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How to Make Drinking Coffee Healthier

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Here’s a reason to really enjoy your morning cup of joe: it practically qualifies as a health food these days. Coffee can improve your mood, jumpstart your metabolism, boost your workout, and help you focus, among other amazing benefits suggested by recent research.
Yet you won’t score these health rewards unless you steer clear of certain bad habits when it comes to preparing and sipping your favorite brew. Some coffee-prep practices strip the beans of their high levels of micronutrients like polyphenols, a type of antioxidant thought to help prevent heart disease and other conditions. And ordering beverages loaded with dairy and sugar can turn this naturally low-calorie beverage into a delivery system for fat and calories.

To get the most from your coffee, make sure you’re not committing any of the mistakes called out by Bob Arnot, MD in his new book, The Coffee Loverā€™s Diet: Change Your Coffeeā€¦Change Your Life. With Arnot’s advice in mind, here’s the right way to prepare and savor your brew.

Cut Back on Sugar 

Coffee and sugar have always been a popular pairing. Sprinkling in the sweet stuff wonā€™t take away from coffee’s polyphenol level, but it can detract from the healthfulness of the drink thanks to the extra calories (16 per sugar packet) and the way refined sugar messes with your blood-sugar levels. If you need sugar because your coffee tastes too bitter, try a brew made from naturally sweeter beans.

Go Easy on the Cream

Coffee with cream is another delicious duo. Two tablespoons of heavy cream packs about 100 calories; the same amount of half-and-half has 38. These numbers may not seem like much, but if you drink a few cups or more a day, it adds up. Many people mask the bitterness of their coffee with cream, so save yourself the calories and pick a lighter roast, or stick to low-fat milk only. Speaking of milk and cream, try to make smoothie-like blended coffee drinks, which can have hundreds of calories each, an occasional splurge.

Drink Lighter-Roast Brews

ā€œSuperdark roasts, swirled with cream and sugar to cover their burnt-wood taste, are the coffee equivalent of soggy green beans that have been cooked all-day with a fatty ham hock or a slice of bacon,ā€ writes Arnot. Lighter roasts may take some getting used to, but they can be just as flavorful and are much higher in polyphenols. If you can’t give up the dark stuff, roast the beans yourself at a temperature no higher than 430 degrees This creates that bold, dark flavor yet retains a decent level of polyphenols.

Buy Higher-Quality Beans

One way to know if your coffee is healthy is to evaluate the taste: healthier coffee tastes better. To get the good-for-you kind, Arnot suggests buying premium coffees grown on farms with excellent cultivation practices. Stick to farms located at high altitudes close to the equator in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Columbia and Brazil. African coffees tend to be lighter, whereas South American coffees are generally fuller-bodied.

Wash the Coffee Maker

You wash your pans after cooking with them, right? If you didn’t, the next dish you prepared in them wouldn’t taste right. The same principle goes for your coffee equipment. Rinsing coffee machines and makers with vinegar and hot water, suggests Arnot, will make your next brew more robust and flavorful.

Make Coffee with Fresh, Ripe Beans

Coffee is at its best between two days and two weeks after the beans are roasted. Arnot recommends buying small bags from local roasters and using them within three to four daysā€”storing them not in your fridge but in an opaque, airtight container kept away from sunlight to preserve freshness. Ask for coffee packed in nitrogen-flushed bags; this prevents oxidation and help preserve the taste of the beans for a few months before you’re ready to roast.

Grind the Beans

If the beans are ground too small, you’ll get bitter-tasting coffee. Grind them too coarsely, however, and the coffee will taste weakā€”not to mention be depleted ofpolyphenols. Arnot recommends a medium-level coarseness, whether you’re grinding it yourself or having someone behind a counter do it for you.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900

Additional Topics: What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is an well-known, alternative treatment option utilized to prevent, diagnose and treat a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the spine, primarily subluxations or spinal misalignments. Chiropractic focuses on restoring and maintaining the overall health and wellness of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic, can carefully re-align the spine, improving a patientā€™s strength, mobility and flexibility.

 

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "How to Make Drinking Coffee Healthier" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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