The way coffee is prepared matters

  • Roasting reduces the number of chlorogenic acids, but other antioxidant compounds are formed.
  • Instant coffee may not have the same health benefits.
  • The oil in boiled coffee has cafestol and kahweol, compounds known to raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, and slightly lower HDL, the good cholesterol. However, the clinical significance of such small increases in cholesterol may be questionable.

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Health

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Coffee was once believed to be a possible carcinogen. However, the evidence is consistent that coffee in moderation is associated with a lower risk of mortality.

Research found moderate coffee drinkers had less cardiovascular disease and premature death from heart attacks and stroke. They are less likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and liver conditions. However, research into coffee’s impact on health is ongoing and most of the work in this field is observational.

  • A typical 12-ounce serving of drip coffee has 200 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Instant coffee has 140 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Espresso has the highest concentration of caffeine, 70 milligrams per one-ounce shot, but is consumed in smaller quantities.
  • Brewed decaf has caffeine too - about 8 milligrams.
  • Some people have a genetic variant that slows their metabolism for caffeine and keeps them awake deep into the night.

Caffeine is a psychoactive drug. A moderate amount can wake you up, lift your mood, energy, alertness, concentration, and athletic performance. On average, it takes four to six hours to metabolize half the caffeine.

Withdrawal symptoms include a headache, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and depressed mood.

The coffee bean

Coffee beans are inside the red fruit of Coffea. They are green in color and turn a rich brown hue after roasting.

There are about 124 Coffea species, and most flavors remain unknown. Two species are mainly used for our coffee: arabica and canephora, known as robusta. Arabica costs more and fills specialty cafes, while the more common robusta is used for instant coffees and some espressos.

One study found that those adding sugar, cream or milk to their coffee had the same associated benefit as those who preferred it black.

However, sweet coffee and tea are the fourth largest source of sugar in the diets of adults and is concerning.

If you are enjoying coffee in moderation, doctors say you can continue onward and enjoy it.

A moderate amount would be 3 to 5 cups or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.

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Tracking your caffeine intake

According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of coffee is deemed to have any harmful effects on healthy adults. However, those who are pregnant and suffer from anxiety and panic disorders should drink no more than 200 milligrams per day.

If you believe that caffeine is worsening your anxiety, keep a diary with you at all times to keep track of your caffeine intake and anxiety symptoms and log them. Check your logs to see if there are any patterns that show up.

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More research is needed to validate whether there is a causal link between genes and specific taste perceptions.

Scientists are planning to delve further into the relationship between taste perception and health - to evaluate if bitter taste genes have implications on disease risks.

  • Coffee stays fresh only for a limited time. The person making it must know how to brew it properly.
  • Even the best beans brewed the wrong way can produce a bad cup of coffee.
  • To enjoy coffee, look for places with lots of information about their coffee displayed, and/or staff who can answer your questions about the coffee.
  • To brew at home, you're best off learning how to brew well by hand, using a kettle to boil water and one of the dozens of manual coffee devices available on the market.

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