Enjoying a cup of coffee is for many a pleasurable experience. The different aroma and flavour notes you can feel or preparing your favourite coffee beverage are one of those small luxuries we indulge on a daily basis.
Some might consume coffee to go through the day. But what if we told you that this daily ritual can also be healthy? Yes, coffee can be good for your overall health.
However, to enjoy the myriad of health benefits from your cup of coffee, you need to consider the quality of the drink, the roasting process, the brewing method, among other factors.
Each week, different studies on the health benefits of coffee are published. Some even suggest there is a right time of the day to consume it. Let’s see what science says about coffee and health.
What Are The Health Benefits of Coffee?
Recent research suggests that coffee offers many potential health benefits. Even though not all its beneficial compounds have been identified, and your beverage needs to meet certain conditions, coffee can help you in different ways.
Coffee Could Make You Happy
A recent article states that people who live in areas where the population has a higher life expectancy drink coffee daily. Together with other lifestyle habits, countries ranked as the “happiest” in the world have high per capita consumption rates. No surprise that Colombia made it to the top positions of this ranking for many years!
Although there is no scientific evidence about the relationship between coffee and happiness, coffee has been associated with lower rates of depression.
Lower Risk of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Research from the University of Oxford analysed data from the UK Biobank and found out that more than 400,000 participants who did not suffer from IBS and other digestive diseases and who consumed more than 4 cups of coffee and tea a day were 19% less likely to suffer from these diseases in the future.
Helps Prevent Some Common Diseases
Research has concluded that the right amount of coffee could help prevent some heart diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and strokes.
Coffee is Packed With Antioxidants
Coffee contains high concentrations of polyphenols. These compounds help in a healthy ageing process and disease prevention.
Coffee is a great Workout Drink
That energy boost that caffeine gives doesn’t only help you concentrate or get through the day. It also gives you the energy and stamina you need during exercise, improving your performance and could even help you with weight loss.
How Should You Drink Your Coffee to Enjoy its Health Benefits?
For your health to benefit from enjoying your cup of coffee, agricultural practices, the roasting process and brewing method are essential. The quality of the product itself is also key.
Different growing techniques and processing methods at origin can influence the presence and the amount of certain compounds in a specific coffee.
Arabica coffees grown at higher altitudes have lower caffeine content. For decaf coffees, the chlorogenic acid content may be lower, as it is lost during the decaffeination process. Darker roasts also contain lower amounts of this compound. Grind size, brewing temperature and the amount of coffee used will also determine the amounts of beneficial compounds present in your final cup.
It is also important to consider that adding sugar, cream and other ingredients will affect the nutritional content of your coffee.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, consider consuming it between one and two hours after waking up. This will help you keep your circadian rhythms regulated, with a stable sleep-wake cycle. Some sources suggest that this will avoid a spike in your blood sugar levels, and potentiate the wake-up effect.
Generally speaking, you should avoid coffee when you find trouble sleeping if you are sensitive.
Coffee research is highly unlikely to stop. New studies on the benefits, as well as the disadvantages of coffee, keep being released. As more people enjoy drinking high-quality, single-origin coffee, they may as well consume it for health purposes.