December 7, 2022

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

Coffee: The healthiest drink in the world

7 min read

By Shoshana Pritzker

how do you like your coffee Black? With cream and sugar? Or how about some milk froth? A perfect brew is just the way you like it. Whether first thing in the morning or after dinner, your favorite Cup-o-Joe is always warm and inviting.

But cafenistas beware – there’s more than you can brew in the coffee pot. Now more than ever, studies are emerging from all corners of the world touting the extensive list of health benefits of your favorite brew. Your morning cup not only provides you with the energy boost you need; it’s also (decaffeinated or not) loaded with polyphenolic compounds and cancer-fighting agents. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, liver toxicity, and even more exciting is its ability to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With all that said, we can’t forget the added benefit of coffee’s positive effects on metabolism, weight control and performance enhancing aspects both on and off the pitch. The next time you’re questioning cutting off your coffee break, think again. Drink for your health!

Top source of antioxidants

Believe it or not, Americans still get the majority of their antioxidants from beverages rather than fruits and vegetables – with coffee leading the race. According to the National Coffee Association of USA, Inc., 54 percent of adult Americans drink coffee daily, with 83 percent of those coffee drinkers transitioning to their home-brewed beverage. With this economy, buying a coffee pot and a bag of your favorite roast is a whole lot cheaper and a lot less time-consuming than stopping by the local Starbucks or 7-Eleven every morning.

Americans consume a total of 400 million cups of coffee a day. Individually, an American coffee drinker consumes about three cups of coffee per day. I would say it’s a good thing; Enjoy Your Java is both a stress reliever and a health booster.

The high antioxidant activity in coffee comes from its rich source of polyphenols.1,2 Polyphenols act as antioxidants in the body and play a role in protecting the cell from free radical damage and tissue damage from reactive atoms. This can best be defined or demonstrated by the effects of soy isoflavones on estrogen receptors and effects on the endocrine system.

Bone resorption is stimulated by low levels of calcium in the body (as in postmenopausal women), which release parathyroid hormone, which (among other activities) increases the number of osteoclasts in the body (imagine osteoclasts eating up your bone density). Promote bone resorption, leading to osteoporosis. Soy isoflavones have powerful antioxidant properties, improve thyroid function and protect against bone loss.3 More research is needed to define the exact mechanism of action of soy isoflavones and their antioxidant properties.

The polyphenols found in coffee are almost exclusively chlorogenic acid (100-200 mg per cup), which have a number of activities that may play a role in improving health.4 The method you use to prepare your coffee can affect the polyphenols Properties of your coffee change beverage; However, the finished drink is still consistently very high in polyphenols. Whether you choose instant, brewed, cooked, or brewed coffee, just consuming coffee every day makes a difference to your health.

Risk of cancer, liver disease and risk of stroke in women

All of these polyphenols are used to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke and liver disease. The rumor that drinking coffee protects against liver damage was put to the test when 9,849 participants were examined in a study published by the journal Gastroenterology to see if there was an association between coffee consumption and the risk of hospitalization or even death from chronic liver disease are (CLD) patients. Participants who drank > 2 cups of coffee per day had less than half the rate of CLD than those who drank < 1 cup per day.5

In a separate study, drinkers of three or more cups of coffee per day had a 53 percent lower risk of developing liver disease than non-coffee drinkers; Coffee may also protect against the development of liver disease.6 The oxidative stress-reducing effect of coffee may be a key component in liver damage and disease progression.6

In a review of Recent Human Research on Coffee and Health, authors Higdon, JV et al. concluded that overall there is little evidence of health risks and some evidence of health benefits for adults who consume moderate amounts of coffee (3-4 cups per day providing 300-400 mg of caffeine per day). The results of numerous studies report that coffee consumption can help prevent several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease. More studies need to be done to monitor the relationship between coffee consumption and cancer risk; However, coffee’s high polyphenol properties have anti-cancer effects on the body.6,7 Additionally, women who consume coffee regularly have a lower risk of stroke than non-users.8 The proof is in the pudding ladies; Coffee has it all!

Weight control, type 2 diabetes and exercise

Coming back to coffee’s high polyphenol content, chlorogenic acid may increase insulin sensitivity, inhibit glucose absorption, and in addition, neutralize the destructive effects of free fatty acids on beta cell (cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin) function in insulin-resistant obese individuals.9 ,10,11,12 This is good news for those with type 2 diabetes mellitus looming over them. These studies suggest that long-term coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The recommended intake is about four cups of coffee per day.

