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Low Tox Guide to Coffee

Americans drink around 146 billion cups of coffee every year with most people drinking about 3-4 cups daily. It is pretty agreed upon that coffee can have some great health benefits. This review found coffee may help prevent inflammatory and oxidative stress related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as reduce the risk of cancer. If we're going to drink coffee every single day, I think it's important to address the concerns with exposure to toxins and the negative impacts coffee can have on our health when it is not used responsibly.


Coffee is one of the most chemically treated crops, meaning it is heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. These chemicals not only deplete the soil and coffee beans of nutrients but they can also be absorbed by the body and deposited into fat cells. Multiple studies show that these chemicals can contribute to health issues including cancer, reproductive issues, nervous system damage and more.

It's best to choose only organic coffee to avoid these chemicals and get more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from your daily cup.

Another concern about coffee itself is the mold content. As a result of storing, processing and transporting, one study found that about 50% of coffee tested contained mold. Drinking mold containing coffee can seriously impact your health including risk of cancer, immune function and nervous system. Specialty-grade coffees will generally be mold free due to higher standards, but many companies are doing 3rd party testing of their coffee for mold and disclosing those results to consumers. Purity Coffee seems to be one of the best on the market.

As if you don't have enough to be concerned with, decaf coffee can be made by soaking the beans in toxic chemicals - think the same chemical used in paint thinners. Opt for decaf coffee that has only been made using the Swiss Water Method which only uses water to alter the coffee beans.


How you make your coffee matters a lot because now we are factoring in heat. Most coffee makers have some sort of plastic component which we know, when heat is applied, is leaking toxic chemicals and micro-plastics into our coffee. So as you can imagine k-cups and pods are a huge no go due to not only the bottom plastic piece but also the aluminum top. Aluminum is a neurotoxin that leeches when heat is applied.

What we're looking for is a completely stainless steel and/or glass option. Personally, I'm also looking for something that is easy to clean to avoid mold or mildew being trapped.

A quick google of "plastic free coffee makers" will provide you with various options depending on how you like your coffee. This is the one I would recommend if you are a pretty basic coffee drinker.

If you're a coffee on the go kind of person, be mindful that disposable cups are made of plastic. Make sure you use a stainless steel or ceramic (my preferred) reusable cup.


What you add to your coffee can take it from "healthy" to "unhealthy" very quickly. Many traditional coffee creamers contain added sugars, seed oils, preservatives, thickeners, artificial colors and flavors, and more. Don't fall for those marketed as "natural" or "plant-based." Your best bet is using very simple ingredients such as organic (raw is even better) cream and honey or maple syrup. If you use a mixed creamer from the store, be sure to check the ingredient list occasionally as companies tend to change their formulations.


Most people wake up and instantly make a cup of coffee, especially after a rough night of sleep. However, this is one of the worst things you can do. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can impact your body's ability to regulate blood sugar and negatively impact your hormones.

There's also evidence that suggests waiting 90 minutes after waking to drink coffee can positively impact cortisol levels (which rise as soon as we wake up) and circadian rhythm.


A quick google of "how much coffee can I drink" will give a standard amount of 4 cups or 400 mg a day. However, I think a healthy amount of coffee varies more person to person than google will tell you. An individuals weight alone can impact the amount of caffeine they can tolerate.

Some signs you're taking in too much caffeine: disrupted sleep, mood, anxiety, shakiness, dehydration, headaches and not feeling much after taking in some caffeine.

I strongly recommend going without caffeine for a week or even two to find your baseline. Then slowly add in caffeine, up to 3-4 cups a day to find your threshold.

I think it's important for us to be conscious consumers when it comes to coffee, especially when it's something most of us drink at least once every single day.

Coffee can have great benefits, but when drank irresponsibly it can expose us to micro-plastics, mold, disrupt our hormones, interrupt our sleep and add unhealthy calories to our day.


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