Caffeine-meets-well-being: 6 ingredients that add nutrition to your morning coffee

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For some, it’s their lifeline, and for some, it’s just another hot beverage, quite replaceable with tea. However, coffee is the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world. As a potent stimulant, it has the ability to alter brain chemistry and bring about sharp shifts in mood by inducing dopamine within 15 minutes of its consumption (1). Besides that, roasted coffee has over 1000 bioactive compounds which are anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant (2).

In short, coffee is already quite healthy. But can we make it healthier? The answer is yes, you definitely can. Adding spices and herbs to coffee offsets its bitter taste while synergizing with its health profile.

Here, we present a short list of ingredients that you can add to your coffee to kickstart your day on a healthier note:

  1. Cinnamon

Basic recipe: ½ hot water+ 1 tsp coffee powder+ ¼ tsp cinnamon powder+ ½ cup almond milk (optional)

Taste: Sweet, woody, citrusy

Health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, kickstarts BMR, relieves acidity, lowers blood sugar

Best for: People suffering from acidity

2. Ghee; grass-fed butter; coconut oil (MCT coffee)

Basic recipe: 1 cup brewed coffee+ 2 tbsp grass-fed butter/ghee/MCT oil/coconut oil

Taste: Latte-like; add plant-based milk for a creamier finish

 Health benefits: Improves satiety, increases focus and cognition, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces sugar cravings, good for healthy heart

Best for: Replacement to heavy-carb breakfasts, keto diet breakfasts, pre-workout beverage, women with PCOS, people with depression

Not for: people with liver cirrhosis/diabetes, calorie-conscious weight-watchers

3. Orange juice; ice cubes, cinnamon

Basic recipe: 1 cup brewed coffee + 2 tbsp orange juice + ½ tsp cinnamon powder+ ice cubes

Taste: Sweet and tangy

Health benefits: Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, purifies blood, detoxification of the gut, boosts immunity

Pro tip: For hot & spicy coffee, add crushed cloves; for iced latte, garnish with orange zest

Best for: pre-run drink, pitta-dosh people (acid reflux/indigestion), cooling drink for summers

4. Crushed ginger

Basic recipe: 1 cup hot water + 2 tbsp coffee powder + 1 tbsp grated ginger

Taste: Peppery

Health benefits: Reduces pain and swelling in joints, boosts immunity, reduces body fat, improves brain function

Best for: Osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, pregnant and menstruating women, people who hate the taste of black coffee

5. Raw cacao powder

Basic recipe: 1 cup hot brewed coffee + ½ cup coconut milk/almond milk+ 1.5tbsp raw cacao powder

Taste: Chocolaty

Health benefits: Rich in magnesium, antioxidants, dietary fibre; lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol enhances mood and alleviates depression, boosts skin health and hair growth

Best for: People who enjoy a heavy breakfast; people living in low-sunlight areas/ vitamin D deficiency, women prone to PMS

Pro tip: Add crushed cardamom for a dessert-like feel; blend together the listed ingredients with cacao nibs for a creamier consistency

Top 5 ingredients that add nutrition to your morning coffee

6. Turmeric

Basic recipe: 1 cup brewed hot coffee + 4 tbsp nondairy milk + 1 tsp turmeric

Taste: Depends on added spices; can range from sweet to peppery

Health benefits: Aids in liver detoxification, anti-inflammatory, boosts immunity, increases cognitive awareness, may help treat depression

Best for: Arthritis, people recovering from a disease, chronic ailments, balancing hormones, bringing regularity to monthly cycle, people with dyspepsia/stomach ulcers

Pro tip(s): Add ground black pepper for increased absorption of turmeric

              Add coconut oil and blend for a frothy, latte-like texture