A Healthier Cup of Joe

I love coffee…black, dark and strong. For me it’s the taste and the morning ritual that goes along with it. Coffee is not a ‘pick me up’ for me. I prefer Americano’s – fresh brewer Luwak Coffee in Bali

Luwak Coffee in Bali

espresso…not eXpresso…shots topped with a little hot water. I have gone back and forth and back again over the whole “should I drink coffee?” “is coffee good or bad for you?” Yes, there are health benefits to coffee however, there are some not so healthy things about coffee too. It really depends on who you ask. But, I am not here to debate whether or not coffee you should or shouldn’t drink coffee. That is a decision you need to make for yourself…listen to your body, know your dosha (Ayurvedic Medicine) and learn what coffee is the most nutritious. If you do choose to drink coffee, moderation is key. Below are a few tidbits that will assist you in your decision making.

Fast Metabolizer vs Slow Metabolizer
There are two types of caffeine metabolizers…those who metabolize caffeine slowly and those who metabolize it quickly. If you are the type who becomes jittery after a couple cups of Joe then you fall into the first category, which means the caffeine gets build up in your system causing the jitters. That over time could cause unwanted effects in the body. If you can drink coffee all day with no jitters or drink a cup and go to bed with no trouble then you are in the latter group. I happen to fall into this group.

Organic vs Non-Organic
Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the diet for the majority of people. Coffee is also the most pesticide contaminated product next to chocolate. We all know that pesticides are toxic in our bodies making our liver work overtime. As the toxins build in your body it becomes less able to absorb nutrients and vitamins you take in. Organic coffee is the way to go if you want to reap the benefits of the antioxidants and nutrients in the bean and to cut down on the intake of pesticides. Remember though…not all farms can afford to pay for the Organic authentication stamp. Talk to your local coffee roaster and ask them about the farms they purchase their coffee from. That leads us to the next debate.

Local Roasters vs. Grocery Store
Again, this goes back to the fact that coffee is imported in the form of green coffee beans. Those green coffee beans are then roasted but where? and how far from where you are purchasing it. Buying from a local roaster ensures that your coffee is fresher and more recently roasted. The fresher any product the more nutritious. That in turn leads to a healthier cup of Joe. And an added bonus is supporting your local small businesses.

Whole Beans vs Ground
Coffee is imported which means it travels long distances before getting to the roasters and then to the store shelves and finally to you. Coffee is like anything else…the longer it sits the less nutrient dense it becomes. The whole bean will hold the nutrients longer than ground beans. Buying whole beans and grinding just what you need for that mornings coffee is the way to go for higher antioxidant and nutrient content.

Acidic vs Alkaline
Coffee is very acidic which in and of itself is not a huge concern unless the rest of your diet is high in acidic causing foods. Examples of acidic foods are…meat, dairy, soda, sugar, processed foods, baked goods, etc. FYI – our bodies need to be slightly alkaline. Taking in too many acidic causing food like items can wreck havoc in our bodies and cause all sorts of trouble but that is a discussion for another day. To neutralize your morning cup of Joe try adding some spices. Here is a recipe I like to make…however a dash or two of cinnamon, ginger or cardamon is helpful.

2 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Maca Powder (optional)
1 Tbsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cardamon
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Bentonite Clay (optional)

Use 1 tsp / cup of coffee or to taste.

Another fact about caffeine in coffee – Espresso has less caffeine than drip coffee and darker roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts. However, no one can make an exact calculation of caffeine due to all the variables involved, such as beans used, water temperature, the grind, and beverage size. Then of course there is always the question of what one puts in their coffee. I think we can save that discussion for a later date, though.

The bottom line…if you want your morning cup of Joe to be healthy and full of goodness then buy organic whole beans from a local roaster and grind as needed. Maybe throw in a spice or two.

Drink Good Coffee!


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