The #1 Best Coffee Habit for Inflammation, Says Dietitian
One of the best things about coffee, aside from the energy boost it gives you, is its versatility. You can enjoy it iced, hot, as a shot of espresso, as a latte with your favorite milk and sweetener, as a chilled cup of cold brew, or even with some whiskey to make an Irish coffee.
While the options are endless, it's important to consider how some of your coffee habits may affect you and your health over time. For example, if you're wanting to lower or manage inflammation, you may want to drink your coffee black.
"If you are a coffee lover, your best bet is to drink it black," says medical expert Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility. "This is because coffee naturally has anti-inflammatory components and data shows that drinking it may help manage chronic inflammation. The concerns come into play when excessive amounts of sugars, certain oils found in flavored creamers, and other ingredients are added to the mix."
Research has shown that coffee can have anti-inflammatory effects, mostly due to all of its bioactive compounds. One review published in The British Medical Journal says that these compounds not only have anti-inflammatory properties, but also have antioxidant, anticancer, and antifibrotic qualities as well.
While some people may assume that coffee's anti-inflammatory effects come from its caffeine, it's actually been found that decaffeinated coffee has these same bioactive compounds that provide the same health benefits.
While these health benefits are promising, Manaker suggests keeping your cup black if you're trying to manage inflammation. This is because too much added sugar and saturated fat have both been linked to inflammatory responses.
According to a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis increased inflammatory markers and the risk of cardiovascular disease. While the study specifically focuses on soda intake, it shows what a regular consumption of added sugar could do to your health over time.
Along with sweeteners, using a lot of creamer in your morning cup of Joe can also take away from the potential anti-inflammatory properties of coffee. Coffee creamers often increase your saturated fat intake, which has been linked to inflammation in multiple studies.
So, if you're wanting to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of coffee, your best choice is drinking your coffee black. If you don't like black coffee and are looking for healthier creamer options, try some of these.
And for more healthy coffee tips, check out The Ways Drinking Coffee Backfires, Says Experts.