Not only does coffee keep you warm on a cold winter night, but it also increases your body’s ability to burn fat by inducing thermogenesis and raising skin temperature.13 Thermogenesis is the rate at which our bodies use heat to generate energy. Diet-induced thermogenesis is good because all you have to do is eat or drink a specific food and your body starts burning calories. Some foods and beverages induce thermogenesis at a much higher rate than others. Coffee happens to be one of them.

The most exciting use for coffee is its ability to increase performance during exercise and other sports. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study from the University of Alabama was conducted in which researchers evaluated and compared the effects of a nutrient-dense coffee drink and a decaffeinated coffee drink on repeated 40-yard flying sprint performance. The results showed that a caffeinated coffee drink before a workout can improve sprint performance by potentially delaying fatigue, meaning you can train harder and longer with a lower perceived exertion.15

Is it the caffeine or the coffee that works in this situation? Most likely the caffeine is the ergogenic aid; However, using pre-workout coffee instead of your sugary energy drink is the more cost-effective option while still providing the same performance benefits. Next time you hit the gym, try the Power Lift recipe below; It’s a delicious pre-workout coffee treat.

From one coffee lover to another, your favorite drink is sure to be the healthiest; from its amazing polyphenolic antioxidant activity to its use in exercise, weight loss and diabetes control. Go one step further; Ditch the cream and sugar and substitute honey or other alternatives to enjoy and reap the benefits of this amazing beverage on a daily basis. Just be careful not to burn your tongue!

Ingredients:
2/3 cup brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature

1.5 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
½ medium-ripe banana, peeled and sliced
2-4 ice cubes
½ tablespoon wheat germ
½ tablespoon honey or to taste (artificial sweetener can be used in place of honey)

Place all ingredients in a blender jug. Cover and blend on high for 1 minute or until smooth. Serve immediately.

(This recipe was derived from coffeescience.org but modified for nutritional reasons.)

References:

1. Ohie, YT et al. (2009). Coffee and green tea as major sources of antioxidant polyphenols in the Japanese population. J. Agric Food Chem. 57(4):1253-9.

2. Ho, Wyoming (2009). Polyphenolic chemistry of tea and coffee: a century of progress. J. Agric Food Chem. 57(18): 8109-14.

3. Scalbert, A. et al. (2005). Polyphenols: Antioxidants and more. Amer J Clinical Nutr, 81(1):215S-217S.

4. Hodgson, JM et al. (2004). Phenolic acid metabolites as biomarkers of polyphenol exposure from tea and coffee in humans. British J of Nutr, 91(1):301-305.

5. Ruhl, CE et al. (2005). Coffee and tea consumption is associated with a lower incidence of chronic liver disease in the United States. J of Gastroenterology, 129(6):1928-36.

6. Freedman, N.D. et al. (2009). Coffee intake is associated with less progression of liver disease in chronic hepatitis C. J of Hepatology, 50(5):1360-1369.

7. Higdon, JV et al. (2006). Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Food Sci and Nutr, 46(2):101-123.

8. Garcia, EL et al. (2009). Coffee consumption and risk of stroke in women. J of Amer Heart Assoc, 119:1116-1123.

9. Pimentel, GD et al. (2009). Does long-term coffee consumption lower the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus? Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 1:6.

10. Oba, S. et al. (2009). Consumption of coffee, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, chocolate snacks, and caffeine content in relation to diabetes risk in Japanese men and women. British J of Nutr.

11. Van Dieren, S. et al. (2009). Coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia, 52:2561-2569.

12. Greenberg, JA et al. (2006). coffee, diabetes and weight control. Am J Clin Nutr, 84(4): 682-93.

13. Tagliabue A. et al. (1994). Coffee-induced thermogenesis and skin temperature. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord, 18(8):537-41.

14. Fukushima, Y. et al. (2009). Effects of coffee on inflammatory cytokine gene expression in mice fed a high-fat diet. J Agric Food Chem, [Epub].

15. Davis, JK et al. (2008). The effects of a nutrient-infused coffee beverage on repeated flying 40-yard sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 5(1):1.

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