September 22, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Choosing the healthiest and safest coffee

For lovers of an invigorating drink, the choice is quite wide: instant, ground, sachet, capsule coffee… Each of them has unique characteristics and a degree of usefulness. How not to make a mistake and choose not only the most fragrant and delicious coffee, but also safe for health, says a competent specialist.

The founder of the International Institute of Integrative Nutrition Nata Gonchar is ready to share her knowledge and give a few important recommendations coffee lovers. What kind of coffee is healthier, and how do its different types and varieties differ from each other? Each has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with the most common, ground.

The benefits and harms of ground coffee

The aroma of freshly ground coffee, prepared in a coffee machine or a traditional Turkish coffee, makes you put aside all business, forget about problems and sit comfortably with a cup of hot drink, indulging in pleasure. In addition, the choice of varieties is huge, and everyone can choose for themselves the very best.

But idle sitting with a cup of coffee is not at all useless, as it seems at first glance – the caffeine contained in the drink (70-140 mg per cup) stimulates brain activity, improves well-being, and improves mood. So labor activity after the coffee break will actively rush up. And theophylline and theobromine contained in natural coffee accelerate the flow of electrical impulses in the brain, actively stimulating the ability to remember information and the speed of thought processes.

And that is not all. Coffee contains powerful antioxidants – chlorogenic and caffeic acids. They diligently cleanse the body by neutralizing free oxygen radicals. Studies have convincingly proven that moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by at least 20%, and also protects against type II diabetes.

And now about the cons that lovers of ground coffee should be aware of. Its excessive use provokes leaching of vitamin B1 from the body. If you make it a rule to drink coffee on an empty stomach, then you can quickly “earn” gastritis, and even a stomach ulcer. A sharp rejection of coffee is also not useful, it is fraught with drowsiness, irritability, headaches.

Instant coffee – for lazy people

Those who are too lazy to brew ground coffee can use the quick option – making instant coffee is much easier. However, the benefits of it are at least two times less. For the manufacture of soluble types, a high degree of processing of coffee beans is used, as a rule, raw materials are taken of lower quality.

As a result of complex technological processes in instant coffee, the content of minerals, antioxidants and even caffeine is significantly reduced. If in one teaspoon of ground coffee there are about 90 mg of caffeine, then in instant coffee – 25 mg.

Capsule coffee – pros and cons

Coffee capsules for a coffee machine are an opportunity to quickly and easily prepare your favorite drink – latte, espresso, macchiato, cappuccino. And everything seems to be fine … But unscrupulous manufacturers, in an effort to save money, add a mechanically processed extract to the capsules.

There is a more serious drawback that poses a real threat to health. In the process of vacuum packaging of capsules, toxic furan is formed – a carcinogenic substance that can provoke an oncological disease. Its impact is gradual – it accumulates in the liver and kidneys, damaging the cells. And in this respect, even instant coffee looks harmless – it contains 10 times less furan than in capsule coffee. By the way, furan is contained in any coffee, but the percentage of its content in different types is not the same.

Coffee in bags – the most harmful option

The inscription on coffee bags invitingly promises consumers a kind of “bonus”. In fact, the inscriptions on them read: “2 in 1”, “3 in 1”. But do not flatter yourself, in fact, in colorful bags, an ordinary coffee drink. And this is the worst option. Judge for yourself – in its composition, as a rule:

  • about 10% instant coffee;
  • sugar and glucose syrup;
  • flavors and milk protein;
  • hydrogenated vegetable fat and skimmed milk powder;
  • acidity regulators and emulsifiers.

And here the main harm is caused by sugar. If in a cup of coffee without milk and sugar there are only 0.5 kcal per 100 g, then in instant coffee there are about 420 kcal per 100 g (about 69 kcal per sachet). All of the listed ingredients of a bag of “coffee” will certainly lead, sooner or later, to unpleasant consequences (with regular use, of course):

  • jumps in insulin in the blood due to the abundance of sugar and the development of insulin resistance;
  • increased body weight;
  • skin aging;
  • weakening of the bones;
  • destruction of tooth enamel;
  • problems with the gastrointestinal tract;
  • addiction to the drink.

What to do? Give up your favorite drink?

Whether to give up coffee is a decision everyone should make on their own. Yes, this is not necessary at all. The main thing is to choose the safest option and drink coffee in moderation. Experts recommend the best time for a cup of coffee – from 10:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. At this time, your favorite drink will help to cheer up and increase efficiency. But do not get carried away: the optimal amount of coffee is a few cups a week. And yet – it is better to drink it in combination with cardamom and other spicy spices, but without sugar, all kinds of syrups and sweet dessert.

It is better for people who are prone to stress to give up coffee – a fragrant drink can cause insomnia and worsen the quality of sleep.

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