A recent study found regular coffee drinkers, even up to five cups a day, have lower chances of dying early due to diseases. Harvard researchers found regular coffee intake lowers death risks from heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, neurological disease as well as suicide in a span of 30 years.
The study's key takeaway is that regular coffee consumption can be made healthy and be part of a healthy diet. Study authors expressed that coffee drinkers should continue to enjoy drinking coffee. But people who do not like coffee shouldn't force themselves to take it just for the health benefits.
How To Make Coffee Healthy
There are many ways to drink coffee. Visit any coffee shop and the coffee styles alone will make one's head spin. Not to mention the many caffeinated drinks and frappes guaranteed to turn around a dull day. However, just because it has caffeine in it, doesn't mean it is healthy. Here are some tips on how to make a cup of Joe packed with health benefits without the guilt.
Save A Latte For Later
It's the holidays and every Starbucks lover knows it's the season for a Peppermint Mocha. But keep in mind, one Grande-sized (16 ounces) Peppermint Mocha with 2 percent milk comes with 175 mg caffeine, 54 grams (1.9 ounces) of sugar, 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of total fat, all for a whopping 440 calories. The total calorie content is almost equivalent to a meal that includes a 4-ounce grilled chicken with half cup of cooked brown rice, one-and-a-half cup of sautéed vegetables and one-fourth cup of red Thai sauce.
In the spirit of the season, do indulge in your favorite frappe drinks, but be mindful of the added sugars that raise calories to skyrocketing amounts. Coffee companies like Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Tim Horton's have nutrition guides so you can see clearly what you're sipping.
Mind The Sugar
A Grande-sized (16 ounces) Café Americano comes with 225 mg caffeine, zero grams of sugar, zero grams of total fat, all for a total of 15 calories. While there are people who like to take their coffee black, some people pile on the sugar and milk. One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and most people aren't content with just one. Two tablespoons of half and half come with 40 additional calories and many people even pour in half a cup.
Stevia is a good, no-calorie alternative to refined sugar. The purified stevia extract is up to 300 times sweeter than ordinary sugar, enabling people use very little to sweeten a cup of coffee.
Spice Up Your Cup
Coffee purists take their coffee black – no sugar, no cream. But if you do like additional taste dimensions in your cup, try sprinkling a bit of iron-rich cinnamon, which helps in stabilizing blood sugar and lowering bad cholesterol levels. Ground nutmeg is good for the digestive system, while cardamom has anti-carcinogenic and anti-depressant qualities. A fan favorite addition to coffee is unsweetened cocoa powder, one teaspoon of it is packed with up to 9 percent of the recommended daily consumption of zinc, magnesium, iron and manganese.