I have a morning routine that involves adding a few key ingredients to my mug of beer, in an effort to help fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to issues ranging from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes to hair loss. In fact, uncontrolled inflammation plays an important role in almost all major illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and even depression. And it’s for these reasons that I add three simple ingredients to my coffee every morning. Because when it comes to fighting inflammation, every little bit counts.
You don’t need a lot of turmeric, but here’s why you should add it to your morning coffee. Curcumin, the main compound found in turmeric, is widely known and accepted for its antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Research of Cancer Prevention Journal suggests that the consumption of turmeric in India is high. They consume it fresh, in the form of the root and in the form of dried soil – up to four grams per person per day.
Research then indicates that overall cancer rates are significantly lower in India than in Western countries, which is attributed (among other factors) to the high levels of curcumin consumed. The Arthritis Foundation suggests adding 0.5 gram to 1 gram of powdered root three times a day to reduce painful inflammation associated with arthritis. This is about 0.1 to 0.2 teaspoonful.
Pinch of ground pepper
However, consuming turmeric alone has relatively low bioavailability, which is why I add ground pepper to the mix. One way our liver gets rid of foreign substances is to make it soluble in water so that it can be excreted. But piperine, a molecule in black pepper, inhibits this process.
And you don’t need a lot. If you consume turmeric, you will see a slight increase in your blood flow as your liver aggressively tries to get rid of it. But according to research published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, just a small amount of black pepper can suppress this process, increasing the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%! In fact, even a simple pinch of pepper can dramatically increase the bioavailability of turmeric. And, frankly, it doesn’t alter the taste of the coffee in any way.
Cinnamon does more than just flavor your coffee. This tasty spice, reminiscent of sweet buns, has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve swelling, according to research. But cinnamon is also loaded with antioxidants, such as polyphenols.
Other research, published in the journal Evidence-Based on complementary and alternative medicine, reports that cinnamon also has the following properties:
- Anti-cardiovascular disease activity
Besides, Cinnamon has also been reported to be beneficial for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Instead of refined sugar …
For some – like me, who have an insatiable sweet tooth – not adding sweetness to my coffee makes for a rather boring cup. But instead of using refined sugar, I go for a little raw honey. Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds, and some honeys even have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. And, if you can get your hands on a jar of real Manuka honey from New Zealand or Australia, you can pump up your coffee with potent antifungal, antibiotic, and antibacterial properties.
Honey has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, which simply means that the sugar in honey is absorbed more gradually into the bloodstream. But when it comes to manuka honey, just make sure you’re getting the real deal by choosing products stamped with either a K factor Where UMF rating, internationally recognized trademarks that ensure the presence of the required manuka ingredients DHA (dihydroxyacetone), methylglyoxal and leptospirene.
For those who choose a vegan lifestyle, you can sweeten your coffee with maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave, molasses, and date syrup.
Instead of non-dairy cream, add it to your coffee
I admit that I love the organic cream in my coffee, and it goes really well with the four ingredients above. However, when I choose to go without cream, I use coconut oil. I know this may sound strange, but listen to me carefully!
If you are dairy intolerant or just prefer not to use dairy, adding coconut oil gives coffee a creamy consistency similar to coffee cream (non-dairy alternative), but without all of it. added chemicals. In fact, non-dairy cream can hardly compare to real cream, as it looks more like a chemical cocktail emulsified with oils, refined sugars, and dairy products. And if you’re still using non-dairy cream, consider this. A study on non-dairy cream published in ScienceDirect found that adding it to your coffee increased your risk of heart attack and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
In fact, even adding organic or raw dairy products (which is much healthier than coffee cream) can interfere with your body’s absorption of the beneficial antioxidants in coffee, research shows. But non-dairy cream is much worse, often containing corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, dipotassium phosphate, and other synthetic ingredients.
On the other hand, the main fats in coconut oil are caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. Although most fats take a lot more effort from the body to digest, coconut oil is digested much more easily. Since coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid, it is processed by the liver, so it is converted into energy rather than stored as fat. However, if you must have cream, choose old-fashioned cream – preferably organic, raw, and from grass-fed cows.
How to pre-mix a batch
Boosting your coffee with beneficial anti-inflammatory spices doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. I premix a batch of turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper in a cocktail shaker, and just shake it in my coffee. Or, if I’m brewing just one cup of brew, I often add a few good shakes to a cup’s coffee filter, leaving nothing floating on the surface. Adding these beneficial spices to your morning cup of beer can certainly contribute to better health. Enjoy!
– Katherine Marko