Ahhh the great coffee debate.
Is coffee healthy? Is coffee bad for you? Does it cause cancer? Or prevent cancer? Does coffee stimulate weight loss? Or gain? What’s the healthiest coffee drink?!
And the answer is….it depends. I know, not helpful. But I’ll tell you something that is.
Is coffee healthy?
This is because I’m of firm belief due to so.much. research and the fact that well-sourced, organic, high quality coffee beans are truly a whole-plant-based food that coffee is not, in fact, bad for you.
There are also numerous studies that show drinking coffee can improve health from lowering risk of certain types of cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. It’s been associated with reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow and circulation, contributing to enhanced mental and athletic performance.
That being said, coffee may not be a great choice for everyone, especially if you are sensitive to or depend on caffeine (think drinking multiple cups throughout the day to survive), which could throw off your sleeping schedule, hormonal balance or stimulate anxiety levels.
When coffee becomes unhealthy….
When the MLH (meat-lovin’ hubby) and I were traveling through Europe I noticed how much smaller the coffee cups were than my usual Grande Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (yes it shames me to say that used to be my regular coffee drink).
Also, there were no flavored syrups or sweeteners, no non-fat, low-fat or soy milk options, and definitely NO grande cups. They were all replaced with either drip coffee or a small shot of espresso (8 oz or less) with either full fat milk or cream.
At first I was annoyed and totally out of my comfort zone. But I grew to savor what coffee ACTUALLY tastes like without all the other crap in it. And it was delicious and I felt so much better after drinking it. I really think that was the way coffee was intended, ya know?
Now, let’s bring it back to the states where we’ve tripled the size of a coffee and with it the amount of caffeine, added sugars, chemicals and sugary low-fat/ non-fat milk/ over overly processed alternatives we don’t digest well.
For example, a Grande Vanilla Latte has about 35 grams of sugar and 250 calories, which is way over the recommended daily sugar intake of 25 grams (or 6 teaspoons). A 2007 survey found these calorie-packed coffee drinks account for nearly one fourth of Americans’ overall calorie intake, and studies have found the result to be some serious weight gain.
Your New Action Plan: How To Take Your Coffee To The Next Level
First of all do not panic. There’s several ways you can enjoy your daily cuppa joe.
You can drink it black, or add in a bit of cinnamon or organic full-fat milk or cream for flavor (IF you digest dairy well).
OR, you can use my preferred method and take your coffee to the next level.
Instead of thinking about all the things you shouldn’t have in your coffee, think of all the amazing things you now CAN add in to make your coffee do serious work for your health (think beautifying from within, increasing energy and brain power and reducing stress and inflammation).
I always add these 3 things to my coffee to start my day fueling my body the right way:
These healthy fats help slow the absorption of the caffeine into your blood stream (reducing those coffee jitters), taste creamy, rich and amazing, and are attributed to helping with fat loss, weight control, increasing metabolic rate, digestion and moisturizing skin.
Collagen: 1 scoop Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
Collagen is the building block for your hair, skin and nails. As we age, collagen depletes and breaks down easier and our bodies make less of it, resulting in wrinkles and aging skin (wah waaaah). By adding collagen into your diet it naturally improves your skin’s moisture, elasticity, tone and vibrance, ultimately combatting any signs of aging. I prefer 1 scoop of Vital Protein’s marine collagen which is tasteless and adds a nice frothy texture to your coffee
Adaptogens are herbal or mushroom formulas that have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. They serve as energizing tonics to help people who are run down, weak or aging. They also increase the capacity of the body to resist and adjust to the stresses of life (and bring your body back into balance) and promote everything from healthy, glowing skin to a stronger immune system and better hormonal balance.
I’m currently obsessed with these mushroom superfood blends by Four Sigmatic– they make it so easy, tasty and affordable to absorb these incredibly powerful foods by blending them into powders that you can toss in just about anything.. including your morning coffee.
I also add 1 teaspoon of maca root powder which balances hormones, boosts adrenal and thyroid function AND adds a delicious, malty flavor to coffee.
BONUS: Extras You Need To Know
Along with healthy fats, collagen and adaptogens + medicinal mushrooms I like to toss in some warming + metabolism-boosting cinnamon and either some of my own five-ingredient cashew milk or Nutpods Dairy-free Creamer (both creamy, sugar-free options that add an extra level of decadence without yucky chemicals).
Many people choose to make their Bulletproof coffee with grass-fed butter, but I prefer this dairy-free version which is easier for many to digest (plus the taste is delish).
DON’T forget to purchase fair trade and organic coffee beans to ensure you’re supporting healthful labor practices and getting high quality stuff. Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops with pesticides, so choosing high quality coffee ensures you aren’t adding harmful chemicals and toxins to your body. Some of my favorite coffee bean brands include Coava Coffee, Stumptown Roasters, Cafe Vita, or Equal Exchange Espresso Bar.
Lastly, don’t forget to BLEND. Blending your hot coffee and all these ingredients together is key to emulsifying them and creating that frothy, thick, creamy latte-like texture and taste. Plus it only takes 30 seconds!
Next Level Bulletproof Coffee Recipe- Serves 1
2 cups fair trade, organic black coffee
1 tbsp MCT Oil
1 tbsp organic raw coconut butter
1 packet FourSigmatic Mushroom Elixir Mix
1 tsp maca powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Pour all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until mixed. Voila!
Increased brain power, controlled appetite, boundless energy and a delicious, thick, frothy and creamy coffee awaits!