Morning coffee is a ritual that has been observed for centuries. It’s widely recognized as a calming way to start the day and has become an integral part of daily life in many cultures. Johnny Cash even famously described his definition of paradise as, “This morning, with her, having coffee.”
The popularity of this habit is easy to understand as the caffeine in coffee makes it an obvious choice for a morning pick-me-up. It can increase energy levels, boost the metabolism, and improve brain function and memory. However, drinking too much caffeine can quickly outweigh coffee’s benefits and many beans are full of toxic chemicals that are detrimental to our health and the environment.
Is Coffee Overworking Your Adrenals?
With all this normalcy around the act of drinking coffee, it comes as no surprise that the risks of consuming too much caffeine are often overlooked. Not only can caffeine cause insomnia, anxiety, elevated heart rate, and digestive issues, caffeine withdrawal also comes with some unpleasant symptoms like headaches, drowsiness, irritability, and depression.
Many people drink coffee first thing in the morning because it makes them feel more alert, which is a result of the adrenal glands producing more cortisol. Because of this, consuming too much caffeine can put stress on the adrenals, eventually leading to adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Brain fog
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weakened memory
- Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
Any of these sound familiar? If so, Dr. Axe recently shared a 5-day coffee detox with tips on how to decrease your caffeine intake. By day 5 you’ll be drinking decaf, but wait… You’re not off the hook just yet.
Here’s the Deal with Decaf.
If you’re looking to cut down your caffeine intake but don’t want to sacrifice your morning coffee, opting for decaf beans may seem like the natural solution. Decaf coffee still offers many of the same health benefits as regular coffee; It helps lower the risk of diabetes, protects the liver, aids heart health, and can boost brain function. Unfortunately, decaf coffee also comes with some risk factors.
The conventional chemical method of decaffeinating coffee exposes the beans to methylene chloride, which is an active ingredient in paint stripper. This toxic chemical is banned by the EPA, but is still allowed by the FDA and coffee companies aren’t required to disclose their decaffeination process on their label. Fortunately, there is also a water-based method for decaffeination that is solvent and chemical free.
While it’s possible to find decaf beans that haven’t been exposed to chemicals during decaffeination, decaf coffees are more likely to contain mold toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause cardiomyopathy, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, and even brain damage. According to Dave Asprey of Bulletproof, caffeine actually inhibits the growth of mold on coffee beans while they’re in storage, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all caffeinated coffees are mycotoxin-free.
In truth, decaf coffees aren’t the only ones to blame for toxicity. Even beans that haven't gone through the decaffeination process are exposed to dangerous chemicals long before they hit the shelves at your local grocer.
Reasons to Go Organic
Coffee beans have to grow for three to four years before they are harvested and roasted, so for non-organic beans, this means exposure to pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides for up to four years. When consumed, these chemical compounds can cause a wide range of health issues.
Symptoms of acute pesticide exposure include:
- Skin rashes
- Allergic reactions
Symptoms of long-term pesticide exposure include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Decreased fertility
Not only is organic coffee free of these toxic chemicals, it’s actually enriched with beneficial nutrients. Because it’s treated with natural fertilizers like coffee pulp and compost, organic coffee plants enrich the soil and are higher in valuable antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. What’s more, organic coffee is grown in higher altitudes, allowing the beans to develop a richer, more distinguished flavor that tastes better than non-organic varieties.
The synthetic fertilizers and chemicals used to grow non-organic coffee are not only detrimental to our health, they’re also toxic for the earth and farm workers. However, growing organic coffee actually protects the environment; It doesn’t promote deforestation, supports the ecosystem, and emits less carbon than chemical farms. Not only that, organic coffee companies are often fair-trade compliant, meaning they offer higher wages to their workers.
It’s simple: If you’re going to drink coffee, make sure it’s certified organic.
Here at Agent Nateur, we love a cup of organic coffee in the morning. In fact, we think it’s one of the best ways to enjoy a daily dose of holi (mane), our new supplement for hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re on the hunt for a new favorite organic coffee, give these a try…
Espresso Natura Organic - Organic medium roast made in Italy
Sweettamazzee Italian Roast - Organic dark roast made in Italy
Dr. Mercola 3-Pack - Build your own organic, fair trade 3-pack
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee - Organic dark roast made in Italy
Subtle Earth Organic Coffee - Organic medium-dark roast
Bulletproof Whole Bean Coffee - Medium roast, certified clean
Intelligentsia Breakfast Blend - Organic coffee roasted in Chicago
Lifeboost Caramel Macchiato Coffee - Organic swiss water coffee
No Fun Jo Coffee - Swiss water, non-GMO arabica beans
Mt. Whitney Coffee - Small-batch swiss water coffee
Kicking Horse Coffee - Dark roast, swiss water coffee
But remember, sometimes it’s important to take a break from drinking coffee. If you’re experiencing digestive issues or feeling dehydrated, opt for green tea or make a homemade matcha latte (watch how to make Jena’s recipe here).
Feeling inspired? Make over coffee with our holi (mane) supplement!
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST