Coffee is a drink that I refuse to start my day without, like many of you I’m sure, and thankfully, coffee is actually already healthy for us without adding anything to it. Coffee is a fantastic source of B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, fiber, zinc, copper, and chromium. It’s been proven to boost mental focus, ward off diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, reduce depression, provide energy, and help you feel alert and positive. While too much is never a good thing, a little coffee each day goes a long way. Plus, coffee is just plain delicious, and you should be able to enjoy it – so long as you know how to do so healthfully.
The trouble with coffee comes when you add creamers with hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners or flavorings that contain harmful additives. If you’re not sure how to make your coffee healthier or if you are looking for healthier ingredients to add flavor to your coffee, I’ve got some fantastic options for you to choose from- not to worry!
1. Choose Unsweetened Nondairy Milk
Nondairy milk is the best thing you can add to your coffee in place of cow’s milk. It contains no palm oil and no cane syrup like some vegan creamers do. Cane syrup or cane juice are merely less refined forms of straight sugar. Avoiding them can improve your blood sugar and also help curb nasty sugar addictions at the same time. Nondairy milk contains twice the calcium of regular milk, is naturally free of oil and provides you with Vitamin B12. Just be sure to choose an unsweetened variety to avoid added sugars from cane juice and cane syrup found in regular nondairy milk. I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk and unsweetened soy milk the best. Those are the most creamy and in my opinion, the less overwhelming in flavor when added to coffee.
2. Add Some Stevia
Stevia is a natural sweetener made from the stevia plant. It’s contains no artificial ingredients and when bought from a trusted source, will not be bitter and will also be free of GMO’s, allergens, and nasty additives. It’s best to buy organic stevia when you can so you’re rest assured it’s the real deal. Adding stevia to your beverages is an easy way to sweeten them without any sugar. I use two packets or 2 full drops of liquid stevia per cup of coffee.
3. Add Alcohol-Free Flavoring
If you’re a fan of flavored coffee, you’ll be glad to know you can make your own at home. All you need to do is add a dash of flavoring to your coffee grounds before brewing. I like vanilla, but you can choose from a variety at the store. I do suggest buying organic alcohol-free flavorings, which I think taste better and I appreciate that they’re free of chemicals and alcohol in general.
4. Brew Organic
Organic beans assure you there are no pesticides in your morning cup of coffee and that the beans were made in a more sustainable manner. It’s even better if you choose a brand that’s fair-trade, which also assures that the producers of the coffee were treated fairly and paid fair wages.
5. Add a Bit of Cinnamon
Since coffee is a rich source of chromium, it naturally supports healthy blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is also a rich source of chromium, so adding a dash of cinnamon to your coffee is a great way to increase this benefit. Chromium not only helps support healthy blood sugar levels but can also ward off sugary cravings.
Be sure you enjoy the benefits of coffee and even have a little healthy coffee cake alongside your morning cup. How do you drink your coffee?
Image source: Russell James Smith/Flickr