Coffee is good for us after all! We love it. We need it. Studies show we should drink it. It is true that caffeine is what comes to mind first when someone mentions coffee, and it is nearly indispensable as our morning jolt. It is often viewed as a guilty pleasure. Well that need no longer be the case and research is on the side of us coffee lovers.
High in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
These health boosting compounds are known as chlorogenic acids found in the polyphenol family of nutrients – from plants. They are the most important health components of coffee.
Lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease.
A study from Harvard University found these benefits. Those who drank 3 or more cups daily, with or without caffeine, were less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infection.
Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.
A study from the NIH of 400,000 men and women found that daily coffee intake decreased the rate of diabetes in the study participants.
Reduces certain types cancer and liver damage.
The antioxidants fight disease causing free radicals in our body.
Decreased or slower weight gain.
Studies found that in people between 50 and 70 years of age, the rate of weight gain was slower in coffee drinkers due to the metabolism boosting effects of caffeine.
Reduced rates of depression among women.
Again, the health boosting compounds have a strong positive effect on our brain and subsequent mental health.
Not all coffee beans are equal
Which coffee beans have been found to have the highest levels of chlorogenic acids? Interestingly, testing has shown that beans grown at higher elevations have more health benefits. (Kenyan, Ethiopian, and others)
High temperatures used to make dark roast coffee does destroy the chlorogenic acids. Light roasting at lower temperatures preserve flavors and the antioxidant content of the beans.
By using a finer grind, it is possible for more antioxidants to be extracted from the beans due to the increased surface area exposed to water in the brewing process. Brew with pure cold water to your personal taste.
Avoid adding sugar because it adds only empty calories. You should void adding cream or non dairy creamer because studies show that it reduces antioxidant absorption 30%. That is a 30% reduction in health benefits that you would be receiving from your delicious cup of coffee.
Studies found the same health benefits whether you drink caffeinated or decaffeinated types of coffee. Finally, the bottom line is that high-elevation, light-roast, flavorful black coffee is the healthiest “new” superfood available.
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