3 Alternatives to Coffee

0809-health-news-2-mdn.jpgWhat's Percolating?

Few morning brews match coffee's punch. But if you are hoping to ease up on the jitters, Jody Villecco, Whole Foods Market nutritionist, gives the scoop on three alternatives:

HERBAL COFFEE (such as Teeccino)

MAIN INGREDIENT: Chicory root.

BUZZ EFFECT: No caffeine—but fans insist it gives a "natural" alertness.

FLAVOR FACTOR: Tastes like classic joe, but slightly sweet and smoky.

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HEALTH BOOST: Chicory's got inulin (a digestive aid) and heart-friendly potassium.

YERBA MATE (such as Guayaki)

MAIN INGREDIENT: South American holly tree leaves.

BUZZ EFFECT: Less than half the caffeine of coffee.

FLAVOR FACTOR: Evocative of herbal medicine.

HEALTH BOOST: Antioxidant levels akin to green tea, plus potassium.

MATCHA (such as Morning Matcha)

MAIN INGREDIENT: Green-tea leaves ground into powder.

BUZZ EFFECT: Half as much caffeine as regular coffee.

FLAVOR FACTOR: Similar to steeped green tea, but kicked up several zillion notches.

HEALTH BOOST: Three times the antioxidants of the bagged variety, which means extra protection from cancer and heart disease.

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