8 benefits of drinking coffee, its properties, and 7 disadvantages

At any time of the day and in any corner of the planet, there is always someone – millions of people, in fact – drinking coffee. did you know that this drink is the third most consumed in the world after water and tea, and the second most internationally traded product, only behind oil? We travel back in time — coffee in hand — to learn about its properties and benefits, its possible contraindications and much more.

What are the properties and benefits of coffee?

Today coffee continues to conquer us for many reasons: for its flavor, for its wake-up effect, for its unmistakable aroma, for being the perfect host for so many conversations, for offering us countless ways to taste it, for its versatility in the kitchen… And also for the properties and benefits it brings to our health. Coffee is much more than an alarm clock, and this has been demonstrated by numerous scientific studies by recognizing that, contrary to what many thought, moderate consumption can bring significant health benefits.

To ensure that we are taking full advantage of all its benefits, it is important that we always drink a good organically grown coffee, without additives or sweeteners and with an excellent aroma. The more natural a coffee is, the better it will maintain its properties and the more we will benefit from them.

It is stimulating and provides energy

One of the main properties attributed to it is that it stimulates our nervous system because its caffeine content acts as a stimulant. If you are one of those who needs to start the day with a coffee (or two), you will know that this is precisely one of its great attractions. In addition, it is credited with the ability to influence some cognitive functions, improving concentration and memory. Coffee is a common resource in many daily tasks to keep us more alert and awake, and also a resource for athletes that would improve performance thanks to that stimulating effect on the nervous system that we talked about earlier.

It is a great source of antioxidants

The green coffee bean is rich in antioxidants, which could promote cell regeneration and protection against possible external damage, free radicals or heavy metals that, in the future, would be the cause of numerous diseases. Polyphenols are the most common type of antioxidant in its composition. These antioxidants are found in greater proportion in the green bean and part is lost during the roasting of the bean, but even so, the roasted bean still contains a significant amount.

Provides vitamins

Coffee is a drink that contains different B vitamins that are related to the proper functioning of the metabolism at different neuromuscular levels such as B2, B3 or niacin, B5 that provides pantothenic acid in its composition, B9 or folic acid, B12 for its content of riboflavin and choline (an essential nutrient and necessary for the functioning of different muscles and organs). Likewise, it also contains vitamin K

Contains minerals

In the composition of coffee we find the presence of different minerals. The most important is potassium (4000 mg per 100 g), but we can also find magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, calcium, iron or zinc. All of them are necessary for different functions of the human body such as bone formation, hormone production or regulation of the cardiac system.

Helps lose weight

One of the properties of caffeine is that promotes thermogenesis. It is a metabolic process by which the human body generates heat and regulates its temperature. This process allows you to burn fat, which is why different sources point out that coffee, always within a balanced and adequate diet, can promote weight loss, especially if combined with a complete weight loss plan that includes diet and exercise. physical.

It is good for the heart and coronary diseases

Drinking between one or two cups of coffee a day could be good for the heart sincemay help prevent heart failure and coronary diseases, as different studies have tried to show in this regard. Perhaps the stimulating effect of caffeine makes us believe otherwise, but in moderation they claim that a drink suitable even for hypertensive people. Like any information that concerns health, these hypothetical benefits are not 100% proven, although it is true that coffee, despite popular belief, has no scientific evidence of negative effects on the heart.

It’s good for the liver

One of the benefits associated with coffee consumption, and particularly with all of its non-caffeinated components, is its ability to protect the liver by reducing liver enzymes. Its consumption is related to an improvement in the health of people suffering from diseases such as fatty liver, fibrosis or cirrhosis (cancer), regardless of whether we consume normal coffee or without caffeine.

plain coffee beans

Helps prevent and treat Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases

For several years, the relationship between coffee consumption and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s has been studied. The conclusion of all of them is that the regular consumption of coffee could reduce the probability of suffering from these ailments in the future. A study published in the scientific journal ‘Neurology’ shows that the caffeine contained in this drink can improve the mobility of those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Regardless of how coffee can benefit this type of pathology (each case should be personalized and a specialist doctor should always be consulted), coffee is considered a very beneficial drink for fighting cognitive impairment by stimulate brain activity, improve memory and concentration.

What are the contraindications of coffee?

Now, is it true that this drink may have contraindications? Apart from the fact that some people cannot drink coffee —either due to intolerance or because they suffer from a particular pathology—, it is important to know that excessive consumption could be harmful to our health. The advice is always to drink coffee in moderation. But what do we mean by too much coffee? What is the maximum daily caffeine that we can take without risk of damaging our body? Any positive effect can be adverse depending on the person. If the following symptoms appear, it is very possible that you are consuming an excess of coffee.

