The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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coffee
Coffee can do wonders for those who struggle to get started in the morning, and can have many benefits when consumed correctly. However, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to have your coffee, and there are ways to make even healthy coffee habits healthier. The following are a few ways to turn your coffee habit into a healthy boost for your body.

Avoid Adding Sugar


While coffee can be an important stimulant, often people add sugar to get rid of the bitter taste that lingers. Instead of sweetening your coffee with sugar, you may try a substitute like Stevia or eat a piece of naturally sweet fruit with your coffee instead. This will keep your blood sugar from spiking too high when you seek to satisfy your coffee indulgence. Even popular flavor and cream additives like Keurig pods come in sugar-free and organic varieties that are much healthier to consume than the generic, sugar-loaded versions. While sugar is essential to your health, too much added, refined sugar in your diet can cause serious health problems. If you still need that extra sweet kick, find natural forms of sugar like fruit to have with your coffee. Most fruits work very well with coffee and can be eaten alongside or even mixed into coffee as a way to add natural flavor when other additives don’t work.

Bullet Proof Coffee


If you are trying to maintain a high-fat and low-carb diet, then you might find "bulletproof" coffee to be an effective alternative to regular coffee for your dietary needs. By adding in a little salted, grass-fed butter and organic coconut oil, this can help you get a vital source of important fats in the morning. Adding a little cinnamon for taste can help too. Not only will this improve coffee’s ability to stimulate your body, but it can also help to stave off hunger and give you laser-like focus as well. Adding healthy elements to your morning coffee is a great way to get essential nutrients into your diet and kicking cravings for more sugary alternatives.

Know When to Stop


While getting that boost in the morning can be great for your ability to function throughout the day, it can cause serious problems if consumed too close to bedtime. Even after the initial kick ends, the effects of caffeine linger in your body for several hours and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Even if you are able to fall asleep, having coffee too close to evening can result in less restful sleep, preventing essential REM cycle time that helps rejuvenate your mind and body for the next day. To prevent the stimulating effects of coffee from keeping you up late at night, you should stop drinking coffee by 2:00 pm. Otherwise, you risk waking up even more tired than before you started drinking coffee, creating something of a tired cycle.

Coffee and Nutrient Deficiencies


What a lot of people do not realize is that coffee prevents the absorption of and leaches certain vitamins and minerals from your body. It is important for coffee drinkers to prevent themselves from becoming deficient in these critical vitamins and minerals. So, if you are an avid coffee drinker, you must ensure that drinking coffee is done in a way that does not prevent the absorption of Iron, manganese and vitamin D, or that it does not cause your body to eliminate too much magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. One way to prevent these deficiencies is to not take supplements within an hour of having coffee to keep the inherent caffeine from hindering nutrient absorption and retention. If you’ve noticed signs of vitamin deficiency, you can also speak to a professional dietician to isolate exactly what vitamins you are low on and what supplements you need to take when to combat that. ...    Continue



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