What to Add to Your Coffee for Added Health Benefits

We’re all familiar with the age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for those of us who need a little extra something to access our inner morning person, coffee becomes a staple morning drink, essential to kick-start any day.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with many health professionals believing it’s also one of the healthiest. For some people, it could even be the single biggest source of antioxidants in their diet, outweighing both fruits and vegetables combined. Studies have further proven that drinking coffee has major health benefits beyond helping us snap out of our morning drowsiness, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Coffee is no longer just a liquid vehicle for delivering caffeine,” explains Vincent Pedre, MD, author of “Happy Gut”. Beyond just creamer and flavoured syrup, many have started to mix in powders, spices, and various superfoods to enhance the already well-established perks of coffee to achieve different health goals.

Looking to ditch your daily trip to the café? Why not replace that sugar cup of overpriced coffee with these simple add-ons that give a healthy boost to your morning drink and make the most out of your coffee!

Spices

Spices don’t just belong in tea. Spices like cinnamon and turmeric not only infuse a distinctive taste and pleasing aroma to your cup of joe, but also provide bonus health benefits.

Cinnamon

If you want to maximise flavour without adding any extra calories, cinnamon is a tried and tested top-notch add-in. Mixing it in your drink is simple too – either brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick to allow it to slowly infuse, or add a dash of cinnamon powder to your cup to enjoy an all-year round version of a holiday drink, sans all the sugar.

Adding a pinch of cinnamon has proven to also boost antioxidants, lower blood sugar, and even lower your risk of heart disease. The antiviral and antibacterial properties in this spice can further boost your immune system, warding off colds with its abundance of manganese, iron, and calcium.

Tumeric

Turmeric Coffee, or more famously known as golden milk latte, is both delicious and easy to make, having been used medicinally for over 4,500 years. Native to Southern India and Indonesia, it is now used all over the world for its renowned flavour and health benefits. Spice up your coffee with a small amount, about ½ teaspoon, of turmeric powder to add a pleasant balanced flavour without overdoing it.

Turmeric further boasts curcumin, a powerful antioxidant compound that gives this spice its colour. Its popularity stems from possessing anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-aging, and pain-relieving properties – all of which makes turmeric a delicious and healthy add-on for any meal.

Pantry Ingredients

Not keen on hitting the grocery stores and purchasing new ingredients just for your coffee? Look no further than your own pantry. These kitchen staples are sure to add great flavour to your morning pick-me-up without compromising on convenience and nutrients.

Butter or Coconut Oil

Butter coffee, also known as the wildly popular bulletproof coffee, has gained some buzz recently, especially with the massive rise of the ketogenic diet. David Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof, recommends either using grass-fed butter or ghee to get the most antioxidants and omega-3s out of your coffee. Alternatively, coconut oil has the same effect in coffee, improving energy levels and aiding digestion. Either add the butter or coconut oil to freshly brewed coffee or opt to jazz things up a little by mixing with a blender or milk frother to create a delicious, creamy latte.

The healthy fats from butter and coconut oil help keep energy levels stable, meaning you won’t experience blood sugar spikes and that familiar post-coffee crash that may occur after consuming sugary caffeinated drinks. They also contain important nutrients, namely vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for skin health, immune function, and good vision.

Lemon

Lemon water and lemon-infused tea have been go-to wellness cocktails for decades, but combining the coffee with the fruit has also become a trend. This can easily be recreated just by mixing 1 cup of coffee with the juice of 1 lemon.

Aside from its contrasting flavours, the antioxidant benefits of lemon and coffee help make the drink a yummy digestive concoction. New research also finds that the greater the intake of citrus fruit, the lower the risk of lung cancer. However, as many health professionals have pointed out, it is important to note that fads like lemon coffee are not a magical cure to melt away fat, prevent headaches, or treat diarrhoea. The drink should be treated as simply a tasty digestive aid.

What to Avoid

While it’s fun to experiment with coffee supplements – just like any food – it is important to also take note of what to reduce or avoid. This is especially so for when we’re ordering out, whether at a coffee chain or your local cafe, where a simple frappuccino could contain a mix of unwanted additives that might taste yummy, but pose hidden side effects.

Flavoured Syrup

Syrups like vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel, or pumpkin spice are made up of pure cane sugar and artificial colours, often containing more sugar than expected. These syrups are present in almost every specialty drink you order at chain cafés or bottled at the store, with no way for consumers to control their amount.

These whopping amounts of sugar and calories cause a big spike in blood sugar levels, especially when consumed regularly.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial zero-calorie sweeteners like Splenda, while promoted as a healthy and guilt-free sugar alternative, are shown to be linked to things like impaired glucose metabolism, which may lead to cravings and up your risk of diabetes. They may also mess up our gut bacteria, which mounting research shows plays a big role in many bodily functions

Instead, try natural sweeteners like Naturel Organic Coconut Nectar as a healthy additive to further sweeten the drink to your preference. Unlike refined sugars and other processed syrups, it has a low glycemic index and is rich in vitamins and minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, and Vitamin C. Its sweet taste and scent further elevates your coffee, giving it a refreshing hint of coconut.

The Add-On Verdict

If you wish to try adding these mix-ins to your coffee, make sure to keep balance in mind.

Watch out for any warning signs of caffeine dependency, especially if you consume coffee every day. Should you notice any telltale symptoms of withdrawal such as fatigue or a spike in low energy, cut back on the coffee and focus on your diet and exercise.

To make the rest of your day’s diet adequately nutritious, be sure to fuel up on extra protein, fruits, and vegetables. Ultimately, a balanced and nutritious diet should be maintained in addition to these DIY additives. Some organic alternatives for everyday meals include Naturel Organic Brown Rice and Naturel Organic Buckwheat Spaghetti, which are easy and healthy replacements to quickly give your diet a wholesome boost.

Beyond coffee, watching what you put in your food is equally as important. Start your day off right and maintain that energy boost with informed, health-conscious choices to really start seeing its effects.