Causes insomnia and sleep problems

The same stimulating effect that can be beneficial for some people could be counterproductive for others. Excessive coffee can cause episodes of insomnia that would prevent falling asleep and therefore rest. The caffeine content of this drink alters sleep by influencing the nervous system, causing restlessness.

Creates anxiety, irritability, stress and nervousness

An excess of coffee can cause anxiety, irritability and stress that should be taken into account. In this sense, caffeine can act on the body by imitating and modifying the functions of adenosine. This chemical can influence our feelings of tiredness and sleepiness, making us feel more tired and sleepy than normal.

May cause nausea

Taken in moderation, the caffeine in coffee can be harmless. However, by not consuming a dose to which we are accustomed, or consumed in excess, episodes of nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort could be generated, among other adverse effects to take into account.

Affects blood pressure

Consuming coffee could increase our blood pressure due to the effect of caffeine or rather, by the different reactions it can cause in our body according to our tolerance level. If you have high blood pressure, it is best to consult a specialist if coffee consumption could have negative effects on your health. Avoid drinking coffee before doing activities that by themselves could increase your blood pressure, such as exercise or intense physical work. According to a study published in 2019 by ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’, exceeding six cups a day would increase the risk of cardiovascular disease up to 22%.

Coffee with milk with Red Velvet cake from La Más BonitaThe prettiest

Creates heartburn or gastric problems

The different components of coffee can cause different stomach problems due to the action of acids such as malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid or acetic acid. Each coffee, depending on its composition, could cause the appearance of this type of substance in our body, which translates into episodes of heartburn or stomach problems that are worth considering.

Causes stains on teeth

Continuous consumption of coffee can lead to appearance of stains on the teeth and the dreaded yellowing effect. We are facing a drink with dyes that can affect the enamel of our teeth. That is why it is advisable to clean the mouth after consuming coffee and maintain good oral hygiene and good grooming routines to avoid this unwanted effect. In this sense, avoid adding sugar as much as possible, which contributes to the formation of cavities and therefore stains on the enamel.

Can increase LDL cholesterol

Excessive coffee consumption is associated with an increase in LDL cholesterol, especially when we talk about certain preparations such as espresso coffee. Actually, coffee does not contain cholesterol, but it does may contain certain substances that influence cholesterol levels in the body, and it is not an effect that we can attribute only to caffeine, but rather to the rest of the components.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it is advisable to see if coffee could be one of the causes and, if so, moderate your daily consumption. In any case, the advice is to always go to a doctor specialized in nutrition and dietetics so that he or she can determine in each case whether or not coffee consumption is recommended.

With what to accompany the coffee?

The time has come to sit down and enjoy the flavor and versatility that coffee offers us in the kitchen. And it is that, in addition to being drunk as part of breakfast, lunch, after-meal or snack, it can be part and/or protagonist of delicious sweet recipes.

Cup of black coffee with a cookie

One of the most refreshing drinks that we can prepare in summer is, in fact, the Coffee granita. Although if you have a sweet tooth, you may want to enjoy the classic coffee ice cream, creamy and very easy to prepare. It is ideal to take as a snack and also a delicious option to combine dessert and coffee with milk after eating.

Other traditional pastry recipes also surrender to the charms of coffee, soaking up all its flavor and intensity. We can taste for example a coffee flan or a delicate and fluffy coffee mousse. But if we talk about desserts with coffee, you can not miss the classic Tiramisuone of the most emblematic sweets of Italian gastronomy made with mascarpone cheese, coffee, ladyfingers, eggs, sugar and cocoa powder.

At the time of taking it, we can accompany it with countless bites; if you have a sweet tooth, you can have your favorite coffee along with a slice of cake, cake or some homemade cookies; if you are more salty, at breakfast you can have it with some avocado toast and egg, or the classic ones with natural tomato, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Either way, coffee culture has crossed all borders and more and more firms and hoteliers continue to reinvent themselves with new flavours, combinations and aromas capable of surprising the most demanding coffee drinker.

Is it possible that there are as many ways to drink coffee as there are people in the world? From the solo, to the cortado or to the cappuccino, from the macciato to the ristretto or from the chocolate to the iced coffee, coffee is prepared, served and reinvented to suit the consumer, proving that its possibilities are almost endless. Are you one of those who knows how to appreciate the taste, aroma and quality of a good coffee? If you have reached these lines, we suppose so, so tell us: What is the perfect coffee for you? What time of day do you enjoy it the most?

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