As we've discussed in various posts, there are abundant health benefits of coffee: for example, one cup represents a contribution of 1.8 grams of fiber. Plus, moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 26%. But while coffee itself has these benefits, many of its additives and derivatives do not, and can hinder the overall health value of your morning cup of joe. Here are just a few ideas to help you maximize the health value of your coffee consumption.
Decrease Added Sugars
Whether you add sugar in the form of syrups, granules, or creamers, it's still sugar. Most agree that sugary creamers are the worst, since they're made with hydrogenated vegetable oils and/or high fructose corn syrups. If you want to sweeten your drink naturally, just use raw cream, which will help to balance the bitterness. Over time, you can wean yourself off of refined sugar by using cream as a substitute.
Drink Coffee After a Meal
Most people think it's best to drink coffee during a meal -- usually breakfast -- but this isn't exactly the case. Experts say that it's ideal to wait until after mealtime because of the way your digestive system works.
"Caffeine causes your body to release sugar into your bloodstream which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin. On an empty stomach this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar which can then set up more sugar cravings...Furthermore, the caffeine can suppress your appetite causing you to go longer without feeling hungry. This sets up further episodes of low blood sugar and further coffee and sugar cravings," writes Craig Fear on Fearless Eating.
Consider Organic/Specialty Coffees
Finally, it should come as no surprise that higher quality coffee and tea results in better health benefits. If possible, explore your options regarding organic and specialty coffees as opposed to the cheaper and more generic alternatives. Not only will it taste better, but it'll make you feel better as well.
Ultimately, knowing how to drink your coffee while keeping your health in mind can help you make the very most of that morning cup of joe.