Brewing a healthier cup of java

 
By Mina Radman • Published: August 2nd, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Does your day begin with a jolt of coffee? You’re in good company. Fifty-four percent of American adults drink coffee daily, according to the National Coffee Association. Research shows coffee has health benefits that go beyond helping your eyelids open up each morning. It has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. It also acts as a potent antioxidant while jumpstarting your metabolism and improving your mood.

However, coffee’s benefits can be swept away by sugary syrups and heavy cream. To score more health rewards, re-examine how you prepare your morning pot.

First, take a closer look at the beans. You want high-quality, light-roast beans, which produce coffee with the highest concentration of caffeine. That delivers a bigger jolt from a smaller cup.

If you like your coffee sweet, try using honey or pure maple syrup instead of sugar. Both natural sweeteners are packed with antioxidants and made mostly of fructose, a type of sugar naturally occurring in fruits that the body easily metabolizes.

Like your coffee creamy? Use whole milk in place of heavy creamers for calcium with less fat. If your system can’t handle cow’s milk, substitute unsweetened almond milk.

Consider taking your coffee’s taste up a notch. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg are great additions, as the popularity of pumpkin spice lattes shows. Cinnamon is also known to reduce cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease, while nutmeg is known to strengthen cognitive function.

Try these small changes and make your morning cup of coffee the healthiest, and maybe the tastiest, that it can be.