Calling all coffee and tea lovers! This article is for you if you’re interested in turning your morning cup of joe (or tea) into a nutrient-dense and health-boosting beverage.
Coffee and tea consumption has been considered a health-promoting habit since ancient times. Coffee contains a wide variety of beneficial substances . It’s generally accepted that caffeine is responsible for enhancing alertness, concentration, and mental and physical performance, while the antioxidants found in coffee have a protective effect for cancer, cardiovascular, liver, and kidney diseases (1,2). Similarly, studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and ward off cancer and heart disease (3). As long as you are feeling good, not struggling with any adrenal issues or anxiety, coffee and caffeine can be a nice addition to your routine. With such promising stats, let’s explore how to get the most out of these nourishing drinks!
Personally, I don’t do well with any caffeine, so I enjoy a caffeine-free herbal coffee that tastes as good as the real deal and has gut-healing properties as well. If you work with me, you will likely get a recommendation for trying this delicious herbal coffee drink. It has become a staple and I fill it with so much goodness that it is often a meal unto itself!
Step #1 Purchase Mold-Free & Organic
It’s true…both coffee and tea have been found to have levels of mycotoxins present (4,5). Mycotoxins are the natural byproducts of certain fungi (mold) that may evoke a toxic response in people. Mycotoxin contamination of food is an ongoing global concern and contamination is considered an unavoidable and unpredictable problem, even where good processing practices are implemented (6). When it comes to coffee, there are certain brands that pride themselves on selling mycotoxin-free beans (and grinds). When it comes to tea, unfortunately, it’s much harder to find a source that specifically states the leaves are free from mycotoxins, but they do exist!
Conventional crops of coffee and tea are heavily sprayed with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Click here to see a list of the most toxic chemicals used in coffee.
Purchasing organic coffee and tea is important to avoid ingesting toxic residues. Thankfully, organic options are easy to come by! Bonus if you can source organic and Fair Trade Certified™. Fair Trade Certified™ means you’re supporting responsible companies, empowering farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protecting the environment (7).
Plastics & other chemicals
When it comes to tea, be certain you’re avoiding plastic and bleached tea bags. Loose-leaf organic tea brewed using a reusable stainless steel tea bag is a great option! If you’re not ready for that, not to worry. Many companies are keenly aware of the consumer demand for cleaner and greener products, so you can easily find high-quality tea bags made from unbleached, natural plant-based materials (it’ll promote that right on the package!). For coffee, do your best to avoid the single-serve coffee pods. Not only are they wasteful and harmful to our planet, but the heated-up plastic can leach into your coffee, contaminating your delicious beverage. Opt for french press, Chemex, or another pour-over method to avoid plastic altogether!
Step #2 Skip the Artificial Creamers, Sugars, and Flavors
Processed creamers, artificial sweeteners, and flavors all transform these nourishing and health-promoting beverages into chemical-filled inflammatory drinks.
The next time you reach for that french vanilla creamer or sugar substitute, consider skipping to fully reap the health benefits of your morning coffee or tea.
Instead, opt for black coffee or plain tea! If this is too drastic of a change, make a shift to utilizing whole-fat organic cream, organic milk, or a clean ingredient dairy-free nut milk or oat milk. If you’d like to sweeten it up, opt for an unrefined sweetener like maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar.
Step #3 Add Health-Boosting Stir-Ins
Here’s where it gets fun! We’ve covered purchasing high-quality coffee and tea, ideally organic and mold-free, and skipping the processed and artificial add-ins. Now, let’s up-level your morning drink with some health-boosting stir-ins.
Grass-fed, pasture-raised collagen peptides help support beautiful skin, hair, and nails while promoting healthy gut and joints. Collagen peptides are unflavored and dissolve easily into liquids, making it the perfect addition to your morning beverage (8).
From Chaga to Shiitake, functional mushrooms each offer unique health benefits! Mushroom powder allows you to conveniently add the recommended dosage of functional mushrooms into your favorite brew—supporting your body's natural functions for immunity, cognition, and energy—without compromising on flavor (9). Opt for organic, whole-food mushrooms that are sustainably grown.
Now you’re armed with all the tools to turn your morning coffee or tea into a health-boosting beverage! By sourcing high-quality beans and leaves, incorporating nourishing stir-ins, and skipping the artificial flavors, you’re supporting your body without having to give up your favorite morning drink.
1. George, S. E., Ramalakshmi, K., & Mohan Rao, L. J. (2008). A Perception on Health Benefits of Coffee. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 48(5), 464–486. doi:10.1080/10408390701522445
2. “Coffee and Health: National Coffee Association.” NCA, https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/Coffee-Health.
3. Khan, Naghma, and Hasan Mukhtar. “Tea and Health: Studies in Humans.” Current Pharmaceutical Design, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055352/.
4. Sedova, Irina, et al. “Mycotoxins in Tea: Occurrence, Methods of Determination and Risk Evaluation.” Toxins, MDPI, 30 Oct. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266826/.
5 + 6. Alshannaq, A., & Yu, J.-H. (2017). Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(6), 632. doi:10.3390/ijerph14060632
7. “Why Fair Trade - Why Buy Fair Trade.” Fair Trade Certified, https://www.fairtradecertified.org/why-fair-trade.
8. “What Is Collagen? Everything You Need to Know About Collagen.” Further Food, 20 Feb. 2021, https://www.furtherfood.com/collagen/.
9. Roberts, Shelly. “Mushroom Powder for Delicious Coffee with Added Health Benefits.” Om Mushroom Superfood, Om Mushroom Superfood, 27 Apr. 2021, https://ommushrooms.com/blogs/blog/mushroom-powder-for-coffee-m2.