Coffee drinkers have been celebrating the news regarding the health benefits of their favorite morning (and afternoon) pick-me-up. Coffee has been found to contain a significant amount of antioxidants, and to possibly protect drinkers from an array of ailments, including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon and breast cancers.
Want to make your coffee habit even healthier? Try these five tips, suggested by Health.
Drink a glass of water first
Although caffeine is a diuretic — meaning it promotes the loss of fluids — research has shown that your body can adjust to a consistent intake of caffeine, which counteracts its dehydrating effect. But many people who begin their day with coffee don’t drink the proper quantity of plain water by bedtime. To stay well-hydrated, try drinking at least eight ounces of water when you wake up, and consume an additional four 16-ounce servings of water throughout the day.
Don’t add artificial sweeteners
Although artificial sweeteners are calorie-free, research has revealed that they trigger cravings, and are linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Try adjusting to black coffee, or add a small amount of real sugar instead.
Use only one packet of sugar
For women, the American Heart Association recommends a daily limit of six teaspoons of added sugar per day. If you’d like to put some of that in your coffee, use packets or a measuring spoon to keep track of your intake. One packet of sugar or one teaspoon is recommended. If you add pre-sweetened milk or creamer, skip the sugar.
Use grass-fed dairy or plant-based milk
If you like your java with dairy, choose grass-fed and organic milk or cream. Dairy produced in such a way is more nutrient dense, and contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
You might also consider opting for “milks” and creamers made from almond, coconut, cashew, and other plant sources. They can be much less caloric than traditional creamers, and are often produced with all-natural ingredients.
Add cinnamon or other spices
Cut your sugar intake by adding “sweet” spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to boost flavor and aroma, as well as increase your intake of antioxidants. Cinnamon offers another boost by assisting with the regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.