How to Get the Most Health Benefits from Coffee
Over the years, there has been a lot of debate about the health benefits of coffee.
While some people remain convinced that a caffeine-infused substance can’t be good for you, countless scientific studies show that the opposite is true. In fact, meta-analyses – huge studies looking at large groups of research – show us that drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day can be a fantastic way to improve your health.
With anywhere between three to five cups of coffee each day, you can potentially reduce your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, while minimizing the threat of diabetes, melanoma, and heart disease too.
The trouble is, you need to know how to get the most out of your Java if you want to reap the many benefits that coffee can bring. Super-sized, sugar-laden coffee drinks packed full of cream and syrup aren’t going to give you the boost you’re looking for. Instead, you need to know how to embrace the healthy side of your coffee habit.
Step 1: Choose the Best Coffee Beans
You can’t make great coffee if you don’t have the right ingredients. If the beans aren’t good quality – or worse, you’re relying on freeze-dried grounds to make your drinks each day then you can forget all the benefits that coffee has to offer. Look for an organically-grown brand that can deliver fresh beans straight to your door.
Much of the traditional ground coffee you’ll find on supermarket shelves may have been treated with pesticides, fertilizers, and other substances that reduce it’s potential as a health-giving substance. Although you might be tempted to look for ways that you can save money, you do get what you pay for when it comes to coffee.
If possible, see if you can learn more about the coffee company before you invest. Where do they grow their beans, what kind of harvesting strategies do they use and how do they make sure you’re getting the best flavor?
Step 2: Embrace the Right Brewing Process
Once you’ve got the right beans, you’ll be ready to start making your coffee.
The process you use to brew, filter, and serve your drink can make a huge difference to its potential health benefits. First of all, you want whole beans – not pre-ground ones. Once coffee beans have been ground, they begin to oxidize, which means that you lose many of the antioxidants and minerals that coffee is known for.
Grind your coffee beans just because you make a fresh cup, then add filtered water. This will help you to avoid any chlorine, fluoride, or other unwanted substances in your tap water. Then, you can brew the coffee slowly, allowing the water to heat up and steep the mixture gradually until you get the flavor you love.
Finally, remember to use a paper filter. Paper filters remove kahweol and cafestol from coffee grounds, which can raise your LDL cholesterol levels.
Step 3: Choose the Right Time to Drink Coffee
As much as you’re tempted to finish your evening meal with a mint and an espresso – drinking coffee late at night is rarely a health-conscious thing to do. While coffee has a lot of benefits to offer, it’s important to remember that it does contain caffeine, which can really have an impact on your adrenal system.
While coffee helps to raise your energy levels and prepare you for the day ahead, it can also leave you feeling wired when the thing you want to do most is settle down for a good night’s sleep. That’s why it’s best to time your consumption of coffee so that you don’t stock up on java less than five hours before you plan to go to sleep.
Since different people respond to coffee in their own unique ways, your “ideal” time to drink coffee might not be the same as it is for your friends and family. Pay attention to your body and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Step 4: Choose Cinnamon Instead of Sugar<
As healthy as coffee can be by itself, it’s easy to turn it into something less beneficial when you load your brew full of sugars, syrups, and other body-clogging substances. Many scientists consider refined sugar to be one of the worst substances in the modern diet, thanks to its connection with diabetes and obesity.
Investing in high-quality coffee should mean that you don’t need lots of sugar to enjoy the flavor. However, if you do want something extra on top of your java, you can always try a natural sweetener like cinnamon instead.
Cinnamon is great for bringing out the natural flavors of coffee, and it can also reduce things like cholesterol and blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
Step 5: Switch your Creamers for Something New
Artificial and low-fat creamers are often highly-processed and packed full of ingredients you’d rather not have in your body. Although the substances you’ll find in any creamer can vary from one brand to the next, it’s important to think carefully about how you spruce up your daily beverage.
Instead of a low-fat creamer, consider adding some full-fat dairy to your coffee instead so that you can reap the benefits of added calcium and vitamin K.
Alternatively, if you’re brave enough to try something new, you could consider the “Bulletproof coffee” trend. Essentially, this involves adding coconut oil and full-fat butter to your coffee to boost your energy levels and deliver extra nutrients. Just make sure that you choose grass-fed butter for the best results.
Step 6: Drink the Right Amount
Finally, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
While a moderate intake of coffee might be great for your body – too much can have negative side effects. For instance, an over-abundance of caffeine can make it difficult to sleep well at night and may even cause gastrointestinal problems.
As mentioned above, we all respond to coffee in our own unique ways, so you’ll need some experimentation to find out how often you can drink your favorite beverage without suffering any negative side effects. The general consensus is to stick with no more than 4 cups a day to start.
Ultimately, getting the most health benefits out of coffee is all about balancing the benefits, with the potential risks. Drink coffee responsibly, and it can become an important supplement in your healthy routine.
Bio: Raj Jana is an avid coffee fan, and the founder of Java Presse, an organic coffee subscription company. Raj created his business with a devotion to delivering delicious, healthy and high-quality coffee beans to people around the world. When he’s not keeping his firm running smoothly, Raj likes to share his health tips and coffee know-how with the world.