3 Alternatives to Coffee

What'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.

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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