CAN I DRINK COFFEE ON THE ALKALINE DIET?
One of the first things people notice on the do not eat list of alkaline diet foods is coffee. And for some, that’s a MAJOR deal breaker. Don’t let it be, though! If not drinking coffee is keeping you from starting to implement the principles of the Alkaline Diet, don’t let that one thing stop you from missing out on one of the best food choice experiences of your life. Yes, I’m a bit partial to the Alkaline Diet. This diet is a lifestyle and if rules and restrictions are not your thing, that is completely fine because this is not a restrictive diet.
The intention of the Alkaline Diet is not what the common initial impression is, “This diet is too hard, I can’t eat anything!” Firstly, the Alkaline Diet is suggestions of what types of food to eat if you would like to achieve and maintain a positive health experience. It’s not meant to inspire a feeling of deprivation and despair. If you feel like you are going to be too miserable not drinking coffee, then keep drinking it. There are plenty of plant-based green foods that you can add into your diet to achieve balance, any maybe you’ll change your mind later about the coffee. Or maybe you won’t. My main point is, don’t let one single “do not eat _____” stop you. That’s the rule breaker in me!
MY HISTORY WITH COFFEE.
I started casually drinking coffee in my late twenties, and when I moved to Alberta, Canada – the land of Tim’s – I embraced this new culture experience and starting drinking coffee regularly. My favorite spot was a latte at the Italian Centre. It’s always nice to have a warm drink when it’s -30C outside.
When I started to investigate more how diet affects my health, I felt encouraged to give up coffee because as I transitioned into a Paleo diet, coffee made me jittery and more tired than energized. I now believe this had more to do with the coffee I was drinking, not coffee. This is also when roasted chicory root coffee entered into my life. I initially saw it on the shelf at my local health foods store and knew of the herbal benefits of chicory root as a food additive for gut health.
If you do want to stop drinking coffee, roasted chicory root coffee could be almost a perfect substitute for the common coffee bean. I say almost perfect because, if you love your caffeine, there is no caffeine in roasted chicory root. But as for taste, it’s almost identical to the roasted coffee bean.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHICORY & COFFEE BEAN.
Chicory root has exhibited many benefits in scientific research; from containing antioxidants, balancing blood sugar, digestive support, and it even shows a possibility for management of arthritis symptoms. (1,2,3) In another study, chicory root was observed to be a beneficial food additive for improving nutritional food absorption. (4)
To be fair, I’m not in the coffee bean is bad club. I have decided to start drinking coffee again after reading research supporting it as a liver health enhancer, among other personal lifestyle influences. (5) I also started drinking it again for this reason – brain health.
RECIPE FOR ROASTED CHICORY ROOT COFFEE FOR THE ALKALINE DIET
Roasted Chicory Root Coffee for the Alkaline Diet
If you are hoping to stop drinking traditional coffee, or you'd just like to try a different warm beverage, roasted chicory root coffee can be a good substitute for traditional coffee bean.
- 1-1.5 tbsp Roasted Chicory Root Coffee
- 3 cups This is approximate, you can adjust according to your preference
- 1 tsp Ground Coffee substitute this for 1 tsp chicory for caffeine
Using a stove-top Percolator, brew coffee to desired strength.
Or use any other type coffee maker you prefer.
MY HYPOTHESIS FOR THE BENEFITS OF COFFEE FOR BRAIN HEALTH.
Disclaimer, this information is my personal hypothesis as a result of linking scientific and anecdotal evidence dots.There is a growing trend among folks with ADHD using coffee as a supplement to calm down. The trend began with parents noticing that their children are really chill after drinking coffee. I didn’t need help calming down; but when I read the book “An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds” by Jonathan Swift (a great book for gardeners and anyone interested in Botany) it gave me new information about coffee to consider. In chapter sixteen the author discusses the history of coffee and the role that the caffeine plays on the bean, reading this information made me ponder more about the relationship of coffee and ADHD. In Swift’s book, he explains that caffeine inhibits the growth of fungus and bacteria, while also warding off pests by paralyzing them through the central nervous system. Further connecting this with other scientific research about coffee, we know that some disease symptoms are triggered by a bacterial imbalance. (6) We also know that coffee has been suggested for use as a potential treatment for bacterial infection. (7)
To connect this all together and form my hypothesis about the brain health benefits of coffee is based upon the efffects the caffeine has on bacteria and fungus. What if there is a type of bacteria, or fungus, living as a host on the central nervous system of the ADHD patients; and as the bacteria develops more it causes their nerves to overly excite. Then, when the person experiencing symptoms of ADHD drinks coffee containing caffeine, this calm feeling they find is a result of the bacteria dying back and giving their nervous system a break. A coffee break with an anti-bacterial benefit. Interestingly, caffeine is also being examined for its memory retention benefits. (8) No wonder scientists drink so much coffee!
