Coffee is a drink that is rich in chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and kahweol, which are bioactive compounds that help to fight free radicals. This action can prevent early aging, cancer, depression and diabetes.
In addition, coffee has excellent quantities of caffeine, a compound that stimulates the central nervous system, which helps to fight depression and improve mood as well as mental and physical disposition.
The taste, smell and quantity of caffeine in the coffee will vary depending on roasting time, the type of ground and how the coffee was prepared (e.g. espresso, dissolvable or instant coffee, filtered or decaf). It can be consumed in its pure form, or used in other recipes, like in desserts or sauces.
Coffee can lead to health benefits if consumed in moderation. These benefits include:
1. Improving memory and concentration
Because it is rich in caffeine, a compound that stimulate the central nervous system, coffee can help to improve memory and alertness. It can also increase the capacity to concentrate a decrease drowsiness.
Nonetheless, tolerance for caffeine is easily built, and you often need to increase doses of caffeine to achieve the same effects you previously achieved with smaller doses.
2. Preventing depression
Coffee contains high quantities of polyphenols which fight free radicals and decrease inflammation in the central nervous system cells. This can decrease anxiety and improve mood, preventing episodes of depression.
In addition, consuming coffee is also associated with lifestyle and social habits. It can lead to increased contact with other people, which promotes overall wellbeing.
3. Preventing cancer
Coffee contains caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and kahweol, which are antioxidants that protect cells from damaged caused by free radicals. This can block the development of certain types of cancer.
In addition, coffee helps to reduce overall estrogen levels in women, a hormone that is related to certain types of cancer (like breast, liver, colon and endometrial cancer).
4. Treating headaches
Coffee contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which help to reduce and prevent headaches, including migraines.
People who stop drinking coffee, however, may notice improvement in their headaches. This occurs because the effects of coffee can vary from person to person. You should observe whether coffee improves or worsens your headache and act accordingly.
5. Helping with weight loss
Consuming coffee may help with weight loss, as it can temporarily control hunger, which reduces the urge to eat.
In addition, coffee contains thermogenic properties, which increases energy and fat burning, both which can aid weight loss. The ingestion of 300 mg of caffeine per day leads to about 79 calories of energy burned.
6. Improving performance when exercising
Caffeine that is present in coffee contains ergogenics, which are substances that help with energy production. It can decrease fatigue and pain during exercise, which improves mental and physical performance.
7. Preventing cardiovascular disease
Coffee is rich in chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and kahweol, which are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help to fight free radicals. It maintains arterial health and improves blood circulation, which can prevent diseases like heart attacks, high blood pressure and leaky valves.
8. Fighting constipation
Caffeine found in coffee increases contraction of the stomach and intestines, which stimulates bowel movements. This can be useful for those who suffer from constipation.
In addition, coffee, especially instant coffee, contains high amounts of magnesium, which is a mineral with laxative properties. This also faciliates easy bowel movements.
9. Preventing diabetes
Coffee is rich in antioxidents that protect pancreatic cells, and therefore, it improves isnsulin function. This can help with regulating blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
10. Preventing early aging
Due to its high quantities of antioxidant compounds, like caffeine, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, coffee can help protect the skin from free radical action. It can prevent flaccid skin and signs of early aging.
11. Preventing Parkinson's disease
Caffeine, a compound that is found in high quantities in coffee, has a protective effect on cells of the nervous system. It stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that, in low doses, can can increase the risk for Parkinson's disease.
Therefore, some studies show that drinking coffee can help to fight Parkinson's.
Recommended daily dose
The recommended daily dose of caffeine for adults is about 400 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to about 4 cups of 150 ml (or 5 oz) of filtered coffee.
Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding, should consume a maximum of 200mg of caffeine per day. This corresponds to a total of 2 cups of 150 ml (or 5 oz) of filtered coffee.
Children over the age of 12 should not consume more than 100mg of caffeine per day, or a maximum of 130 ml (just over 4 oz) of filtered coffee.
People with high blood pressure should limit their consumption to 200mg of coffee per day.
Quantity of caffeine in coffee
The following table contains the average quantities of caffeine present in 150 (5 oz) ml of different types of coffee
Type of coffee (for every 150 ml or 5 oz)
Average quantity of caffeine (in mg)
Roasted and ground (filtered)
You should remember that to achieve the health benefits of coffee, you should maintain a healthy and balanced diet that includes regular physical activity.
How to prepare coffee
Coffee can be prepared in many ways, like through a filter, in a moka pot, as expresso, in a french press, or instant.
It can be taken black or prepared with milk, as a cappuccino, mocha or macchiato. Coffee can also be used in deserts, like tiramisu or coffee, or in salty dishes, in sauces with chicken or other meat.
Possible side effects
Consuming over 600mg of caffeine per day can lead to insomnia, anxiety, stomach aches, and nervousness in some people.
A one-time consumption of 1.2 g of caffeine or more (or about 7 L of expresso can cause an overdose, leading to convulsions, vomiting, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and tremors.
When it should not be consumed
Children younger than 12 years old should not consume coffee. People with problems like reflux, ulcers and gastritis should also avoid drinking it, as caffeine can irritate stomach mucus.
Consuming caffeine should be avoided if you suffer from insomnia, anxiety, ringing ears or other ear inflammations, as it can worsen symptoms.
In addition, you should not drink coffee with other foods that contain caffeine, like green tea, yerba mate or chocolate, as the excess caffeine can cause palpitations, nausea, dehydration and dependence over time.