Truth about coffee for Celiacs and 3 alternative options for your morning
We've seen the studies that show coffee is good for us, and we've see the studies where it's not. So, who's right?
Have you checked your Facebook or Instagram accounts in the morning lately? It seems like everyone is praising coffee because it has some powerful effects on our bodies. It:
- Wakes you up and gives you energy
- Provides a habitual routine for your mornings
- Helps regulate your bowels (aka makes you do your morning business)
The problem is that people don't quite understand the consequences of regular coffee consumption. It can fuel:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Muscular tension and pain
- Blood sugar swings
- and other nutritional deficiencies.
Don't even get me started on those of us that have a little coffee with our sugar. You know who you are. ;)
But what about Celiacs and people with digestive issues? Can we drink coffee?
There is a study floating around from the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences that Celiac's shouldn't drink coffee because it reacts as gluten in our system.
Before you get up and throw out all of the coffee beans in your house (YIKES!), the same journal published an updated article here, that says your gluten antibodies can cause a reaction to proteins in other foods that simulates an immune and inflammatory response to gluten.
So again, does that mean we can't drink coffee?
Science has spoken, and the answer is....it depends! If you're a coffee lover with Celiac or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (or even just a weak stomach), you need to give your body the chance to answer: is coffee is one of those foods that is helping you thrive or wreaking havoc on your body?
Keep little notes about your coffee consumption over the next 5 days. Note how your body feels before you have your cup of joe, right after and about an hour later. Make note of both physical and emotional reactions. Did you develop stomach pains? Were you more irritable or anxious? Did you have to run to the bathroom?
If you discover that coffee is no longer your best friend, but can't imagine giving it up, change how you're drinking it and when you're drinking it. If you take it with milk and sugar, limit the sugar or switch your chosen creamer. Try a dairy-free alternative like coconut milk. Think about if you're drinking it on an empty stomach or with a full breakfast already in your belly.
After that, if coffee is still giving you problems, your body has gut intuition and you've got to face the facts or live with the consequences.
While I am able to enjoy a cup of coffee, I've discovered:
- I needed to use coconut milk instead of dairy or else I get extra mucous (YUCK!) in my throat and lungs which leads to coughing a lot!
- My limit is one cup or I get anxiety like nobody's business.
- The coffee helps me go to the bathroom if I'm plugged up (Celiac's you know what I mean here...)
- My body can't tolerate low-end coffees. Not just because I'm a high-end kinda gal (totally just kidding), but seriously because of the processing of the coffee beans and grounds.
The problem is I love a warm beverage all day long in the winter time, so I needed an alternative that I would feel great after drinking more than one cup.
If you're looking for a coffee alternative, here are my 3 favorite beverages:
This is made from a plant found naturally in the South American rainforest with naturally caffeinated leaves.
2. Green Tea
Green tea has long been celebrated for its work with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, weight loss, stress, chronic fatigue, treating skin conditions and improving arthritis by reducing inflammation. The green tea antioxidant levels vary by brand, so it's important to do your research.
3. Herbal Teas
Try herbal teas such as dandelion, nettle, burdock, and chamomile.
If you're gearing up to make the switch, based on my own experience, I suggest drinking lots of water with lemon to reduce caffeine withdrawal symptoms.