Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Natural Alternative To Coffee For Caffeine

Coffee drinkers love their coffee.  It is a ritual and they get used to sustaining their energy boost from the caffeine.  Coffee does have some health benefits and having one or two cups in the morning is generally fine for most people.

From an Ayurvedic perspective a food is considered healthy if it is compatible with a person's body type.  Foods are generally classified by their taste (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent or astringent) and whether the taste is suited for a person's illness or body type.  Coffee is bitter in taste which helps stimulate digestion in small quantities and in larger quantities can break down tissue or growths.  A larger or kapha type person can handle more coffee than a smaller vata type person.  The excess caffeine in coffee can also over stimulate a vata type person or put a pitta type person in overdrive.  In small amounts coffee can still be tolerated by everyone.

There is a great natural alternative to coffee that has many of the same antioxidants of coffee and it also has less caffeine than regular coffee, which makes it a great alternative to people who find coffee too bitter or too stimulating.  Yerba Mate tea is made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the South American rain forest holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis).  It is rich in polyphenols, which help in the prevention of degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancers.  Further, polyphenols have anti-inflammatory effects.  An added fun benefit is that yerba mate helps improve fat metabolism for exercisers, which makes your hard work go even further.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the yerba mate is still not the best for vata and pitta types, but because it has less caffeine and a milder taste, the effects are not as pronounced as coffee.  Replacing one cup of yerba mate for one cup of coffee is the preferred way to drink it, because drinking it excessively will give the same negative potential outcome as coffee.

While experimenting with another caffeine alternative is a way to mix things up, one should be mindful of their body.  Fatigue is common and widespread in today's society, and it is usually caused by lack of adequate sleep, a poor diet, little exercise and stress.  One needs to address these underlying issues for true energy and health.  A little caffeine is fine to get things going but it shouldn't be the foundation of your energy level.

Stay healthy & well,

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