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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COFFEE: A BREW FULL OF FLAVOR AND HEALTH BENEFITS


Are you one of those who kick-start their day with a steaming cup of coffee? For many, coffee isn’t just a morning ritual; it’s a daily companion that provides a much-needed energy boost. In fact, some believe that coffee has fueled our scientific advancements by keeping our minds alert and focused. So, let’s explore further into the world of coffee and discover its intriguing properties! 


INTRODUCTION

Coffee, a popular beverage worldwide, contains over a thousand bioactive compounds, including caffeine and chlorogenic acids, which have been linked to potential health benefits such as inflammation reduction and cancer prevention. While coffee lacks significant nutrients, it is rich in natural chemicals, some of which have health benefits and others may pose risks, an area that is still being researched. 


Despite its modest nutritional profile, coffee’s widespread use necessitates extensive research into its effects on health. According to studies, drinking coffee on a regular basis may reduce the risk of serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, liver disorders, and neurological issues. Coffee’s stimulating properties boost bodily functions, including the nervous and cardiovascular systems, while combating fatigue. 


Coffee’s beneficial effects are attributed to its diverse range of biological compounds, including caffeine and polyphenols. Caffeine is rapidly absorbed and metabolised, producing key metabolites such as paraxanthine that contribute to its physiological effects. As our understanding grows, so does our admiration for coffee’s intricate interactions within the body, cementing its status as a beloved beverage with a wide range of health benefits. 


WHAT COFFEE CONTAIN?

Coffee contains a number of compounds that have recently been linked to beneficial health effects. It is a complex chemical blend that contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Unfiltered coffee contains high levels of cafestol and kahweol, two diterpenes linked to increased cholesterol levels. Many coffee drinkers rely on caffeine, a well-known component, as their primary source of energy. 


Besides that, coffee also contains a variety of other chemicals, such as carbohydrates, lipids, nitrogenous compounds, vitamins, minerals, alkaloids, and phenolic compounds. Chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, melanoidin and N-methyl pyridinium are particularly effective antioxidants. These compounds contribute to coffee’s diverse composition, which includes diverse composition, which includes thousands of chemicals, many of which may have bioactive properties. These include chlorogenic acid, caffeine, and the diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, which are known to have health benefits. 



HEALTH BENEFITS

Coffee is a remarkable beverage, with numerous health benefits that have been proven by research. According to studies, regular coffee consumption, which averages 3 to 4 cups per day, is associated with a lower risk of mortality and chronic diseases. For example, coffee drinkers have a 40% lower risk of liver cancer and a 15% lower risk of colorectal and prostate cancers. This protective effect is attributed to coffee’s antioxidant components, which help prevent mutations and carcinogen metabolism while increasing glutathione levels in colonic cells. 


Furthermore, coffee consumption is associated with a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition, and a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in individuals aged 65 and above. Coffee’s influence extends to metabolic disorders, with regular coffee drinkers having a 23-76% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes


Beyond disease prevention, coffee can improve physical performance by lowering the perceived rate of exertion during and after exercise. It helps weight management by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation, potentially acting as a body weight regulator. Additionally, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease, with a recommended daily intake of 2 to 3 cups. 


Moreover, coffee’s benefits extend beyond physical health. It improves mood, cognitive function, and hydration, boosting alertness, vigilance, and overall performance. Coffee continues to be a popular beverage around the world due to its remarkable ability to provide both enjoyment and health benefits. 


HOW MUCH COFFEE SHOULD I CONSUME?

According to FDA guidelines, healthy adults should limit their coffee intake to 400 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to approximately 4 to 5 cups. However, individuals differ in their caffeine sensitivity and how quickly their bodies metabolise it, resulting in varying effects. 


Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to several undesirable symptoms, including insomnia, jitteriness, anxiety, rapid heart rate, upset stomach, nausea, headaches, and feelings of unhappiness or dysphoria. Thus, it’s important to be aware of your caffeine consumption and its potential impact on your health. 


SUMMARISE

The world of coffee is truly fascinating, with a delightful blend of flavours and a plethora of health benefits. Coffee continues to captivate both researchers and enthusiasts, thanks to its high bioactive compound content and potential role in disease prevention and performance enhancement. However, it is critical to consume coffee in moderation and be aware of its impact on personal health. Understanding the components of coffee, its health benefits, and recommended intake levels allows us to fully enjoy this beloved beverage while also promoting overall well-being. So, whether you prefer a morning cup or an afternoon pick-me-up, savour coffee’s goodness and its remarkable effect on both body and mind.


FUN FACTS

Did You Know?

Contrary to popular belief, darker roasts do not contain more caffeine than lighter ones. In fact, lighter roasts tend to contain slightly more caffeine!



REFERENCES

Bae, J.-H., Park, J.-H., Im, S.-S., & Song, D.-K. (2014). Coffee and health. Integrative Medicine Research, 3(4), 189–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2014.08.002


FDA. (2018, December 12). Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much


Gan, Y., Wu, J., Zhang, S., Li, L., Cao, S., Mkandawire, N., Ji, K., Herath, C., Gao, C., Xu, H., Zhou, Y., Song, X., Chen, S., Chen, Y., Yang, T., Li, J., Qiao, Y., Hu, S., Yin, X., & Lu, Z. (2016). Association of coffee consumption with risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Oncotarget, 8(12), 18699–18711. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8627


Harpaz, E., Tamir, S., Weinstein, A., & Weinstein, Y. (2017). The effect of caffeine on energy balance. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, 28(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1515/jbcpp-2016-0090


Nakagawa-Senda, H., Ito, H., Hosono, S., Oze, I., Tanaka, H., & Matsuo, K. (2017). Coffee consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer by anatomical subsite in Japan: Results from the HERPACC studies. International Journal of Cancer, 141(2), 298–308. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.30746


Oñatibia-Astibia, A., Franco, R., & Martínez-Pinilla, E. (2017). Health benefits of methylxanthines in neurodegenerative diseases. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 61(6), 1600670. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201600670


Poole, R., Kennedy, O. J., Roderick, P., Fallowfield, J. A., Hayes, P. C., & Parkes, J. (2017). Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. BMJ, 359, j5024. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5024


Wachamo, H. L. (2017). Review on Health Benefit and Risk of Coffee Consumption. Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, 06(04). https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9821.1000301 


@IGLOW SDN BHD

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