Spices are perhaps the easiest way to upgrade your morning cup of coffee, and many of these spices also come with a surprising list of health benefits. You probably should avoid adding all of these together at once if you want your coffee to taste halfway decent. But, add one or two and you’ll get a tastier drink and a healthier body. And, keep in mind, despite links that we’re providing to scientifically substantiated claims, it’s always best to consult your physician regarding any diet or health changes you are thinking about.
If you didn’t know this already, cinnamon tastes great with most coffee flavors, while also providing an impressive list of benefits. The most scientifically supported benefits are related to blood sugar and diabetic effects. For the best flavor and health benefits, get ceylon cinnamon sticks and then grind it freshly into your coffee. Most North American cinnamons (known as the cassia cinnamon variety) contain toxic levels of a carcinogen in them, so beware. Cinnamon contributes to your health by helping regulate blood pressure and insulin release. Many people also report a reduction in pain, whether it be arthritis or or menstrual cramps.
There’s some pretty promising results of nutmeg both reducing inflammation, as well as increasing male sexual potency nearly as much as Viagra. But, calm down guys and gals, because in large quantities it is also known to be both toxic and hallucinogenic.
Now, this one can get tricky. This doesn’t necessarily just mean “add unlimited amounts of chocolate” to your coffee. Most of the studies backing cacao/cocoa powder are for just that particular compound, and chocolate has some other things that can have not-so-great effects (weight gain, for instance). If you don’t have cacao powder, dark chocolate can do in a pinch, if you’d like increased blood flow and lower LDL cholesterol.
Turmeric is the yellow spice in curry, and although it might sound weird to add to coffee, this spice actually lowers the coffee flavor. So, if you think coffee is traditionally too bitter, throw this in there to make it more bearable, while also upping your antioxidant intake and actually getting tiny bits of fats, carbohydrates, and protein added to your favorite caffeinated brew.