits.
Excessive caffeine intake may have various adverse side effects, although people’s sensitivity varies.
In general, Health Canada recommends not exceeding 1.1 mg per pound (2.5 mg per kg) of body weight per day.
Given that an average cup of coffee may contain around 95 mg of caffeine, this corresponds to about two cups of coffee per day for someone weighing 176 pounds (80 kg).
However, much higher amounts of caffeine (400–600 mg) per day (about 4–6 cups) are not associated with any adverse side effects in most people.
Drinking coffee is all about balancing its risks and benefits. Listen to your body and consume no more than you can comfortably tolerate.
- ADD SOME CINNAMON AND COCOA TO YOUR COFFEE
Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and associated with all sorts of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Try adding a dash of cocoa powder to your coffee for some added flavour.
Cinnamon is a tasty herb that mixes particularly well with the flavour of coffee.
Studies show that cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics.
If you need some flavour, try adding a dash of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly good.
Just make sure to not put too much of it in your cup. While small amounts of cinnamon are healthy, too much may cause some adverse side effects.
- BREW YOUR COFFEE WITH USING A FILTER, IF NECESSARY
Brewed coffee contains cafestol, a diterpene that can raise cholesterol levels in the blood.
However, reducing its levels is simple. Just use a paper filter.
Brewing coffee with a paper filter effectively lowers the amounts of cafestol but lets the caffeine and beneficial antioxidants pass through.
However, cafestol is not all bad. Recent studies in mice suggest it has anti-diabetic effects.