What’s in Your Cup of Joe? How To Make a Healthy Cup of Coffee
The research shows both pros and cons to your health when drinking coffee. My biggest emphasis is that you are choosing to drink the coffee for pleasure and you aren’t compelled to reach for it out of desperation for energy during the day.
Many of you are drinking decaf to eliminate the caffeine and simply enjoy the drink! That is GREAT! Some of you are happy leaving a cup of morning coffee in your routine and making other healthy changes. I respect all of that, but I do challenge everyone to make a few thoughtful upgrades that will eliminate more of the stress coffee can put on your body.
Ready for a few additional tips to help make sure your coffee (decaf or regular) is healthier for you?
1. USE ORGANIC COFFEE. Did you know that consistent coffee consumption can be a significant source of pesticides (depending on the quality and brand of coffee you choose)? This applies to decaf and regular coffee alike. It’s one of my biggest problems with regular consumption of the drink. Some reports show that non-organic farmers can apply up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers per acre! That is a huge toxic load for your body to clean out after you drink coffee.
Pesticides contribute to a wide range of health problems, including prostate and other types of cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and miscarriages in pregnant women. But when you buy organic coffee, you are lessening or eliminate your exposure to toxic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
BONUS, I have met many of the warm-hearted, passionate people who work in the coffee industry, and when you look for fair-trade certified coffee, it helps ensure that the people who have produced your morning cup of Joe have been paid fairly and treated with the respect they deserve.
2. LOOK FOR “SWISS WATER PROCESS” DECAF. If you are going to drink decaffeinated coffee, look for an option that uses a non-chemical based method of decaffeination. The “Swiss Water Process” is a patented method and is the best choice. Other methods of decaffeination require using a volatile solvent (methylene chloride or ethyl acetate generally) so that the caffeine will attach to the solvent and be dehydrated. This is yet another toxin for your body to get rid of after drinking coffee. If you look for the Swiss Water Process, no chemicals are used, however. It does cost a little more than the decaffeination processes that use solvents, but in the long run, your body and long term heath are worth it, in my opinion.
Note: If your label says “Naturally Decaffeinated” it still can involve chemicals. If you are unsure of the methods, contact the manufacturer.
3. SKIP OR UPGRADE THE ADDED INGREDIENTS. While the coffee itself might be ok, it’s all the added ingredients that can trip people up. Ask yourself how much sugar and/or milk you use per cup. Consider switching to a natural sweetener such as stevia or honey – and a non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, etc.).
4. USE UNBLEACHED FILTERS. When using a “drip” coffee maker, choose non-bleached filters over the bright white ones which are commonly chlorine bleached. Whether you want it or not, some of the chlorine can be extracted from the filter during the brewing process into your coffee. Not so yummy. Another option.. no chlorine and ecofriendly are reusable coffee filters!
5. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WATER YOU USE. When you make your coffee, it is easy to overlook the water that you use. Unfiltered water creates a burden on your body with an unknown number of particles and chemicals. Choose distilled, or structured pure water to make your coffee.
With these upgrades showing how to make a healthy cup of coffee, you can “SuperLife” your occasional enjoyment of coffee and take it to the next level!