Coffee lovers have different preferences when it comes to preparing their daily cup of coffee. While some load it up with sugar and other sweeteners, others prefer a touch of cream or drink it black.
Coffee trends come and go, but one that seems to stick around is adding salt to coffee. Many coffee connoisseurs recommend adding salt to coffee to enhance the flavor and eliminate some of the bitterness.
If you’ve tried salt in your coffee or you’re considering this unique addition, you might be wondering if there are any benefits beyond taste.
We discuss some potential health benefits of adding salt to your daily cup of coffee as well as a few potential drawbacks.
Health Benefits of Salt in Coffee
Does adding salt to coffee do anything beyond enhancing the taste?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential benefits of adding salt to your daily cup of coffee.
Salt in Coffee Enhances the Flavor and Reduces Sugar Intake
It is no surprise that salt will improve the taste of your coffee. This is because salt naturally enhances the already-existing flavors that can be found in food.
Whenever you add salt to your coffee, you immediately unleash all the hidden flavors you never even knew were in the coffee bean.
Salt gives more prominence to the rich but slightly sweet flavor of the coffee. It is also important to note that each type of coffee has its own unique flavor whenever you add salt.
Another aspect you should note is that salt helps you reduce your sugar intake. Coffee’s natural taste often prompts people to add in more sugar or sweeteners.
However, with salt, you can add just a little bit of sugar instead of trying to neutralize the coffee’s bitterness with sugary spoonfuls.
Salt in Coffee Clears Your Skin
One interesting health benefit of salt in coffee is how well it clears the skin.
Some components found in salt are great for clearing up skin issues. For a clearer picture, the zinc in salt does great repairs to the tissue and helps prevent acne.
The chromium and iodine in salt also help with skin infections, while the sulfur maintains clean, smooth, and hydrated skin.
Salt in Coffee Helps With Digestion
When you add salt to your coffee, you enhance and stimulate your body’s digestive process.
Another health benefit of salt in coffee is that it assists in activating your salivary gland.
Also, it stimulates your body which ultimately helps metabolize the protein that breaks down your body’s calories, keeping you trim.
Salt in Coffee Assists with Acid Reflux
For those that suffer from acid reflux when drinking coffee, most doctors will recommend cutting down on or completely eliminating coffee.
If you’re not ready to stop drinking coffee, make sure that you’re buying a blend that’s less acidic like dark roasts.
If you add a little salt to your coffee, it can help with your acid reflux. The salt will help prevent the contents of the stomach from entering your esophagus.
Salt in Coffee is a Healthier Alternative
Coffee has a ton of health benefits. It contains several essential nutrients such as magnesium and antioxidants. Also, coffee will help you tackle some brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
However, when you load up your coffee with cream, syrups, sweeteners, you immediately counteract the benefits you can get from coffee.
These additives can lead to weight gain and other health complications that come with too much sugar intake.
Salt in coffee can easily replace all these extras and allow you to live a healthier lifestyle.
Salt in Coffee Reduces Bitterness
Sodium, which is a major component of salt, reduces the bitterness of coffee. If you are wondering how this happens, note that the taste buds naturally react to salty flavors instead of bitter flavors. A chemical reaction is responsible for this outcome.
The Na+ ion reduces the bitterness when it interferes with the tongue’s tasting mechanism. Ultimately, your tongue’s bitterness receptors do not perceive the intensity of your coffee’s bitter taste.
Also, the calcium found in salt might influence the tongue’s ability to block bitterness. Sodium also has a higher chance of neutralizing the bitterness in coffee than sugar. Sugar only conceals the flavor temporarily while salt reduces it.
Salt in Coffee Improves Stale Water
Salt improves the quality of water. If you leave water in your coffee maker for too long, it might get stale. Usually, stale water affects the general quality of the coffee you make.
However, if you add salt, it ultimately refines the water. The salt will also give the water a denser feel, which will make your coffee texture thicker.
How to Add Salt to Coffee
While there aren’t any strict rules to adding salt to your coffee, celebrity food scientist Alton Brown recommends adding a quarter teaspoon of salt for every six tablespoons of ground coffee or more.
While you can add more to suit your taste preferences, more will likely make your cup of coffee taste too salty. Brown also says that the method of adding salt matters.
Unlike adding sugar to a cup of brewed coffee, you don’t want to add teaspoons of salt to your cup of coffee. Adding salt to the grounds before the brewing process will ensure a more balanced taste.
You should also note that the amount of salt you add to your coffee is dependent on the kind of salt you use. Some salts have different flavors and levels of concentration than others.
For instance, you will find different types of salt like Espresso salt, Trapani salt, and Peruvian pink salt.
Downsides of Salted Coffee
While adding salt to your daily cup of coffee might be an interesting treat, it might not always be the healthiest option.
In the end, too much salt can be detrimental to your health as it can lead to an increased chance of a stroke, high blood pressure, and even kidney ailments.
If you’d like to have a clearer picture, here are some of the downsides you can experience if you constantly add salt to your coffee.
When you add salt to coffee, you increase your sodium intake.
When you combine sodium with coffee, it may also lead to excess urination. Naturally, the kidneys regulate the salt levels in your body. However, drinking too much-salted coffee on a regular basis can increase the risk of kidney damage.
Salted coffee also creates more water than usual and excessive salt for the body to excrete.
The excesses will cause pressure in your kidneys and also give you major discomfort when you are urinating. To avoid this, make sure that you drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day to avoid feeling dehydrated.
Too Much Iodine
Iodine is another one of salt’s major components. It is important because the body needs iodine for cell metabolism and thyroid functions.
Nonetheless, if your body creates too much iodine coupled with consuming too much of the stuff, then you are highly susceptible to iodine poisoning.
Some of these conditions include thyroid cancer, inflammation of the thyroid gland, and goiters.
Heightened Risk of Osteoporosis
Excess salt can increase the amount of calcium your body discharges during urination.
You would have to balance it out with your diet, and if you don’t, the body will extract the calcium directly from your bones, increasing the risk of Osteoporosis and other bone problems.
Cardiovascular Health Risks
Too much salt may lead to water retention in your body because your kidney will be unable to filter excess sodium.
When this happens, the excess water in your body can add unnecessary pressure to your heart and blood vessels, which can eventually result in high blood pressure.
Talk with a Nutritionist
Although coffee and salt have health benefits, it might be a good idea to talk with a nutritionist before you incorporate salt into your diet.
A nutritionist can also specify what kinds of salt to use in your coffee and help you determine if it’s a good dietary change based on your existing health conditions.
Salt in coffee might seem like another strange fad, but there are a handful of benefits from clearer skin to better-tasting coffee.
However, try not to make adding salt to your coffee a daily occurrence, especially if it already tastes great the way it is.
Also, never forget that taste is subjective. If you already tried adding salt to your coffee and you didn’t enjoy it, then it is not for you.
If you have not given it a try, then you should. Who knows, you just might unlock your new favorite method of preparing coffee!
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