Keeping oneself away from the goodness of coffee can be tough. What starts with just a small aromatic cup in the morning soon turns to multiple refills in a humongous mug throughout the day. Congratulations! You are now part of the ever-growing group of caffeine addicts. While caffeine gives you an extra boost of energy, if consumed in large amounts, it has its fair share of downsides. Risks include increased chances of heart disease, depression and cancer. Don't worry, it's not too late. Taking baby steps to reduce and replace the caffeine with healthier alternatives can go a long way.
Easy to make and with a plethora of health benefits, green smoothies are one of the best ways to get a quick breakfast without compromising on nutrition. You also have a tonne of ingredients to choose from, be it leafy greens such as cabbage and spinach or fruits such as bananas and grapes. Make sure you pick the ingredients in such a way so that you get the needed glucose, iron and vitamins, all from one drink. For example, if you want a protein-rich smoothie, try blending spinach and orange.
A hot favourite due to its many health benefits, green tea can be the ideal drink to kick-start your morning. Containing less caffeine than coffee, green tea not only increases metabolism but has been proven to improve brain function. If you are trying to lose weight, green tea is an ideal solution to aid you in reaching your goal! Antioxidants in green tea will reduce your risk of cancer and also help reduce chances of strokes and heart attacks. Add a bit of lemon or mint leaves to flavour your drink, and you have a refreshing morning drink.
Packed with energy, beetroot juice is ideal for active people, as it can increase stamina. You can add other ingredients to boost the health benefits, such as adding carrots and amla, which can help you prevent iron deficiencies. You could also add oranges, pineapples, and papayas for flavour. A great detoxifying drink, beetroot juice can also help you get glowing skin.
A sub-continental favourite, the subtle nutty flavour of coconut water is a refreshing way to hydrate oneself. Packed with antioxidants and plenty of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and zinc, coconut water is a good replacement for not only coffee, but all other sugary drinks. Alternatively, you could try coconut milk. Grate the coconut flesh and boil it. After a while, you get a thick rich creamy texture which is high in calories and can increase metabolism and help you lose belly fat.
High in protein and fibre, nuts are a wholesome delicious alternative to coffee. If you are a fan of nutty flavours in coffee, this is your ultimate replacement! From smoothies to energy-packed shakes, the choices are endless. Smoothies made using cashew milk and nut butter can help boost your blood sugar levels, thus giving you the extra burst of energy you need to get you through the day. However, make sure you are not allergic to the specific nut before adding it as an ingredient for anything.
Before trying out any of the alternatives, do remember that they won't instantly work. Your body will crave caffeine and your tongue will still want a sip of that warm bitter goodness. However, with time, your body will get used to it and you'll be able to see the improvement yourself!
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed