If you are one of those people who enjoy a sweet cup of coffee, you have a variety of sweeteners to choose from. While most of us would rather reach for a teaspoon of white plain sugar, there are healthier alternatives that will give you a similar but healthier payoff.
Here's a list of our favorite six ways to sweeten coffee that you are sure to enjoy!
A teaspoon of honey has more calories compared to a teaspoon of white sugar. The former has 21 calories while the latter has about 16 calories. But why do we recommend honey as a much healthier alternative to sugar?
For starters, the sugars in honey are sweeter than those in your sugar so you will likely use less honey to sweeten your coffee.
Additionally, the glucose and fructose in honey can easily be burnt or used by the body. This means less weight gain on your part. On the other hand, sugar has disaccharides which are more complex sugars that take lots of energy and time to burn.
Honey is also a natural antioxidant, has antibacterial properties, and numerous minerals including potassium, iron, magnesium, sulfur, and vitamins.
One study done in 2017 shows that honey does soothe coughs especially those caused by infections in the upper respiratory tract.
Yet another study shows that honey has antimicrobial properties that help fight anaerobic bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
Stir a teaspoon of raw honey in your cup of brewed hot coffee. Add more teaspoons until you get your desired sweetness.
2. Maple Syrup
Who knew your favorite pancake syrup could be used to sweeten your cup of coffee. That’s right, this natural sweetener made entirely from the sap of trees does not only add a great taste to your coffee, but it is great for you health wise.
A 2011 study done by University of Rhode Island researchers shows that maple syrup phenolics have a beneficial anti-oxidant compound used to inhibit type two diabetes enzymes. Further, these phenolics have anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties.
Additionally, the minerals found in this natural sweetener including calcium, zinc, and manganese will boost your immune system and strengthen your bones.
Ensure when you go shopping, you buy the natural version of the syrup to enjoy its health benefits. To get that sweet and maple flavor you want, add a teaspoon of maple syrup at a time to your cup of coffee.
If you are diabetic and love your coffee a little sweet, stevia is one of the healthiest sweeteners you can use. It's a natural sweetener from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant and is 300 times sweeter than your common sugar.
The best news is that it has no calories since it has less than five grams of carbohydrates. Steviol, a component in stevia, has also been shown to stimulate the release of TRPM5 that helps your pancreas release enough insulin after a meal.
This helps prevent the release of high blood sugars and protects you from type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the antioxidant compound Kaempferol contained in stevia has been shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23 per cent.
Take precaution to use just a little of this extract in your coffee as it's very sweet. It can also have a bitter taste if used in plenty. Further, ensure you get 100 percent pure stevia for the added health benefits.
4. Date Syrup
Do you know that dates have been used for centuries by the Middle East communities as a natural sweetener? Dates are not only good for your fruit cake but for your cup of coffee too.
Dates are natural fruits from the date palm trees. Due to their high fiber content, dates do help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, protecting you against heart diseases and stroke. The dietary fibers in dates also help prevent constipation. Dates also have essential minerals such as phosphorous, iron, calcium, zinc, and sulfur.
To get a great taste in your coffee, soak your dates for one hour in warm water and retain the soaking liquid. Blend the dates and add them to the soaking liquid to make date syrup. Use this syrup in your coffee for that sweet natural taste.
If you prefer a spicy taste in your coffee consider using cinnamon rather than the natural sweeteners provided above. This spice has a wonderful sweet flavor that beats sugar.
One of the known benefits of cinnamon is that it does not raise blood sugar levels, unlike artificial sugars. Therefore it is good for people who are diabetic or those with a high risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon speeds up your metabolism which allows you to burn calories faster. The sweetness of this Indian spice helps curb your sugar cravings and slows down digestion making you feel fuller for a longer period.
To get the best flavor of cinnamon in your coffee, add a teaspoon of the spice to four teaspoonfuls’ of ground coffee. Brew your coffee together with this spice. You can add a teaspoonful of honey for a sweeter taste.
Use vanilla in its natural form to enhance the taste and smell of your brew. In addition to its delicious taste, vanilla has antioxidants such a vanillin and vanillin acid that protects your body against toxins. Also, it has anti-inflammation abilities, and its cholesterol-lowering benefits are great for protecting you against heart disease.
Vanilla is also a cheaper alternative to sugar. You only need to add a drop of the extract in your brewed coffee for a great taste. You will agree that its elegant taste is a great alternative to the taste of sugar.
Breaking Your Habit – stop using bad sugars
The sugar in your cup could be wrecking your health. Most of us fear that if we take too much sugar in our coffee, we might gain weight. However, the health hazards of sugar are even worse than physical weight gain.
Increased sugar intake increases your risk for heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes among other illnesses. Your odds for suffering from depression and anxiety among other mental health problems also rise.
However, it is possible to break your lousy sugar habits. Start by substituting the bad sugars in your coffee with good sugars. To be honest, it will be much easier to replace your bad habit with a healthier habit since the payoff will be the same.
Combat your craving for sugar-sweetened coffee by replacing the sugar in your coffee with honey, maple syrup, stevia, cinnamon, vanilla, or date paste. The result will be a sweet cup of coffee with some nutritional benefits on the side.
Additional Resource: Three Tips to Make Coffee Super Healthy!
About the Author: This post was purely written by Pure It Fresh. With the help of our prolific team of experts, our website prides on being one of the best in researching and writing detailed reviews and guides related to small appliances and best hot and cold beverages. Through our writings, we’ve managed to save most avid readers both time and stress of figuring out what exactly they need to buy.