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Five Coffee Alternatives we all Need to Know About.

We’ve heard it all before: how coffee can deplete energy levels, contribute to toxicity, cause dehydration, and disrupt digestion.

We’ve also heard the equally convincing group of pro-coffee campaigners touting the benefits of coffee’s rich phenolic antioxidants with long-term evidence supporting its protective role in various chronic conditions.

As an integrative practitioner, I take into account both its benefits and costs with an understanding that coffee doesn’t suit everyone. While I don’t think it’s absolutely bad for us, there is often real value in strategically taking a break from the daily brew.

These coffee alternatives can add plant-based nutrition on your coffee-free days:

1) Herbal Tea

This one seems fairly basic, but a great place to start. Consider the many medicinal properties you could be missing out on if tea is simply not on your agenda. My suggestion is to think twice about herbal tea as there has got be one blend you can fall in love with.

If you prefer sweet and warm flavours, consider chai, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and licorice blends. For a stimulating tea, choose yerba matte, green, Oolong, or Pu’erh. Lemon balm, lemon grass, fennel, and peppermint blends are refreshing choices for an afternoon pick-me-up. For the evening, consider calming teas such as chamomile, lavender, and rose. For something more specific, talk with a herbalist who would suggest a tea blend that would suit your body type.

2) Herbal Coffee

Yes, herbal coffee is absolutely a thing. Herbal coffee grounds are made from roasted chicory and dandelion roots. Nowadays, there are fabulous innovative companies who have totally perfected the flavour. Herbal coffee grounds can be equally substituted in a plunger to make for a rich and warming, but caffeine free, coffee alternative.

3) Not-Latte

Matcha and turmeric lattes are all the rage at the latest trendy cafés. With a bit of homework and experimentation, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy these at home.

Typically, a non-latte is made from warm fresh nut milk (coconut, cashew, or almond…as you desire) matcha tea (for a matcha latte), turmeric juice (for a turmeric or golden latte), beetroot juice (for a red velvet latte), or even Ayurvedic, spicy chai blends. Finding the perfect one to sub out your usual flash coffee is all about playing around with different flavour profiles to work out what you prefer. The powerful antioxidants and nutritional benefits from these alternatives are the added bonus.

Give it a try:
>> A Latte as Good for you as Any Super-Food Smoothie. {Recipe}
>> Ayurvedic Golden Milk for Cold Winter Days. {Vegan Recipe}

4) Superfood Hot Chocolate

Chocolate deserves its own category, especially if you’re a mochaccino coffee connoisseur. Hot chocolate doesn’t have to be the cream and marshmallow topped sugar bomb we know. This alternative also takes a bit of preparation and experimentation. To make your own, use a combination of raw cacao, nut milk, and a natural sweetener of your choice. These superfoods will be absolutely worth the effort for an anti-inflammatory plant-powered nutrition boost. Raw cacao also has stimulant-like properties which makes this alternative an energising tool without the same jarring effects of a strong espresso.

Give it a try:
>> Energy Balancing Vegan Hot Chocolate. {Recipe}

5) Vegetable Juice and Quality Water

While a fresh-pressed vegetable juice may not be the most convenient coffee swap, it certainly packs a health-promoting punch. Fresh pressed green juice is one of the best hydrating substances on the earth. Vegetable juices contain structured water which is easily absorbed by our cells. They also contain many vitamins and minererals and are strongly alkalizing. An expert tip is to sip your green juice slowly as you would a hot coffee. This allows for best nutrient absorption and hydration.

Another beautifully hydrating and mineral rich beverage is artesian mineral water. Quality water will do your cells much good by providing minerals and an effective form of hydration. Say goodbye to dry skin and hello to plum lips and smoother energy levels throughout the day. This is a relatively easy swap when popping down to your favourite coffee shop. Bypass the barista and head straight to the cabinet for their bottled artisan mineral water.

 

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Author: Ronald Goedeke

Image: Flickr/Calsidyrose

Editor: Travis May

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Ronald Goedeke

Dr. Ronald Goedeke has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 1999. With his vast experience in anti-aging and alternative medicine, he is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leaders in this new field of medicine.

He has extensive experience treating patients with a holistic approach, combining nutritional medicine with bio-identical hormone replacement to help turn back the clock.

Dr. Ron heads the Appearance Medicine and Wellness Clinic and Biosphere Nutrition.