59% of Americans drink a cup of coffee a day. Coffee is an actual rite to enjoy on one’s own or to share with others. We love its taste and unique aroma, yet there are some interesting and surprising health facts about coffee only few people know about.
This beverage is part of our everyday routine and has become one of the most widespread pleasures all over the world. In spite of what many people may think, the USA are not the most caffeine addicted country in the world. The Scandinavian countries (with Sweden on the first place), followed by Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Nicaragua and France, are the countries that lead coffee consumption in the world.
Coffee is packed up with antioxidants and boosts the nervous system. These are the most important health benefits of drinking coffee on regular basis:
- improves energy levels – not only rinking coffee makes us feel less tired, it also improves different brain functions, such as memory, concentration, vigilance and reaction times.
- a cup of coffee contains some essential nutrients (Vitamins B1 (2% of the RDA), B2 (11% of the RDA), B3 (2% of the RDA), B5 (6% of the RDA), Folate (1% of the RDA), Manganese (3% of the RDA), Potassium (3% of the RDA), Magnesium (2% of the RDA) ecc.);
- may lower the risk of type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s and some types of cancer (liver, colorectal; mouth and throat);
- protects from Alzheimer’s and Dementia;
- may protect the liver (drinking a few cups of coffee a day may protect agains cirrhosis)
- helps fight depression and is a mood booster (drinking daily 4 cups or more of coffee may lower the risk of depression by 20%).
What is more, coffee is one of the most studied foodstuffs in the world – many researches have proven the health benefits and side effects of drinking coffee. Yet, there are still many things about coffee people don’t know about.
8 interesting and surprising facts about coffee
1 – The right time to drink coffee
Lots of people, just like I do, drink coffee in the morning, to feel more active and start the day in the most energetic way. Not everyone knows coffee should be drunk taking into account cortisol levels in our body. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, and it is secreted by adrenal glands; it helps us cope with and battle stressful events. During the day three cortisol peaks occur: between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., between midday and 1 p.m., and the last cortisol peak is between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The best time to drink coffee is between the first two peaks and never after the third one, otherwise sleepless nights are guaranteed.
2 – Coffee + medications
A research has proved that caffeine boosts the effect of painkillers (such as ibuprofen). In fact, a few painkiller drugs among their active ingredients contain caffeine as well, which insures an immediate effect.
3 – How long does coffee effect last?
For example, if we drink a cup of coffee at 9 a.m., we will still have 100 mg of caffeine in our bloodstream at 1 p.m. The later we drink coffee, the longer its effect lasts. This is the reason why it is not advisable to drink coffee later than 3 p.m.
4 – How is coffee produced?
Coffee beans grow on coffee tress. You will need the fruits of 2 coffee tress in order to get 1 kg of coffee beans. Coffee trees start to produce their fruits only after they are three years old.
5 – Instantly ground coffee
If you buy coffee beans to grind, then you should know that freshly ground coffee should be drunk right away, because after 15 minutes only its irresistible aroma fades away.
6 – Coffee and physical exercise
Coffee positively affects our physical performance. This beverage boosts adrenalin levels in our body and removes fatty acids from adipose tissue. Drinking coffee proves helpful during the workout at the gym.
7 – Coffee used to be food
Coffee beans are real fruits, that African tribes used to eat as patties prepared together with animal fat.
8 – Types of coffee and caffeine
The roasting doesn’t affect the caffeine amount contained in coffee beans. Whatever the roasting level, the caffeine amount remains unchanged. Coffee also contains coffeol, an essential oil, which in browner beans turns into coffeon, a substance responsible for coffee aroma. The browner the coffee, the more aromatic it is.
There are mainly two varieties of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee has a stronger taste but is lower in caffeine.
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