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The healthiest way to take your coffee is, of course, black. But if you can’t stand the taste of the bitter grounds on their own, we have a few pieces of good news for you. Firstly, some studies show that probably means you’re not a psychopath — congratulations. But secondly, there are other healthy options out there to add flavor to your beverage — without adding heaps of sugar.
In addition to the jolt of energy and focus you can get from the caffeine in coffee, the drink has a number of other health benefits. Coffee can lower your risk of liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and even some cancers. Multiple studies have shown that drinking multiple cups of coffee per day — yes, even three or four cups is OK — could prevent early death.
Coffee is truly your lifeblood — unless every time you drink coffee, you’re also drinking spoonful upon spoonful of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. They may be zero-calorie, but artificial sweeteners are downright harmful to your health.
Some people’s Starbucks orders are downright ridiculous, racking up extra servings of saturated fat and simple syrup. There are ways to order to make your drink healthier, but your best (and cheapest) option is to make a delicious cup of coffee at home. Simply add one or a few of these healthy ways to sweeten your coffee instead.
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You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the taste of almond milk — the beverage contains more calcium than cow’s milk and less dietary fat. Some varieties, such as vanilla or honey-sweetened almond milks, can add even more flavor to your beverage than regular milk would.
If you don’t like almond milk, there are tons of other dairy-free milk options you can try instead. Peanut milk is the newest to hit the scene, joining oddball varieties like banana milk and pea milk.
A little bit of cinnamon can go a long way in terms of flavor. Cinnamon is often used to top decadent lattes and cozy cups of golden milk, but the miracle spice works wonders for plain coffee, as well. The spice is rumored to boost your metabolism and can reduce inflammation. For the most benefit, make sure you’re buying the right kind of cinnamon — most cinnamon that’s sold in the store is actually the wrong type!
This inexpensive alternative to creamer is a rich, indulgent way to add nourishment and flavor to your mug. You can find canned coconut cream at any grocery store — it’s a favorite of those who shop at Trader Joe’s. Made of coconut, it’s chock-full of healthy fats and potassium. One tablespoon has about 50 calories of pure, natural goodness.
Coffee creamers aren’t all bad — in many cases, adding a quick pour of creamer to your coffee is a healthier choice than a premade sugary espresso drink. Starbucks drinks can rack up added sugars really quickly. You, on the other hand, know exactly how much creamer you decide to pour. Some creamers are healthier than others. Click here for the full list of the healthiest and unhealthiest creamers for your coffee.
This option is a favorite of latte lovers everywhere. Simply take a square of quality dark chocolate (yes, expensive dark chocolate is worth the price) and drop it in your steaming cup of coffee. The chocolate will melt and blend a rich, indulgent taste throughout your brew. Those who have tried it with a latte
claim the creaminess cannot be beat — and the health benefits can’t be beat, either.
This fruit is especially sugary, but is filled with all natural sugars. Dates and date paste are often used as an ingredient in baked goods and sweet snack recipes because of their strong flavor. To use dates as a sweetener, don’t just plop a few whole dried dates into your cup. You must first make date paste. It’s pretty simple to do: You soak dates in water for an hour, then combine the dates with a couple of tablespoons of water in a blender. In addition to the sweet flavor of fruit, you’ll get some extra fiber, iron, magnesium, and calcium in your cup!
You’ve heard of adding honey to a cup of hot tea, but we bet you never thought to add it to your coffee. Honey has numerous health benefits from its powerful antioxidants. Though it’s sugary and sweet, it’s a more nutritious option than plain white refined sugar. In fact, it’s not just good for coffee — click here for 8 delicious ways to replace sugar with honey.
Like honey, maple syrup is a naturally-occurring sugary sweetener with numerous health benefits. Squeeze a little into your coffee and your senses will take you to a cozy log cabin in the mountains. It’s not just for pancakes anymore — maple syrup has become a favorite ingredient for many cooks and bakers. Just make sure you use it while you can — there could be a maple syrup shortage on our horizon!
A little goes a long way with this better-for-you sugar alternative. Stevia looks exactly like sugar but is far sweeter. Instead of using a spoonful or two, a little sprinkle is all you need to sweeten your coffee the way you like it. Stevia is also zero-calorie — though some claim it has an undesirable aftertaste and can cause digestive distress. Just be sure not to overdo it.
Skip the vanilla flavored creamers and add its exquisite flavor in its purest form: vanilla extract. Add a few drops to your coffee and you’ll be so glad you did. It won’t be sweet like sugar but it will have a comforting aroma and an elegant taste.
There isn’t always time to make your own coffee, of course. For those days where you can’t help but stop in to Starbucks for a latte, make sure you read this quick guide to order your coffee like a pro.