A cup of coffee CAN be part of a gut health and autoimmune wellness routine! Coffee can be beneficial as long as you consume it at the right point in your journey and in the right quantity, quality, and time of the day. Would you agree there’s no better way to start the day than with a steaming hot, freshly brewed cup of Joe?! I look forward to the aroma of coffee that fills the kitchen each morning. Sipping on that warm deliciousness before the craziness of the day brings me so much joy. In addition to the enticing smell and taste of coffee, did you know it offers amazing health benefits? It might surprise you how beneficial coffee can be. And if you find it difficult to break down and digest the dairy creamer in your coffee, there are many nourishing dairy free alternatives to try!
Polyphenols provide antioxidants to help fight infection, inflammation, and disease. Roasted coffee beans are actually higher in antioxidants than blueberries, kale, or dark chocolate!
Coffee beans can actually aid your body in regulating glucose, resulting in a reduced risk of type 2 Diabetes. It can also boost cognitive performance. This protects your brain from developing mental diseases, like Parkinson’s or dementia.
Coffee has shown to support and strengthen heart function, as well as decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Quality always matters when it comes to what we put in and on our body, including coffee. In fact, poor quality coffee can become rancid, leading to moldy beans, even if not visible to the eye. With that said, it’s always important to consume clean, high quality coffee, which is why I love Purity Coffee. Their coffee beans are sustainably sourced, organic, free of toxins (like mold), completely fresh, and exceptionally tasty! This is incredibly important while you are working hard to heal the gut. Excess toxins and molds can wreak havoc on the lining of the small intestine, especially while trying to reduce inflammation and improve intestinal permeability or leaky gut.
If you’re someone who likes a little coffee with your cream and sugar, you’re likely counteracting the health benefits of coffee. When you load your coffee with refined dairy and sugar, your blood sugar spikes and caloric intake increases. Both of which can contribute to weight gain, increased risk for disease, and sugar cravings.
You know the saying: Too much of a good thing can become bad. While the right amount of coffee has it’s benefits, too much coffee can harm our health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that 6+ cups of coffee daily can increase your risk for heart disease. So, it’s recommended to drink no more than 4 cups of coffee per day. Additionally, coffee can be dehydrating to the body. Consuming too much without adequate hydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and brain fog.
Having 12oz of high quality coffee first thing in the morning can be extremely beneficial. However, drinking caffeine later in the day can alter hormones and add extra stress on your adrenal glands. This often increases cortisol production and can lead to many other consequences. Also, consuming coffee late in the day affects your circadian rhythm and decreases your amount of REM sleep. This starts the vicious cycle of feeling like we need even more coffee the next day. I suggest finding your personal caffeine cut off time. In general, most men and women do best with a 12pm caffeine cut off time. However, individuals metabolize caffeine differently due to genetics.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re avoiding dairy due to an allergy, lactose intolerance, or a sensitivity. Maybe it’s because you’re trying to heal your gut and improve autoimmunity by transitioning to an anti-inflammatory diet. Let me clarify that dairy is not bad and not everyone needs to avoid it. However, studies prove that the casein protein in dairy can be difficult to break down and digest. And, a large percentage of individuals are not able to tolerate it.
This is especially true for individuals trying to heal their gut or improve symptoms of autoimmunity. While following a gut health or autoimmune protocol, I recommend removing dairy for a period of time to decrease inflammation and facilitate healing. This is why you won’t find dairy on an Autoimmune protocol or on an Autoimmune Paleo therapeutic diet plan.
When I changed my diet to improve my autoimmune conditions, I discovered dairy is a no-go for me. The hardest thing about this revelation was finding a dairy free coffee creamer that I actually enjoyed.
If you can’t fathom drinking black coffee, don’t fret just yet. After years of experimenting, I’ve found a few solutions. There are ways to satisfy your taste buds while helping you reap all the benefits of coffee!
Coffee can be an amazing aid and support to our health. But like everything else in life, moderation and quality is key when it comes to gut health and autoimmunity.
Which dairy free coffee alternative will you try first?
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
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You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.
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