Coffee is the third most popular beverage in the world, behind water and tea. Many people love it for its flavor and its high caffeine content. Altogether, the world consumes about 400 million cups of coffee each year!
In addition to its vast popularity, coffee has been shown to have many positive effects on health. Scientific evidence suggests that coffee consumption can help prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, improve cognitive functions, and even help people live longer.
Why You Should Consider Coffee Alternatives
Despite the many benefits of coffee, some people might not enjoy the flavor, and some are not able to drink it due to a sensitivity to caffeine, which causes negatives symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, tremors, and insomnia. As a result, many coffee alternatives have emerged as of late, and they are gaining popularity at restaurants, cafes, and at home alike.
Let’s explore seven healthy alternatives to coffee for those who want to enjoy a nutritional beverage, as well as how you might choose to add CBD hemp oil to enhance their effects…
1. Chicory Coffee
Chicory is a flowering plant whose root is baked and ground to serve as a coffee alternative or as an additive to coffee. Chicory doesn’t contain caffeine or any of the volatile oils found in coffee, but it does have a similar flavor, which is rich, earthy, and somewhat nutty.
Chicory is native to Europe, where it was used extensively in France as a culinary ingredient and coffee substitute in times of shortage. It is a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, and has been used historically to treat digestive issues. Today, chicory coffee is especially popular in Louisiana cafes, most notably at Café Du Monde in New Orleans, where it has become a popular local tradition.
2. Herbal Tea
Herbal teas, unlike those made with the traditional tea plant, do not contain any caffeine, and are instead made with a mixture of various herbs, spices, fruits, and flowers. Some common herbal teas include ginger, peppermint, chamomile and ginseng, each of which has its own flavor and health benefits.
Herbal teas can help with relaxation, boost the immune system, and prevent chronic diseases, along with a wide range of additional health benefits depending on the kind of tea. Furthermore, herbal tea contains zero calories when prepared with no added sugars or sweeteners, and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
3. Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is an extremely healthy tea-like beverage that is traditionally consumed in many regions in South America. The drink is prepared by drying the leaves of the yerba mate plant over a fire, and then steeping them with hot or cold water in a gourd. Some people prepare mate in a french press, or even tea bags.
Depending on the brewing method, yerba mate can contain a high amount of caffeine, but with other compounds in the plant that give calming effects and mental focus, many people with caffeine sensitivity can drink yerba mate and do not experience the jittery effects, or adverse reactions that coffee or other caffeine-rich drinks gives them.
Mate has an earthy, bitter flavor that has been likened to green tea, but it is often infused with other herbs, spices, or sweeteners to alter the taste.
Drinking mate can provide a number of positive effects, including a suppressed appetite, weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and improved focus and energy. Mate also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.
4. Matcha Tea
Matcha is a variation of green tea that uses specially-grown leaves made into a fine powder. Unlike with traditional loose leaf teas, matcha contains whole tea leaves, and provides up to ten times the nutritional content as green tea.
Matcha has a strong, grassy taste that is often compared to spinach, so it is often consumed with sweeteners. It has shown to be a mood booster, reduce blood pressure, help with concentration and prevent disease.
Matcha typically contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, but the effects are said to be much more calming. In fact, matcha is especially useful for monks who meditate for lengthy periods, and have incorporated the drink into their practice for centuries.
5. Golden Milk
Golden milk is a beverage popular in India and China that is made by adding turmeric and other spices to milk. It is usually served warm, and provides additional health benefits when black pepper is included.
The spices used in golden milk (often turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger) are all rich in antioxidants that can relieve inflammation, improve memory and boost the immune system. Drinking golden milk in the morning or before bed can relieve cold and flu symptoms, as well as help you fall asleep.
In addition, golden milk can be completely vegan depending on the kind of milk and ingredients used. Popular recipes for golden milk often use coconut milk, but soy milk and almond milk are both possible options.
Kombucha is a slightly effervescent beverage made by fermenting sweetened black or green tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. It can provide all the positive effects of traditional teas, as well as additional health benefits from the probiotic microorganisms present in the drink. The yeasts and bacteria produce several acids and antioxidants during fermentation which can kill pathogens and reduce toxicity. These acids are also responsible for kombucha’s sour taste.
Even though kombucha has been approved for human consumption by the FDA, it’s important to understand that harmful bacteria can contaminate the drink during its preparation. To be safe, it’s better to buy reputable kombucha products online or in stores, or prepare it according to the FDA’s standards.
7. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a stock made by boiling the bones and connective tissue of animals, as well as other ingredients such as vegetables, and then straining out the solids. It is typically prepared over a long period (8 to 24 hours) to extract the organic matter from the bones. While some might feel that bone broth is not a direct alternative to coffee due to its savory flavors such as chicken and beef, it has been touted as a soothing source of amino acids and calcium that can be enjoyed on the go.
Bone broth provides a unique health benefits and is high in vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous Drinking bone broth can be beneficial for the joints, digestive system, immune system, and the amino acids in bone broth may even help promote better sleep in some people.
Using CBD with Coffee Alternatives
CBD hemp oil provides numerous therapeutic effects without causing any mental impairment like THC. When used in combination with coffee, or any of these healthy coffee alternatives, the benefits can be amplified, or the addition of CBD can create new, unique effects.
For example, adding CBD oil to yerba mate or golden milk can help boost the immune system, along with providing pain relief for unpleasant cold or flu symptoms. CBD can also be added to matcha tea to reduce anxiety on top of improving focus and concentration. Whatever drink you might choose to add CBD to, the flavor will largely remain the same, and you’ll enjoy added benefits in addition to the ones already provided by the beverage itself.