Who of us imagines a day without drinking a cup of your favorite coffee? During one of the long-awaited moments during the day, we detach ourselves from everyday duties and enjoy the taste and aroma of our favorite brew. Coffee not only puts us on our feet, but is also an inseparable element of socializing. Have we wondered what coffee can affect our health? Does her drinking harm or maybe help? We will try to answer this question.
A few words about coffee
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world next to water. Over 450 billion cups are drunk every year. It’s more than tea. Coffee comes from Ethiopia, and in Europe appeared around the sixteenth century. It is one of the most popular stimulants on earth and the main source of caffeine. It comes from the Arabic word „kahwe” or Turkish „kakve”. The Arabs have known her since the Middle Ages. In turn, the first European café was probably opened in 1671 in Paris. In the world two types of coffee are cultivated, the more desirable arabic and robust. Coffee is grown in Africa, South America and Asia.
Coffee, what is it?
Coffee is a drink from roasted and then ground coffee beans. Coffee contains
- polyphenol compounds – about 8%, mainly chlorogenic, quinic and caffeic acid (they work less well than those contained in green tea),
- mineral salts, mainly of potassium and magnesium,
- vitamin PP (niacin),
- soluble fiber,
- caffeine (alkaloid).
The advantages of coffee
It has a stimulating effect, helps to remove signs of drowsiness (although in a small percentage of people in the world, coffee works evenly in small amounts – it puts you to sleep instead of to life). In addition, coffee oxygenates the brain, improves concentration and short-term memory.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found that coffee can prevent memory loss in older people, because the caffeine content in it changes the electrical activity of brain cells by enhancing the gamma waves responsible for learning and memory processes.
The most important substance responsible for the operation of coffee is caffeine, which stimulates the activity of the cerebral cortex and the entire central nervous system. Caffeine reduces the feeling of tiredness, reduces the tension of smooth muscles, causing relaxation and better well-being.
- The risk of cholelithiasis is lower by 40% for men who drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day,
- Coffee has a positive effect on the digestive and circulatory system,
- The aroma and effect of coffee sharpen the senses,
- It is recommended for people who suffer from low blood pressure,
- It reduces the risk of cancer of the large intestine, liver and bladder,
- Coffee has a diuretic effect, thanks to which harmful substances are quickly excreted in the urine,
- Protects against Parkinson’s disease. Coffee stimulates the blood vessels in the brain, thanks to which more oxygen and nutrients reach the nerve cells,
- Consumption of coffee may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,
- It prevents asthma by suppressing the secretion of histamine responsible for allergy.
- Caffeine also has a positive effect on our bronchi, increasing their light and making breathing easier. It is therefore recommended for dyspnea attacks in bronchial asthma,
- It reduces the risk of type II diabetes. Scientific research has shown that the antioxidants contained in coffee have a positive effect on the metabolism of sugar in the body,
- Drinking coffee before physical exercise reduces muscle pain by up to 50%,
- Coffee increases the effectiveness of painkillers. So you can take a smaller dose with coffee and the effect will be the same.
- The advantage when it comes to consuming coffee is therefore a lot. However, we do remember about the measure, because the excess of caffeine is harmful.
If we reach for coffee too often, we need to know about its harmful effects:
- Caffeine contained in coffee flushes out magnesium and calcium from the body,
- Coffee adversely affects the absorption of iron, potassium and zinc from the gastrointestinal tract,
- Coffee can affect the mood,
- Consuming excessive amounts of coffee (more than three cups a day) can cause jitter and nervousness. In addition, it may have an impact on the reduction of the overall condition and adversely affect the cardiovascular system,
- Coffee can cause indigestion, irritate the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines,
- Coffee makes it difficult to fall asleep, so you should not drink it 2-3 hours before going to bed,
- Caffeine is an alkaloid and addictive. With a high intake, the body ceases to be sensitive to its effects,
- Coffee due to its diuretic effect favors dehydration,
- It slightly reduces fertility in both women and men,
- It is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. However, there are reports of its beneficial effects during pregnancy, which is why one weak coffee per day is acceptable.
Coffee – what amount?
Caffeine tolerance in an adult human is different. Many factors determine it, including eating habits, age, sex, weight or health determinants. The optimal consumption in the elderly is 100 – 300 mg of caffeine per day, that is from 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day. The dose of 3 cups is already considered the maximum safe amount for healthy people. However, consumption of 1000 mg of caffeine per day may be toxic to our body! Remember that caffeine is not only found in black coffee.
Caffeine / theine content in beverages
a cup of black coffee – 70-140 mg
a cup of instant coffee – 95 mg
espresso cup – 57 mg
a cup of iced coffee – 50-70 mg
a glass of black, loose tea – 65 mg
a glass of black, express tea – 46 mg
a glass of green tea – 31 mg
a can (0.33l) of Coca-Cola – 45 mg
Coffee – tips
It is better to drink coffee between meals than during. There will then be no disturbance in the absorption of nutrients. Also remember to never drink coffee on an empty stomach.
Stressed people who live under constant stress should limit drinking coffee.
People with hypertension or other cardiovascular problems should give up coffee or drink decaffeinated coffee. Currently, decaffeinated beverages produced do not differ practically in taste and aroma from traditional coffees.
Since coffee (also decaffeinated) coffee should also stop the ulcer. It can significantly exacerbate disease symptoms as a result of increased secretion of gastric juice. You can also use low-irritant coffee, which is recommended in diseases of the heart and digestive system.
In addition, to reduce the level of irritants in the infusion, we should drink coffee filtered (from the machine) or soluble, and not just flooded with boiling water in a cup. Thanks to the filter you will clean it of harmful substances, eg diterpenes, which are responsible for increasing the cholesterol level in the blood.
So we see that coffee has its benefits and disadvantages. Keeping in mind the proper way of brewing and basically everything in moderation, we will be able to savor her taste without much remorse.