Coffee has become a must have in almost every household in today’s world. But is it good for you? What are the pros and cons? Organic VS GMO? And what substitutes do we have to get that caffeine jolt we all feel we need in the mornings?
Coffee has been drunk for thousands of years and is a fuel source for many people in the world. Coffee berry is a fruit but our main objective is the seed that it contains that is dried, roasted and brewed to create a delicious cup of java.
As a highly absorbent crop, coffee absorbs pesticides. When coffee beans are labeled certified organic don’t forget that simply means they use natural vs synthetic pesticides. Some research suggest that they can both be harmful to your health. GMOS have also entered the system and can be a cause for concern. Buying fair trade organic coffee from small coffee farms could be your better choice but still only in moderation. Ask your local coffee roasters where they source their coffee beans and try the difference!
So let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
- Caffeine increases energy levels
- Some studies show that caffeine can help you burn fat by boosting your metabolism
- Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, which can increase your physical performance
- Good quality coffee can is a source of antioxidants
- Caffeine can cause insomnia, restlessness, upset stomach and increase heart rate
- Can tax the liver
- Can stress adrenals and contains acid based oil which can irritate the stomach
- May contribute to heartburn
- May cause difficulty with certain mineral absorption, such as magnesium and iron
- Drinking high amounts of coffee may cause stress levels to increase as it promotes the release of cortisol
- According to Helen Sanders (from the article 7 Negative Effects of Coffee), states “The darker the roast, the higher the levels of acrylamide are likely to be. In fact, coffee has been shown to be one of the major sources of this dangerous chemical in American diets.”
Essentially, the major pros in coffee other then it’s delicious flavour is the caffeine that if contains. Finding alternate sources of caffeine can be more beneficial to your health as it contains more health benefits. Examples are as follows:
- Green Tea
- Yerba Mate
- Raw cacao acts like a stimulant
- Ginseng tea
- Reishi called the “elixir of life”
- Maca powder
- Ashwaganda powder
- Stinging nettle
These caffeinated and non-caffeinated herbs can really give you a jolt of energy. With prolonged use you will start to see your energy levels naturally increase. Coffee is a hard stimulant to lower or cut out from one’s diet. The withdrawal symptoms can be difficult but once you start replacing certain coffee cups for alternative energy drinks, your natural energy levels will start to rise. Having a cup of coffee per day should not be a problem for most people, it’s the 3-4 cups that people have throughout the day that is questionable. If we are so low in energy that we need to rely on stimulants to keep us going, then there is an overall health problem one should attend to.
Tips on how to make your coffee experience healthier:
- Not drinking coffee on an empty stomach. This way it won’t irritate the stomach as much and it won’t stimulate digestive acids unnecessarily.
- Ditch the cream and sugar! If possible drink black or use a healthier milk and sweetener alternative such as home-made hazelnut milk or honey
- Add healthy components such as cinnamon and/or coconut oil and/or raw cacao powder into your coffee
- Choosing local coffee roasters where the coffee beans are sourced from fair trade organic farms
- Cold brew coffee tends to be less acidic than regular coffee
Enjoying a nice cup of java should be a luxury and not a necessity. Enjoy it in moderation for its flavour is a wonderful way to reap the rewards. But with dependency one can really deplete the body of its natural energy levels.