10 Reasons Why You May Want To Quit Coffee for These Healthy Alternatives

10 Reasons Why You May Want To Quit Coffee for These Healthy Alternatives

Coffee: Is it good or bad for us? So many conflicting
reports exist about both the benefits and drawbacks of coffee and needless to
say, it can be a confusing topic.
 First, let's discuss what makes
coffee such a hot topic widely disputed in today's health circles.

Coffee and Blood Sugar Metabolism

While there are many controversies about coffee's role in
the prevention of Parkinson's disease to breast cancer, I'm mostly
interested in the conversation relating to its effect on blood sugar
metabolism. In my latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution, I explain how insulin
resistance and inflammation are at the core of modern-day chronic diseases.

The single most important healthy habit all of us can adopt
is to manage our blood sugar by decreasing the triggers that push it out of
balance. Curious if coffee is one of those triggers?

As Dr. Walter C. Willet of Harvard School of Public Health
says, "Coffee is an amazingly potent collection of biologically active
compounds." Like any food-like substance, coffee has far-reaching effects
on the body and needs to be respected as a potent drug.

Caffeine, perhaps the most widely appreciated
"drug" compound in coffee, only makes up a mere 1 to 2 percent of the
bean. The chlorogenic acids, caffeol, polyphenols, phytoestrogens and diterpenes
are now beginning to be researched on their effects on human health and glucose
metabolism as well.

Coffee and Diabetes

In the 1980s and 1990s several prospective cohort studies
were done to investigate the correlation between coffee and diabetes. Many of
those studies reported that there is an inverse dose-dependent association with
the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This means that for reasons still unclear, all those
research studies found that the more coffee people with normal blood sugar
drank, the less risk appeared for developing Type 2 diabetes. 
constituents in coffee might be responsible for these consistent findings.

Chlorogenic acid in coffee might inhibit
glucose-6-phosphatase, an enzyme that regulates blood sugar metabolism in the
liver. It could also be due to the indisputably-high levels of antioxidants,
which have a benign effect on insulin sensitivity.

Not surprisingly, the news channels then sounded the bell
that coffee was protective, and we all enjoyed our cup of joe without any

Until the next report.

Some curious minds wanted to know exactly who was protected.
And why? How? These studies showed that in people with Type 2 diabetes coffee
intake was correlated with insulin spikes and increased blood sugar after a
meal. Further research has shown that the caffeine in coffee might be the
culprit responsible for the secretion of higher levels of insulin from the

Clearly higher insulin and glucose levels are not the
work we want to bestow on a body healing from insulin resistance. Considering
that diabesity affects nearly 1.7 billion people worldwide and growing, the
nightly news now sounded the alarm of caution that perhaps our coffee habit is
a detrimental addiction needing to be kicked to the curb.

I often am asked why coffee is removed from my
programs. While certain populations of people may tolerate coffee and
even enjoy some health benefits, it is evident that it is not for everyone.

Chances are if you are reading this either you or someone
you care about is sick, inflamed, hormonally imbalanced,
nutritionally-compromised, overworked, stressed out, fatigued, depressed, and
toxic. Coffee is not part of the medicine required for your healing.

Here Are 10 Reasons Why You May Want To Quit Coffee

  1. The
    caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones. 
    stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin. Insulin increases
    inflammation, and this makes you feel lousy.

  2. Habituation
    to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your
    cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar. High blood sugar levels
    lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to
    cardiovascular disease.

  3. Unfiltered
    coffee has the highest amount of beneficial antioxidants yet also leaks
    the most diterpenes into your system. These diterpenes have been
    linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels.

  4. The
    helpful chlorogenic acids that may delay glucose absorption in the
    intestine have also been shown to increase homocysteine levels -- an
    indicator for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which tends to be
    elevated in diabesity.

  5. The
    acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion,
    heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora).

  6. Addiction
    is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to
    rely on the body's natural source of energy. 
    Ask any coffee
    drinker about how it feels to withdraw from coffee, and you will mistake
    their story for that of a drug addict's...

  7. Associative
    addictions trend with coffee 
    -- who doesn't immediately think of
    warm, frothy sweet cream and sugar when they picture coffee? Surely the
    business of coffee has inspired a culture addicted to the sugary, fatty
    tastes of what has become more of a meal than a drink! That morning latte
    is the epitome of food lacking nutrition density yet packing energy!

  8. 5-HIA,
    an organic acid and component of the neurotransmitter serotonin (the happy
    chemical) seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers, which
    means they may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the
    brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and
    energy levels. It is a vicious cycle, as caffeine can disrupt sleep and
    promote anxiety and depression. We all know someone who tends to be tired,
    wired and over-caffeinated!

  9. Elevated
    urinary excretion of important minerals
     such as calcium,
    magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance
    in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.

  10. Constituents
    in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in
    the liver, 
    making it difficult to regulate the normal
    detoxification process in the liver. Another issue to be aware of with
    coffee intake is how certain medications such as levothyroxine (thyroid)
    as well as tricyclic antidepressants are poorly absorbed, making symptoms
    curiously worse for patients.

