Hey Coffee Enthusiast!
This week I wanted to walk you through a topic very important to me which is coffee's impact on the brain-gut axis and how it may improve gut health. As someone suffering from an IBD, coffee and its digestive properties are a crucial part of my daily routine.
I cannot recommend coffee if you suffer severely from an IBD as it may exacerbate some symptoms.
So, if you’re like me and love coffee but don’t have the healthiest gut microbiome what are some ways we can benefit from coffee without some of the negative attributes?
- Search for coffee that you trust is cultivated organically or with regenerative techniques to reduce the usage of harmful fertilizers and pesticides.. The reduction of harmful fertilizers and pesticides mean there is less opportunity for toxins to pass through your intestinal mucosa. Furthermore, rigorous standards and procedures required by certifying bodies tend to protect green coffee from poor processing and storage practices. USDA Organic and Regenerative Organic Certifications are growing in popularity among coffee producers.
- Try to look for naturally processed decaffeinated coffees. My personal favorite decaffeination process is Sugarcane Ethyl-Acetate, often notated as EA Decaf. The coffee maintains a lot of its healthy antioxidants and only delivers around 2mg of caffeine per cup of coffee (compared to 65mg + fully caffeinated). Mountain Water Process and Swiss Water Process are two great options, but I tend to think they lack the exciting flavors of EA Process.
- Buy medium - med/dark roasted coffees that bring a lot of flavor and sweetness naturally. Brewing these coffees by hand or using a great home brewer can help you cut back on milk and sugar. Drinking coffee black can bring all the health benefits while leaving behind detractors to gut health like dairy and sugar.
- Try mixing in beneficial mushroom powders known to improve gut health like reishi, turkey tail, chaga, lion’s mane, cordyceps, and maitake and nootropic adaptogens like l-theanine or ashwagandha. Just make sure it doesn’t have extra caffeine!
Though much more research is needed on the direct impact coffee has on gut health, it is widely believed to be full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and have antiproliferative effects on gut mucosa - improving the brain-gut axis.
Until next week,