Many people drink coffee each and every day – I know because I was once that person who came to work with a mug in her hand and had a mug on my office desk all day long.
While I love coffee, it’s something I had to cut out completely on our journey to better health – it’s not that I don’t think it’s ok in moderation (because it is..) — but it was something that made me crash and burn later on in the day. When I noticed that I had started to get dependent on coffee, I just quit cold turkey.
As much as I loved coffee, cutting it out completely wasn’t too challenging – but that could be because I was also expecting – and I avoided coffee altogether with pregnancy and nursing – since we have 5 kids, I feel like I have been pregnant or nursing for the last 10 years without too much of a break in between.
Have you ever wondered if there is a healthier, caffeine free substitute for coffee?
There actually is.
The dark & rich flavor of regular coffee is pretty unique to the coffee bean, but one of the closest alternatives is chicory root. Unlike coffee, however, chicory root has myriad of health benefits.
Chicory root has been used for years as a medicinal herb (the Ancient Romans used it to purify the blood). It was also used by the ancient egyptians and Medieval Monks, in addition to Soldiers who fought in the Civil War. (see here)
The list of health benefits is quite long:
- It is full of antioxidants.
- It contains inulin (not to be confused with insulin), that regulates blood sugar, and helps to dispel the body of toxins.
- It supports healthy digestion by increasing bile production.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It helps relieve constipation.
Although it’s not exactly like coffee, it’s one of the best alternatives – and you can also combine it with dandelion root for extra health benefits. You don’t need too much to make a cup of your coffee alternative – steep 1 tbsp in a mug of boiling water for 5-10 minutes, and sweeten with maple syrup or pureed dates… or a little stevia.
You don’t want to over-do chicory root as it does have a laxative effect.
Real time coffee drinkers will enjoy the taste, but they will also mention that it’s not quite “just” like coffee – and it’s not. But it’s as close to coffee as you will ever find.