Your morning cup of coffee gives you the energy to start your day. It also gives you a quick boost of energy and helps you stay awake throughout the day. Besides the energy boost, coffee is also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can improve your health. In fact, studies suggest that coffee drinkers have reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer, depression, cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease and type II diabetes. What most people fail to realize is that the amount of benefits you enjoy depends on how you drink your coffee.
In order to enjoy all these benefits, you’ll need to drink it black. If you are throwing in teaspoons of refined sugar and heavy cream to your coffee, you are actually turning it into a sweetened drink. By adding all those extra ingredients into your cup of joe, you’re also tossing in unwanted calories and fat, which will have a negative impact on your diet. Not to mention that you’ll be losing the rich, delicious flavor of the coffee.
If you wanted to pursue a healthier option, but you can’t stand coffee without a sweetener, then this article is for you. Here, we’ll discuss some healthy ways to sweeten coffee and make each sip more enjoyable.
Use these natural sweeteners to make your coffee super healthy.
Maple syrup is a natural, unrefined product. It is derived from the sap of maple trees. Because of its flavor and sweetness, it has been used as a key cooking ingredient for several decades now. Most people use it as a healthy alternative to sugar in baking and cooking. Others use it as a natural sweetener for their coffee.
As compared to table sugar that doesn’t contain any nutrients, maple syrup is loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants and other key nutrients that are essential for healthy living. The health benefits of maple syrup includes protecting our body from free-radicals, healthier immune system and healthier heart.
Despite the having a high nutrient content, it is important to note that maple syrup is still sugar. In fact, it has high sugar content. If you’re going to add it to your coffee or use it as an alternative sweetener in other recipes, make sure you do so in moderation. Consuming too much sugar, in any form, is not a good idea.
Coconut sugar is another great natural option to sweeten your coffee. It is a natural sweetener that is made from sap of the coconut palm. It is caramel colored, and its taste is similar to that of brown sugar.
Coconut sugar is loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that refined sugar lacks. It also contains inulin, a type of dietary fiber that helps nourish beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Molasses is a natural sweetener that is made from sugarcane juice. It is an excellent choice of sweetener if you are looking for a healthier alternative to nutritionally defunct refined sugar. Molasses is rich in calcium, potassium and iron. It also has a low glycemic index. If you sweeten your coffee and tea with honey, it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike.
Molasses has a bold, deep flavor that will not only sweeten your coffee; it may also alter the taste as well. It may take some getting used to. If you want to give it a try, we recommend that you add a little at a time.
Honey is one of the best sugar substitutes. Most people use honey because of its reputed health benefits. In fact, it helps promote healing of cuts and burns, fights bacteria, boosts immunity and energizes our body. Although honey has higher calorie content than that of refined sugar, it is also sweeter. That means you need less of it to sweeten your coffee; hence, consuming lesser calories. Half a teaspoon is enough to sweeten your coffee.
Honey should not be heated. When exposed to heat, it will lose its nutritional value. So if you want to add honey to your coffee or tea, wait until it is tepid enough to sip before adding honey. You want to maintain as many of its nutrients as possible.
If you prefer adding milk into your cup of joe, try using almond milk instead. Although almond milk doesn’t contain as much calcium as cow’s milk, it provides you with enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones and teeth healthy. As compared to regular milk, it has lesser calories. In fact, one cup of almond milk only contains 60 calories, as opposed to 122 calories in whole milk. Since it is low in carbohydrates, it barely impacts your blood sugar level.
Agave is actually sweeter and has more calories as compared to table sugar. Some of you are probably wondering why it is considered as a healthy sweetener. This is because agave has a low glycemic index. Unlike white sugar, agave nectar is absorbed relatively slowly by our body. It does not lead to a big blood sugar spike. It can be used as a coffee sweetener for diabetics.