Health Benefits Of Black Coffee
Written By: Shannon Sweeney
When we think of eating better, we often only think of just that — eating. We can cut out carbs, try different types of diets, and track calories, but we often forget about what we drink on a daily basis. And drinks can rack up calories fast.
Our morning coffee is no different — adding tons of cream and sugar takes it from a 2 calorie drink to upwards of 200 calories depending on how much you add to it. And before we get any further, let’s get one thing straight: Giving up coffee is not an option. But there’s one way to enjoy it without adding hundreds of calories: Drink it black.
If you’re looking to eat and drink healthier, switching to black coffee is a surprisingly easy habit to get into. Up until about a year ago I was guilty of pouring way too much hazelnut cream and sugar into my coffee until I realized just bad for me it was. When I started researching the health benefits of black coffee, though, I decided to ditch my old morning routine for a new one.
Here are the benefits of black coffee and why you should consider switching.
Coffee was designed to be consumed black
Did you know that there are currently more than 110 flavor attributes of coffee? Yep, there are hundreds of coffee flavor profiles out there with their own unique tastes — ranging from chocolate and whiskey to chamomile and wine. When you add cream and sugar, you take away from the true flavor of the roast. Roasters spend hours developing different roast profiles and sourcing beans from around the world to get the perfect cup of coffee. When you drink it black, you get to experience the coffee’s full flavor profile.
Black coffee has next to no calories and tons of benefits
Coffee by itself is literally two calories, and it tastes great on it’s own. Coffee is also packed with health benefits ranging from improving your heart health to lowering your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Its chemical properties have also been linked to reducing your risk for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also packed with over 1,000 antioxidants!
When you load up on cream and sugar in your coffee, you take away from some of these health benefits that naturally comes with a cup of black coffee, and you add a ton of calories in the process.
Coffee creamer is packed with additives and artificial ingredients
Most store-bought coffee creamers aren’t actually made with cream. Instead, they’re made with emulsifiers like carrageenan, a thickener that’s been linked to causing inflammation and digestive problems.
Other ingredients in creamer include cellulose gel and cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, and dozens more (literally). Polysorbate 60, by the way, is used to keep water and oil from separating in conventional cosmetics. Should you be consuming that? Probably not.
Sugar tricks you into thinking you’re hungrier than you actually are
This might be an obvious one, but it’s something we can forget in the midst of our morning routines. Adding 2 — or even 3 — spoonfuls of sugar adds up quick, and it causes your hunger hormones to go haywire. The result when you consume sugar? The hormonal messages that tell your brain you’re full aren’t triggered, tricking your body into thinking you haven’t eaten enough.
There are tons of other substitutes to cream and sugar
I get it — a cup of flavored coffee really hits the spot. But that doesn’t mean you need to use artificial creamers to get a good cup of coffee. If you can’t make the switch to black coffee, or if you need a little help to get you there, there are other ingredients you can add to spice up your coffee and to satisfy that morning craving.
If you’re looking for natural ingredients to add to your coffee, try:
Cardamom: This Middle Eastern spice is actually known to neutralize the effects of caffeine on the body, so if you're prone to coffee jitters, here’s your answer. Cardamom is also known to bring a sense of calming and helps stimulate your appetite and settle your stomach.
Cinnamon: It tastes delicious and cinnamon is packed with antioxidants to help your immune system. Plus, this will make your coffee taste like fall all year round.
Vanilla extract: Adding just a drop or two to your coffee can give you that sweetness you so deeply crave, without the guilt.
Coconut milk: This is an amazing alternative to milk. It has a hint of coconut flavor, so if that’s not your thing, you might not want to try this option.
Stevia: This safe, organic sweetener is perfect if you need some sweetness to your coffee in the morning, and it’s Keto friendly.
Making a few easy steps to switch out your morning coffee routine can go a long way, no matter if you’re trying to eat healthier or just looking to try new coffee methods. If I could make the switch to black coffee, so can you! And you don’t have to do it at once, either.
When I made the switch to black coffee, I weaned myself off the cream and sugar. The first to go? Sugar. I cut back to just cream in my coffee for about a week (or two… like I said, it can be hard!) and then eventually cut down on the cream slowly until my coffee was black. By the end, I was thoroughly enjoying the taste of my coffee and not missing the cream or sugar at all!