I feel so good, though. Even though I love the taste of coffee, it always made me hot and a bit jittery (even decaf). I knew I needed to make this change when my adrenals were shot due to the stress of launching my new skincare line, CV Skinlabs. Recently, I’ve gotten a few questions as to how to leave the coffee habit behind, so I wanted to address this in a post.
Why Quitting May Benefit Your Health
Yes, coffee has some health benefits. It has antioxidants, which can be protective against some diseases, and even the caffeine has shown in some studies to potentially be beneficial in some cases. Research indicates that coffee drinkers may be less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, and to have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. But studies haven’t proven that coffee prevents these diseases, but there are signs of potential health benefits.
On the other hand, coffee can also raise blood pressure, and increase levels of the stress hormone “adrenaline” in the body. Coffee can make heartburn worse, and if you drink a lot you may increase your cholesterol levels. Heavy coffee drinking can also cause restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and sleeplessness, especially in people who are sensitive to it.
On top of that, coffee is acidic. If you drink it and then feel bloated or nauseated afterwards, this is why! The acid is also bad for your teeth, and for your overall health and beauty. The modern Western diet is already too full of acidic foods. We need to consume more alkaline foods, like almonds, avocadoes, green beans, beets, cranberries, pomegranates, figs, plums, Swiss chard, and the like. Acidic foods can cause skin rashes, and are also known to contribute to premature aging, when consumed too often.
Other Concerns with Coffee
In addition to the above, the coffee crop is typically sprayed heavily with pesticides. Much of our coffee comes from South America, where pesticides are more widely used. Of course, these are toxic to the body. Drinking a lot of coffee can also deprive us of essential nutrients, like vitamin B1, thiamine, and calcium. The liver can become overtaxed trying to detoxify the body from all the chemical residue of coffee, and the drink also stresses the adrenals. Most of us have enough stress already-we don’t need more!
My doctor and the author of Revive, Dr. Lipman, also notes that caffeine is addictive, and can lead to withdrawal syndrome, headaches, irritability, depression, and fatigue. Because it’s a stimulant, it can also cause heart rhythm disturbances, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
I don’t expect you to be convinced right away, but I would like to suggest that you try going without your morning cup of jo, or at least try cutting back. Maybe just for a couple days, or a week. See if you notice any beneficial effects. (Make sure you give your body long enough to come down off any caffeine withdrawals.)
Instead of coffee, try these options instead:
- Vanilla latte-it’s warm, comforting, and tasty, with no coffee or caffeine.
- Water with lemon-lemon is alkaline, and will start your day out by helping to detox your body while enabling healthy digestion.
- Green tea-it’s full of powerful antioxidants that are super beneficial for your health. It does still have caffeine, however.
- Teeccino is an herbal coffee substitute. It’s made with barley, and often comes in tea bags.
- Dandy blend is another herbal coffee alternative, made with dandelion root, which is great for detoxing.
- Roastarma-a tea blend of roasted barley, roasted chicory root, and roasted carob, with spices of cinnamon, allspice, and star anise. Yum!
- Pero-a coffee substituted from Switzerland. Made from malted barley, chicory, and rye.
- Chai-made of rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, it has less caffeine than coffee, but just as much warm, smooth flavor.
- Nutty smoothies-they are high in protein and fiber, and give you a great morning energy boost.
- Licorice tea-sweet and spicy, it’s caffeine free and helps support overburdened adrenal glands.
- Wheatgrass juice-a natural energizer known as a “liquid shot” of vitamins and minerals.
- Siberian ginseng tea-an herbal drink that stimulates concentration.
- Reishi mushroom tea-talk about health benefits! Combine 1/3 ounce of chopped or powdered reishi mushroom with 3 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.
Do you have a favorite coffee alternative? Please share with our readers!
Picture courtesy [carole] via Flickr.com.