It's a wise experiment to provide yourself a break from
coffee intake and see what it feels like to live your life on your own fuel.
Remove coffee and caffeine safely from your system and see how authentically
energized you feel!

How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and
those who have the highest toxic load, tend to have the most difficulty
initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three
or four days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine and coffee.

  • Make
    sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.
    Instead of coffee in the morning, take some warm water with
    freshly-squeezed lemon juice.

  • The
    best water to drink is water that has been passed through a filtering
    process. Common and inexpensive filters are available, such as carbon
    filters like the ones Brita makes. The best filter is a reverse osmosis
    filter that puts the water through a multi-step process to remove
    microbes, pesticides, metals, and other toxins. This can be installed
    under the sink. It's a great filtering system and cheaper over the long
    run. Avoid water in plastic bottles, which contains phthalates, a toxic
    petrochemical. Mineral water or still water in glass bottles is also acceptable.

  • To
    prevent headaches, make sure your bowel movements are regular.

  • If
    you are tired, allow more time for sleep.

  • Take
    1,000 mg buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.

  • Make
    sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue. Even simple walking is good
    -- 30 minutes daily.

  • Some
    people rely on substituting coffee for real food. When you are hungry make
    sure to eat and do not let your blood sugar get low. Have some protein in
    the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds like almonds, pecans,
    walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked

  • If
    you're irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium
    citrate 500 mg and magnesium citrate 250 mg before bed.

  • Take
    a sauna or heat therapy in a bath.

  • Practice
    pressing the pause button. Withdrawal can be stressful and research has
    shown that meditation and other mindful activities can help calm an
    overstimulated and stressed system while boosting the immune system.

  • Keep
    a journal and track your symptoms. Note the difference in quality of
    energy you experience while off of coffee.

  • Consider
    a complete elimination program and avoid all refined sugars, flours,
    caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By
    allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet the body stays on the
    vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your biology by
    eliminating all these dietary triggers for inflammation and fatigue.

I know this is a difficult goal, but I assure you that your
body and mind will thank you. The sense of calm, clarity and restful sleep will
reward you with the simple pleasures of innate health and an energy that is
rightfully yours.

We'd like to hear from you...

What have you tried to break free from caffeine and what
worked best for you?

Healthy Coffee Alternatives

In the Hungry For Change Book we discuss the addictive
nature of caffeine and when consumed in large quantities, can lead to adrenal
fatigue. Coffee is also a diuretic, meaning it purges water from your body.
That said, if you want to function at a high level and remain well hydrated,
then it would be a better choice to replace coffee with a natural alternative.
The list below provides some great tasting substitutes.

Teeccino Caffeine-free Herbal Coffee

This coffee alternative is popular among those who have
removed regular coffee from their diets because it tastes very similar to
coffee but is caffeine free. A mix of carob, barley, chicory nuts and other
flavors (there are all kinds of varieties) it is truly tasty, can be brewed
like coffee (in a French press, via tea bags or in an espresso machine), and
mixes nicely with milk, soy milk or just plain honey if you’re more of a black
coffee/milk-free person.

Yerbe Mate

If you're not necessarily seeking a coffee taste, this
herbal tea with numerous health benefits is a great choice. Not only does Yerbe
Mate taste great hot or cold but it has powerful antioxidant properties, and it
can also accelerate weight loss as it revs up the metabolism.

Green Tea

Green tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee but enough
to give you a boost without any of the coffee jitters. Its also packed with
Catechins, which are powerful antioxidants and potent disease fighters.

Licorice Tea

Licorice tea is actually caffeine-free, but supports
overburdened adrenal glands, which are organs that respond to stress. “Licorice
is an adrenal tonic and increases energy. It adds a pleasant taste to tea
blends and can also be taken in tincture form,” explain Dr. Linda B. White and
Steven Foster, authors of TheHerbal Drugstore.

Wheatgrass Juice

This natural energizer is known as a liquid shot of
essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Some people don’t mind the taste
and others do, but all agree that wheatgrass is one of the most nourishing
juices. “Because of its easy digestibility and rapid assimilation, it’s a
natural energy supplement, whether alone or added to a protein-type supplement
drink,” says Gloria Gilbère, doctor of natural health.

Reishi Mushroom Tea

If you’re looking for a unique coffee alternative, try
mushrooms in the form of tea. A staple in traditionalChinese medicine, the
soft, flat reishi mushroom makes for one invigorating (and healthy) libation.
White and Foster recommend combining 1/3 ounce of chopped or powdered reishi
mushroom with 3 cups of water, then bringing the tea to a boil and simmering
for 30 minutes before drinking in doses.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos is another full-flavored tea that can be mixed with
any kind of milk and has plenty of flavor all on its own as well. It's a
refreshing pick me up and some health experts say it has immune-boosting


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