Coffee can have some serious health benefits when consumed in moderation — with coffee drinkers found to have stronger bones than those you don’t drink it — but it can also veer into unhealthy territory with the addition of artificial sweeteners and syrups.
While ditching sugar and sweeteners automatically makes your daily cup better for your health, adding in a few other ingredients can boost the nutritional value of your coffee even more. Many of these additions might not be your cup of… coffee, but give them a go and you might be surprised.
Cinnamon is a great addition as its sweet and earthy flavour melds perfectly with the richness of coffee. Cinnamon is also loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help lower your blood sugar and reduce your levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Chances are that you don’t consume much cinnamon on a day-to-day basis, so adding a sprinkling to your coffee is a good way to incorporate it into your diet.
Popping a tablespoon of coconut oil in your coffee was all the rage a few years ago, especially when everyone seemed to be doing the keto diet. Adding a dollop of coconut oil can help speed up your metabolism, keep you regular and improve your energy levels while also raising your good (HDL) cholesterol, according to Healthline.
Much like coconut oil, adding butter to your coffee is a common practice for those who follow a keto lifestyle. Bulletproof coffee (made by blending up black coffee, MCT oil and butter) is the most popular way to consume butter in coffee, as it makes it super creamy and rich tasting.
The addition of butter helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and will also help to reduce the chance of a post-coffee crash as the fat in the butter slows down digestion. If you feel a bit jittery after drinking coffee, adding fat like butter or coconut oil could help curb this.
Much like cinnamon, cardamom is an Indian spice that is filled with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory qualities. It also delivers a good amount of iron, potassium and fibre, which can help constipation and heartburn, according to Men’s Journal.
Adding a few freshly crushed cardamom pods will add a slight sweetness to your coffee, without the need for sugar. If you can’t get your hands on the fresh stuff, try a few shakes of dried cardamom.
If you’re partial to a mocha, try adding cacao instead of regular cocoa powder as it’ll still give you the chocolate hit, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals. Raw cacao powder is a superfood, as it is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants. It is also one of the highest plant-based sources of protein, says Healthline.
Cacao can also help lower blood pressure, has mood-enchaning and antidepressive qualities. Stir one tablespoon of raw cacao powder into your coffee for a mocha that will also deliver magnesium and dietary fibre.
If you prefer your coffee to have a hint of sweetness but would prefer not to use sugar, try adding a little honey. While honey does have naturally occurring sugar in it, it also offers health benefits that sugar doesn’t.
Raw honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties while also giving you a good whack of antioxidants. It’s also shown to be helpful for digestive issues thanks to it’s prebiotic qualities, which means it feeds the good bacteria living in your intestines, according to Healthline.
Add as much or as little honey to your coffee to suit your personal taste.