Cold brew. Latte. Espresso. Iced. Cappuccino. For coffee drinkers, just the thought of it makes us crave a cup. The morning ritual to brew, press, or blend our preferred style of this delicious decoction feels good. While coffee alone is good, it can be customized to new heights with some simple additions. Elevate your morning brew into an elixir full of health benefits and amped-up nutrition that will keep you feeling great through the day.
An herb that has been consumed for its overall health benefits for thousands of years has become mainstream, ashwagandha is arguably the most popular herb being used today. It’s known in Ayurveda, an east Indian form of medicine, for its strength-giving properties for the heart, uterus, and the muscles of the respiratory system which helps with breathing issues. It supports immunity, longevity and is an overall nervine tonic. Like many other herbs it has its own intelligence, with the ability to increase or decrease stress hormones like cortisol, depending on the needs of the body, and energize the body during the day but calm the nerves for peaceful sleep.
Studies are underway with Ashwagandha, and so far it has been shown to help with depression, improved function of the nervous system, and improved immunity; but the system of Ayurveda has taught that for centuries. Just ¼ teaspoon a day mixed in with your cup is all you need.
Good Mood | Cacao
If you’ve never had raw cacao, it’s time to add this to your diet. The beans of the cacao tree are the raw material used for what we know and love in chocolate. But before they’re processed and all the sugar, milk and other junk are added, powdered cacao beans are a nutritious superfood that blend really well with coffee. Cacao is rich in magnesium, sulfur, and iron; which are minerals that help with muscles and nerves to function optimally. The antidepressant phenethylamine found in cacao helps with both stress response and elevating our mood. There’s a reason we’re being told dark chocolate is good for us - it’s the cacao! The caffeine in coffee is nicely balanced with the relaxation, mood-enhancing and brain focus benefits of cacao. A teaspoon of the powder added to your coffee will elevate your morning cup.
Immunity Boost | Medicinal Mushrooms
The medicinal mushroom industry has exploded as we learn the many potent health benefits of various mushroom species. Shiitake, Reishi, Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms all increase the production of immune cells, stimulate the production of helper T cells, and have anti-viral properties. The amazing thing they offer is immunomodulators - which means they have the ability to balance out the system in either hypo- or hyper-active ways. They’re also full of immune-enhancing vitamins and minerals. They’re remarkable, really. You can buy powders in individual packets by Four Sigmatic or buy a blend and put ¼ teaspoon in your coffee.
In addition to giving your coffee a creamy consistency, coconut oil is high in healthy, medium-chain saturated fats which increase HDL cholesterol and also helps convert LDL (bad) cholesterol into good. That’s amazing news for your arteries, and there are also benefits shown for insulin resistance, fatty liver disease and possibly even obesity. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties for the skin; it smells and feels divine as an after shower moisturizer, a make-up remover, skin cleanser, or for shaving. Rub some on your body while you add 1-2 teaspoons to your coffee.
Part of what makes up Vitamin E, tocotrienols have powerful anti-aging and lipid-reducing properties, anticancer, neuroprotective properties and stroke prevention. They are a liver protectant that’s also been shown to repair fatty liver disease. Tocotrienols have remarkable benefits for cardiovascular health by both lowering cholesterol and improving the function of our arteries. Adding 1-2 tablespoons of tocotrienols makes your morning coffee a heart healthy, tasty beverage.
Nutrient-Rich Blended Coffee
1½ cups coffee base - cold brew, drip, or pressed
1 tsp. coconut oil
¼ tsp. ashwagandha powder
1 tsp. cacao powder
½ tsp. Four Sigmatic mushroom blend
1 tbsp. tocotrienols
2 tbsp. nut milk or milk of choice
5 drops stevia or other sweetener to taste
Warm all ingredients in medium pan over low heat until your desired temperature.
Pour into a blender and blend at high speed for 30 seconds.
Pour into a cup and enjoy your creamy, nutritious coffee drink.