The morning just doesn’t feel right without coffee, but many of us make it a bit unhealthily. With tons of sugar and extra fats, the coffee cup the average person drinks isn’t the picture of health when it’s coming every morning. If you’re looking for some ways to make that morning cup of joe healthier… well, read on!
1. Take It Black
The easiest way to make your coffee healthier? Take it without adding sugar or cream. Both of those are loaded with empty calories, while a plain cup of black coffee actually has close to zero.
While it’s the easiest way, many people aren’t too fond of the flavor when it’s just bean water. If you’re in that category you still have plenty of options.
Try a French Press, a Moka Pot, or some other form of homemade coffee that’s a bit more involved than the ol’ drip pot. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference they make, creating a smoother experience from even mediocre beans.
The way you grind it also matters. True connoisseurs will find a burr grinder is the ultimate way to produce truly magnificent black coffee.
2. Try Adding Cinnamon
Adding cinnamon is a great way to get an extra boost of healthiness in your coffee.
The process is simple: add a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon to the grounds in your coffee maker and brew it normally. You can do the same with pour-over coffee.
The resulting brew tastes great. There are actual health benefits to it as well.
Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that will make you feel better throughout the day. For a bit of a flavor accent, a teaspoon of vanilla extract doesn’t go amiss and keeps the whole affair healthy as well!
3. Alternative Sweeteners
You can still get a sweet cup of coffee without the excess calories that come with a heaping spoon of sugar. There are enough artificial sweeteners and alternatives that no one is stuck with just using plain cane sugar these days.
You can even use honey in place of more refined sugars for an extra healthy boost. Just remember not to throw in too much or you’ll be right back where you started.
In addition, you can also find some herbs that work well if you’re willing to dig. Many times herbs can contain beneficial phytochemicals, aromatic compounds, and even a surprising amount of vitamins.
So, make it a bit weird and get a healthier cup!
4. Don’t Forget the Water
Many of us, even those who invest in expensive filters and bottled water, just make our coffee straight from the tap. Depending on where you’re at, that can be either non-ideal or downright unhealthy. Not all tap water is great for you, sometimes it’s just at the “won’t make you sick right now” level.
Filtered water is the best way to go. By stripping out the calcium and possible contaminants through activated charcoal or an RO filter you can get a much better cup of coffee.
As an added bonus? It’s easier on your equipment. Often the point of failure for residential coffee makers is tied in some way to calcium build-up. That means a healthier cup of coffee and the ability to make your coffee maker last even longer.
In any case, the fewer contaminants in your morning pick-me-up, the better.
5. Skip Creamers
The less sugar and cream you add to your coffee, the healthier the end cup will be. That said, not everyone is willing to give it up entirely. And… let’s face it, coffee is an integral part of many of our days.
Due to that fact, it’s best to try and skip the more processed creamers. Those with added, and often artificial, flavors are the worst but none of it is great for you.
If black coffee still sends you running in abject horror, you may want to try using 1 or 2% milk in place of standard creamer.
The low-calorie creamers out there won’t pack on the pounds as quickly but you should still avoid them. Low calories aren’t always healthy and often they have additives that can affect a person’s overall wellbeing.
If you must use cream, then use standard, organic creamer. And use it sparingly. To keep the calorie count down you should also make sure to use something other than sugar or honey to sweeten the cup.
Healthy Mornings, Happy Mind
You’re not stuck without options if you’re looking to make your morning caffeine habit a little bit healthier. Instead, you can dive into a fresh new world of alternative creamers, flavors, and spices. It’s sure to be a grand experiment but it’s an attainable goal. Are you ready to make your habit healthier?
Kate MacDonnell is an author for coffee-channel.com. MacDonnell has been a coffee enthusiast since she could reach the kitchen counter and a writer since she could hold a pen. A native of Colorado, she loves drinking amazing coffee all over the world and has an ever-growing collection of coffee gear. She’s sipped espresso with yuzu in Thailand, goat milk caramel lattes in Mexico, buttery white coffee in Malaysia, and cream cheese coffee in Korea. At a coffee plantation in Tanzania, MacDonnell roasted coffee beans over an open fire — and probably still smells like coffee. Trust us: you can’t get that aroma out of your hair! At home, her favorite brewing method is smooth, clear Chemex — although the Wacaco Minipresso is a close second. She enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man.