Coffee Nutrition 101

Coffee Nutrition 101

More research has shown the nutritional positives of drinking your favorite cup of coffee. Just take a look at the nutrients in coffee and it’s clear there are many perks. And we are not even talking about the benefits of Organic Coffee… For example, you can’t beat the calorie count since black coffee has zero calories!

Essential Nutrients of Coffee

A lot of the nutrients found in the un-roasted coffee bean can survive and be a healthy positive in the final commodity we drink. Studies have demonstrated that one cup of coffee contains the following benefits:

  • 2-5% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B3 and Magnesium
  • 11%-12% of vitamin B12
  • 6%-8% of vitamin B5
  • 3%-5% of potassium and manganese

That may not seem like much, however, it all adds up since most people drink more than one cup per day.

Studies have also shown that a single cup of coffee has 7 milligrams of magnesium and our recommended daily requirement for magnesium is 320mg for females, and 420 for males. Diets in the US are severely lacking in fruits and vegetables and on average, our diets miss on that daily-recommended intake by 100mg. That gap closes a bit when you’re consuming 3-5 cups of coffee a day.

Additionally, the potassium in a cup of coffee is also beneficial. There’s about 120 milligrams of potassium in every cup and our RDA is 4,000 mg. That may sound like a lot, and not even close to the requirement, but multiply that by 3-5 cups and it again, quickly adds up.

Fiber in Coffee

Studies have shown that a single cup of coffee can provide you with nearly 2 grams of the necessary daily fiber intake of 20-38 grams. Again multiply that by 3-5 cups and it makes a difference.

Antioxidants in Coffee

Additional health characteristics that go along with promoting the benefits of coffee comes from the antioxidants that occur naturally in the coffee seed, or bean. A single cup of coffee has more antioxidants than eating an orange, raspberries, grape juice, and even the polyphenol-rich blueberries. These antioxidants can drastically reduce inflammation, can be helpful with weight loss, as well reduce the risk of diseases and illness caused by inflammation, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Quinine

Coffee is very rich in one very strong type of antioxidant known for its ability to ward off diseases called quinine. The best part about quinine is that it becomes more active after the coffee beans are roasted. When quinine combines with magnesium, another element found naturally in coffee, they have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, and can also boost athletic performance.

Chlorogenic Acid

This compound plays a fundamental role in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial actions in the body. It can also enhance insulin function in the body, which means it’s able to combat diabetes.

Cafestol in Coffee

Cafestol can be found in decaffeinated coffee. It acts as a modulator for bile acid in the intestines and can also behave as an anti-inflammatory substance in the brain. That may mean it’s responsible for slowing down the signs of mental aging and cognitive decline.

Plant Phenols in Coffee

Another type of antioxidant found in coffee are plant phenols. Plant phenols are similar to the antioxidants found in berries and are responsible for protecting the body from cellular damage, certain types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease. They are also known for breaking down lipids and carbohydrates in the body, which supports with the weight loss process.

Trigonelline in Coffee

This compound is the bitter alkaloid detected in coffee and is responsible for coffee’s unique aroma. It has antibacterial properties that support oral health, and help to kill bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

Melanoidins in Coffee

Melanoidins are responsible for coffee’s enticing fragrance when it’s roasted since these compounds are formed during the roasting process. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Research Shows Coffee Drinkers Actually Live Longer

Research Shows Coffee Drinkers Actually Live Longer

Its now very well known that coffee is a superior beverage that can be highly beneficial to your health. Its not just a delicious drink, but its also chock-full of natural nutrients and antioxidants that have been shown to have positive effects on many aspects of our well-being.

As much as we hear about coffee in the news, it doesn’t mean anything unless the claims have been validated in real scientific studies. This is where things get very intriguing. Recently, quite a few studies have demonstrated the life-extending effects of coffee. Some of them have been reviewed here.

Study Published Shows Evidence

The New England Journal of Medicine, 2012

The study was conducted by Freedman ND, et al. and named “ Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality.” The study consisted of 402,260 individuals ranging in age from 50 – 70 and analyzed the relationship between coffee consumption and longevity. The study ran for a period of 12 – 13 years and generated fascinating results. There is a strong correlation between the amount of coffee consumed by the participants and their mortality rate.

The study looked at individuals according to how many cups of coffee they drank daily by: no coffee, one cup, two to three cups, four to five cups, or six and more cups. There was a corresponding decrease in mortality rate as the number of cups of coffee consumed increased… at least up to the consistently measurable quantity of four to five cups daily.

The group consuming six or more cups per day still had measurable decreases to their mortality rates, and their rate was merely a bit lower than the group that drank four-five cups a day. The results are summarized in the graph below:

As can be seen, even drinking a minimum of one cup of coffee per day was sufficient to lower the mortality rate by about 5%. This is encouraging news for a potential positive perk for millions of people who consume at least one cup of coffee per day.

Also, it is likely that the benefits observed from coffee consumption were not attributed to caffeine since the benefits were encountered regardless of whether the participants drank regular or decaf.

Other Studies Show Benefits As Well

A number of research studies on the benefits of coffee consumption have looked at cause-specific factors that can increase the risk of death, such as the following:

  • Coffee may lower Diabetes Risk- Coffee may lower the likelihood of you developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee may reduce the Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases- Neurodegenerative diseases have affected the brain, causing progressive loss of cognitive function. They can certainly lead to premature death. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the two most widely spread in this category. Fortunately, it has been shown that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of developing these conditions.
  • Coffee may reduce the risk of depression by 20% and suicide by 53%- Depression now, is a very alarming public health concern, mainly because the symptoms are not highly visible unless the individual is open to counseling and possible treatment with medication. Coffee, however, has been documented to reduce the risk of depression by 20%. It also dramatically lowers the risk of suicide, thanks to its ability to stimulate the release of endorphins in the brain, the feel-good chemicals responsible for our good mood.

Conclusion

One important thing to be aware of is the fact that these findings were based on what was observed only. That means it’s not 100% set in stone that coffee will reduce an individual’s risk of disease or death. The findings show that these studies may certainly help to confirm the fact that coffee is not bad for you. Participants in the study were shown to have a reduced risk of death, independent of whether it was regular or decaffeinated coffee they drank. This is good news for a culture of people that may hesitate when consuming caffeine on one hand, while still drinking loads of coffee beverages on the other.

One last bit of advice: Try to use moderate amounts of sugar and sweeteners with a good cup of coffee, since the potential benefits of coffee may be offset when unhealthy fillers are added in.