And then you’ve got Dave Asprey, who is pioneering coffee blended with MCT oil because of it’s brain health and memory enhancement benefits. Fat blended with coffee sounds odd, but it’s actually nice and worth at least trying once if you like cream in your coffee. Asprey also discovered that there is an ugly side to coffee, and it’s not what we have been told, coffee is commonly harbouring a mold toxin named Ochratoxin.
Since going as close to mold-free as possible from my own experience with mold, it’s true, I can taste a faint moldy aroma in conventional coffees compared to organic fair-trade coffee. This is why, among other reasons, I choose to drink a higher quality of coffee.
I DRINK COFFEE WHILE ON THE ALKALINE DIET
Hopefully that headline isn’t so polarizing that I lose most of my audience with it, but it’s true. I drink coffee. My personal experience to adding coffee back into my life makes me more confident in the hypothesis I have developed about coffee benefits for brain health. When I initially added it back, I would feel an intense aggravation to my nervous system. But determined to test my hypothesis, I kept drinking it, and as I did I experienced less aggravation to my nervous system. I also noticed that a condition I had, that is linked to bacterial imbalance, began improving.
…BUT, IT’S STILL ACID FORMING.
When I drink coffee (not roasted chicory root coffee) and also eat foods that are alkaline forming (mineral rich greens and vegetables) I do not see a drop in my urine pH value. The key to the alkaline diet is once you have achieved a balanced state, keep your body in balance. Always eating foods and drinking water for raising your pH is a myth. The body is constantly in a state of achieving homeostasis. Once you have replenished acid buffering minerals enough to maintain homeosatsis, you only need to continue to maintain that balance.
Take this analogy. You spend six months exercising to improve your fitness levels and feel confident in your own skin. Then you stop doing anything that is considered exercise. You don’t maintain the muscle tissue that you have built. And the fitness abilities that you had achieved are reduced. Too bad muscles don’t stay where we leave them, eh?
Maintaining balance with the Alkaline Diet works the same. You know, based on common sense, you can’t eat a plant-based diet for several months and then abruptly return to your meat and grain based diet and expect to feel the same way you do when eating plant-based. You know that you must maintain what you have achieved by continuing to eat a plant-based diet. However, for long term success, it is not necessary to maintain a specific set of food choice rules. That is unless that is what works best for you. I’m just trying to lend an inviting hand to a person that knows they will never fully give up coffee (or pizza *points finger at self*) but also wants to enjoy following the principle guidelines of eating foods according to the Alkaline Diet.
If never drinking coffee again is a deal breaker for you, then keep it as part of your 20% in the 80/20 balance, which you can read more about on the Curing Vision Alkaline Diet Food Chart.
Roasted chicory root coffee can be prepared just the same as you do ground coffee beans. I use a french press that my bother and sister-in-law gave to my husband, he stands loyal to his stove top percolator. Which, a percolator is particularly fun to use over a campfire for making campfire coffee.
If you’d like to try roasted chicory root coffee, but still want to have a bit of caffeine, just substitute some of the chicory with coffee bean. I like to blend coffee bean and roasted chicory root coffee to gain the benefits of drinking both. One particular thing I do like to request is that the coffee I drink is at a minimum fair-trade and preferably also organic coffee beans. The recipe I have prepared above is really a starting point suggestion since we all prefer our own individual brew strengths.
One of my favorite ways to dress up the coffee is to use full-fat coconut milk, a bit of coconut sugar, and molasses.
SO TELL ME, WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF COFFEE WITH THE ALKALINE DIET?
What will you decide for yourself? Will you continue drinking coffee or give it up? And as a side note and a little more about me when I’m not absorbed into nutrition, because I love watching travel vloggers on YouTube, check out Kara and Nate. A fun loving couple, who love to travel, and drink lots of coffee together.
All of the scientific sources for my posts can be found in this Pinterest board. This post contains affiliate links and is meant to be educational information. This post has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.