6 Ways to Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier

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More than 60% of Americans drink coffee every day, and if you’re one of them, you know exactly how you like yours. Maybe you enjoy adding flavored syrups and creamers. Perhaps you add a spoonful of sugar and a bit of half-and-half.

Regardless of how you take your coffee, you could probably stand to make it healthier. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to brew — or order — a more nutritious and nutritious cup of joe.

1. Drink It Black

Lattes, frappes and other fancy coffee drinks are choc-full of calories, not to mention absurd amounts of sugar and fat. If you’re used to ordering these kinds of beverages, the mere thought of drinking your coffee black might make you cringe. However, doing so is the easiest and most effective way to make your coffee habit healthier. Slowly wean yourself off the creamy, sugary drinks and, eventually, your taste buds might come to love dark roasts and bold espressos.

2. Nix Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners contain little to no calories compared to regular sugar, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for your health. In fact, some data suggests that items like stevia and sucralose can disrupt brain function, promote food intake and negatively impact gut health, which can ultimately lead to diabetes. Others, like aspartame and saccharin, can also cause weight gain and irritable bowel syndrome. Nix the artificial sweeteners and use natural ones like honey, monk fruit or coconut sugar instead.

3. Enjoy Responsibly

Most people drink coffee in the morning but, if you take yours at night, you may want to rethink the habit. Caffeine has a half-life of about five hours, so if you consume 100 mg, 50 mg will remain in your system five hours later. Studies also show that caffeine can affect sleep for up to six hours after consumption. Therefore, it's best to drink a cup or two earlier in the day and cut yourself off at least a few hours before bedtime to ensure a good night's sleep.

4. Add Some Cocoa

Are you still struggling to ditch flavored syrups and creamers? Try adding a little chocolate to your java. Stir in a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder or a few pieces of dark chocolate to turn your coffee into a mocha. Both of these foods contain antioxidants that protect against cancer-causing free radicals. Plus, they’re high in flavonoids, which can increase blood flow and boost your mood. Adding chocolate may be the key to staying happy and healthy.

5. Use Organic Beans

Conventional coffee beans are exposed to a slew of chemicals in the form of fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. These substances contaminate the environment and your body, so you should buy organic beans whenever possible. This healthier variety doesn’t have synthetic additives or toxic ingredients, so you can feel good about your morning cup of joe. Read labels and do a bit of sleuthing to figure out where your coffee comes from to ensure it’s certified organic.

6. Filter the Water

You might assume that plain old tap water is fine for brewing coffee. However, if your pipes are old, they may leach metals like lead and copper into your water. Chlorine and fluoride can also find their way into tap water and harm your health in the long run. The brewing process won’t remove these harmful contaminants, so it’s best to use filtered water instead. Use a carbon filter or a reverse osmosis system to eliminate pollutants and enjoy a healthier, better-tasting cup of coffee.

Treat Yourself

Once you know how to make a healthier cup of coffee, you can get into a routine of making better brews. However, you should remember to treat yourself every now and then. Order the latter, add the extra whip and squeeze on some caramel drizzle. You only live once, and you can make a healthy drink tomorrow.


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