Coffee is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world and the second most highly traded commodity after oil. With over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day, over 90% of coffee consumption is seen in western developing countries.

Latest health guidelines use research as a mean to promote coffee consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle. With research showing the impact on:

  • Lower risk of cancer (Alicandro, Tavani & La Vecchia, 2017).
  • Enhances alertness and concentration (Wikoff et al., 2017).
  • Increases metabolic rate, fat burning and exercise capacity (Buscemi et al., 2016).
  • Lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes (Buscemi et al., 2016).
  • Reduced risk of stroke (Buscemi et al., 2016).
  • Protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (Mancini, Wang & Weaver, 2018).

With all health guidelines and research however, it is important to understand the quality and the efficacy of the research. When reading health claims of specific ingredients it is important to understand who funded the research? What were the other variables impacting the study and what were the exact variables that were used. Of course, if a tobacco company were sponsoring research, there will be funding bias telling you smoking is good for you – although we all know it is not.

Why is coffee bad for me?

  • Coffee is sprayed with toxic chemicals and pesticides.

The farming process of coffee means that it is mass produced and one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. These chemicals are harmful to wildlife and the environment as well as being linked to cancer, hormone disruption and neurological diseases.

  • Coffee crops are susceptible to mould (mycotoxins) which when consumed have been known to cause liver, kidney and brain damage.
  • Cell Toxicity – When coffee beans are heated and roasted, the antioxidants (that are written about for their ‘benefits’) are destroyed and carcinogenic toxins are produced.
  • Addiction – it is known than individuals can become addicted to the caffeine in coffee in the same way smokers become addicted to nicotine
  • Exhaustion – whilst you might think that coffee boosts your energy, caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline and cortisol (your stress hormones) from the adrenal glands. Over time, excessive production of these hormones results feelings of exhaustion – that’s where the vicious cycle begins.
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia. Coffee blocks the receptors which promote sleep and relaxation, making you feel a hyper alert and wide-awake.
  • Weight gain – caffeine leads to high levels of cortisol in the body which increases your blood sugar levels and decreases insulin sensitivity. Your body is more likely to store the excess sugars as fat as it cannot get the sugar molecules into the cells due your insulin receptors not working efficiently.
  • Digestive issues – symptoms such as heartburn, reflux, bloating and IBS-like symptoms are often noted in coffee drinkers. The pH of Coffee is highly acidic and therefore irritates the gut causing inflammation, reduced mineral absorption and lowered stomach acid production.

Natural Chef Top 3 Coffee Alternatives:

It can be daunting to make the switch, but having some healthy substitutes ready to go are a great way to wean off your caffeine addiction.

#1 – Matcha tea

The finely ground, powdered form of green tea is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients. Matcha does contain some caffeine, but contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which once paired with caffeine improves focus and attention. L-theanine is also beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety as it promotes relaxation by calming the body down.

Matcha can be drunk as a tea, simply by adding the powder to hot water and can also be used in nutritious recipes such as Matcha and Coconut Energy Balls.

#2 – Dandelion Root Coffee

If you’re looking for a morning brew with an aroma and taste similar to coffee, give dandelion a try. Dandelion root is an excellent source of fibre and may help support digestion by promoting healthy gut flora.

Where coffee can contribute to weight gain, dandelion root on the other hand helps in the bodies natural The CNM Natural Chef’s have applied this this incredible ingredient to make a Dandelion Root Latte, providing a sustainable boost of energy abundant in antioxidants.

#3 – Turmeric latte

In Ayurveda, this is known as “Golden Milk” due to its golden colour and mouth-watering aroma. Natural Chef’s understand the constitution of the body and the ways in which different ingredients can enhance and activate the body to perform optimally. This Golden Latte was developed by Natural Chef Students with a combination of warming and fragrant spices including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

CNM’s Natural Chef students learn about the body – both how it works and how food is absorbed and converted to energy. They discover for themselves the truth of the maxim ‘You Are What You Eat’. Understanding the way specific ingredients and food combinations that are optimal for holistic body systems and the pathologies that can often arise because of ill health.