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Five Healthy Alternatives to Coffee
A cup of coffee is not merely a thirst quencher. It is a sacred, ritualistic past time that most take very seriously when taste, size and quality are considered. Nearly 85% of Americans rely on one to three cups of coffee to help get them through the day, resulting in the consumption of approximately 587 million cups daily. But while coffee suppliers of the world rejoice over our society’s infatuation with coffee, our bodies are crying out for help. Coffee’s high level of acidity coupled with a considerable amount of caffeine that often leads to an energy crash later, making it a drink that shouldn’t be abused.
Have you ever considered a healthy alternative beverage to help fill the void of your beloved cup of Joe while still kick starting your day? Before you throw away your favorite coffee mug, consider these five healthy alternatives that will have your body saying “thank you” rather than “more caffeine please”.
1. Hot Tea: Whether you take it with cream, sugar, caffeinated or non-caffeinated, it is hard to ignore the popularity of tea in recent years due to its emerging medicinal benefits. Scientists are now linking the antioxidants found in tea to lowering the risk of various cancers, neurological disorders, strokes, and even the reduction of cholesterol levels. Green tea can even act as a backup sunscreen. Polyphenolic extracts, produced naturally by the tea leaves, are now being considered effective agents in reducing our exposure to ultraviolent radiation. Squeeze some lemon in your cup for an extra bonus for your liver and to jump-start your metabolism in the morning.
2. Bullet Proof Coffee: You caught us – This isn’t necessarily an alternative because it is still a cup of coffee. But this new coffee trend is taking the average cup of coffee and turning it into an energy fueling machine, without the 2 p.m. crash. A cup of Bulletproof coffee is essentially black coffee, grass-fed butter, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil mixed together into a steaming hot cup of weirdness.
The concept was originally designed by David Asprey of Bulletproof Executive, to "supercharge your brain function and create effortless fat loss with no cravings." The belief is that by loading up on healthy fats first thing in the morning, your body has a solid source of energy to stimulate cognitive function and support your hormonal system. Butter from grass-fed cows supply omega-3 fatty acids that are healthier than what comes from traditional livestock products and MCT’S require less energy to complete the digestion process.
It is important to remember that Bulletproof coffee is another 200-300 calorie addition to your average cup of black coffee, and therefore most use it as a substitution to a typical breakfast. Try making your own at home with this easy recipe.
3. Matcha Powder: Matcha powder has recently revolutionized the way tea enthusiasts craft the perfect cup of tea. It consists solely of whole ground green tea leaves, meaning you are letting no element go to waste. This magical powder is known to boost your metabolism and burn calories, naturally detoxify your body, enhance mood and concentration levels, and even fight against viruses and bacteria. While matcha powder does have a source of caffeine, scientists have found that the natural properties from the tea leaves are what actually provide an energy boost.
Matcha is as versatile as it is healthful. Try incorporating it in a familiar recipe, adding it to a smoothie, or making a beauty mask with it.
4. Juicing (Fresh pressed fruits and vegetables): Juicing is perhaps the most talked about health craze of 2014, and we understand why. The beauty of juicing is that you really can’t mess up a recipe; there is no fruit or vegetable too obscure and the combination options are endless. Because you’re using nearly every part of the fruit or vegetable and you’re eating it in its raw form, the health benefits to this coffee alternative are endless. Renewed skin health, daily quotas of essential vitamins and minerals, and natural energy sources are just some of the immediate benefits of juicing.
While juicing machines may cost you upwards of $100, stores catered completely to juicing are popping up across cities nationwide. Stop in and join the juicing revolution!
5. Kombucha: Weird word, great alternative. Pronounced kom-boo-cha, this fermented tea packs a punch in both health benefits and taste. Kombucha is made up of tea fermented by bacteria and yeast cultures and has about 1/3 less caffeine than your average cup of tea due to the fermentation process. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids that your body naturally produces, making it an excellent aide for digestive health and your immune system. You’ve been warned, however. The fermentation process makes this sour, vinegar-like drink an acquired taste.
As Kombucha’s popularity increases exponentially, it is becoming a regular item on health food store shelves. Purchase it by the gallon at your local market or learn how to make your own here.
What healthy alternatives to coffee do you and your family use? Let us know in the comment section below!
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