While we usually put honey in tea, a new study reveals putting natural honey in coffee could have its own unique benefits.
It’s no secret that the sugar we add to our coffee isn’t so great for our health.
It contains empty calories, and consuming too much of it may contribute to weight gain and cavities. Some people switch to artificial sweeteners, which don’t contain calories, but they are made from controversial chemicals that offer no nutritional benefit! Multiple observational studies associate artificial sweeteners with all sorts of health problems. Choosing a natural sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, can give you the sweetness while providing you with some health benefits.
Honey is less likely to cause rapid spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels that increase hunger.
It also contains vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, sulfur, copper, iodine, zinc, phosphate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and various B vitamins. Besides, honey is an antioxidant and acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. It may also help control digestive issues like diarrhea, indigestion and stomach ulcers.
One of the new studies has also shown that putting honey in coffee could be more effective at treating certain coughs than the commonly prescribed systemic steroids. The study was specific to something known as a post-infectious cough, or PPC. PPC is a cough that can stick around for weeks after an upper-respiratory infection or common cold. Not only can that nagging cough that doesn’t seem to go away long after your cold is gone can be irritating, it also can lead to a lack of sleep, irritated throat and airways, and general malaise.
If you’re concerned with your health, honey is a far the better coffee sweetener.
Its sugars are easier to process, and it provides you with other important nutrients. The sugar component of honey is split about 50/50 between glucose and fructose, which are both monosaccharides. Cane sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide, that is created when both glucose and fructose combine on the molecular level via a condensation reaction. Given that sucrose is nearly chemically identical to the fructose/glucose blend in honey, you’d think they taste pretty much the same, right? But they don’t. There are various impurities in honey that shape its flavor, so honey has a very different taste than cane sugar. It adds the same sweetness and also a unique flavor that will change your whole cup of coffee!
You may not get much variety at your local grocery store, but there are many different kinds of honey if you look around. You might want to try a few different kinds of honey in a few different coffees – the combinations will taste very different! There are an almost unlimited number of specialized varieties of honey, unique to local regions. You may need to experiment a bit when using honey in your teas, as the flavor of the honey may overwhelm the delicate or subtle aromas of your coffee (depending on which coffee you prefer and the amount of honey in coffee).
So, if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to processed sugar, by all means, do try sweetening your coffee with honey.
Here is a little recipe to get you started!
- 2 cups hot strong brewed coffee (French or another dark roast)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine the coffee, milk, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook and stir until heated through. (Do not boil.) Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into cups or mugs; serve immediately.
By Anastasia T.