Everything you need to know about coffee
Coffee is one of the most favorite morning (and not only) habits for many people. Over the years the reputation of coffee varies, while there are many different views as to whether or not it really benefits our body as well as to the quantity we can safely consume daily.
How does coffee affect our body?
Coffee contains many nutrients, volatile and non-volatile components, through which its properties are presented. Among them there is caffeine, carbohydrates, amino acids, organic acids, phenolic acids, magnesium and chromium.
Because of its specific ingredients, coffee has an impact on our body, affecting the central nervous system, heart and also muscles. Whether it will ultimately affect us positively or negatively depends on the amount of coffee we consume daily.
How much coffee can we safely consume per day?
So how much coffee can we drink per day and in what quantity is it proven to be beneficial?
The recommended amount of caffeine we can consume daily is estimated at nearly 200mg. This quantity is equivalent to one or one-and-a-half cups of coffee. When drinking that quantity of coffee our body benefits on many levels.
The benefits of coffee to our body
Plain Coffee is low in calories
First of all coffee is one of the few drinks that we can enjoy without having “calories related” guilt. A teaspoon of coffee delivers approximately 20 calories. What adds extra calories is sugar and the others things we usually accompany it with such as milk, whipped cream or milk froth.
The more complex a coffee is the more calories it has. Frothed milk adds approximately 160 calories, while whipped cream over 330.
So be careful: Coffee is guilty-free regarding calories in its traditional version. Modern freddoccinos, cappuccinos, mochaccinos and so forth, besides the rich flavor they certainly offer a large number of calories too.
Can keep the brain active
One of the most famous beneficial properties of coffee, is the of brain activity. Coffee keeps us alert, and that is why many people tend to consume it while they work or study.
Can reduce appetite
Coffee also seems that it can act as an ally in our diet because there are indications that it reduces appetite.
Also, after lunch coffee activates thermogenesis. This means that our body burns extra number of calories for heat production. So as it seems coffee could be a very good “friend” during a diet.
Helps the prevention of certain diseases
Recent surveys indicate that there is also very important evidence that coffee even helps to the prevention of certain diseases. One of these is diabetes type 2.
Magnesium and chromium appear to be the constituents of coffee, which are responsible for its certain quality, since they contribute to to the increase of insulin production by the pancreas. Other diseases which coffee also seems to protect us from are dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Rich in antioxidants
Coffee is also rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants seem to ensure the elasticity of the vessels, which means that they protect us against heart attacks and other heart diseases.
Facts and fiction about caffeine
Consumption of caffeine leads to dehydration?
Many myths have occasionally been heard concerning the properties of caffeine, one of which is that its consumption leads to dehydration.
New research data comes to overthrow this idea, since they concluded that all non-alcoholic beverages, even those which contain caffeine ultimately contribute to the hydration of the body, since they are mostly composed of water.
The fact that coffee has a mild diuretic action is not sufficient to substantiate that it causes dehydration.
Caffeine is addictive?
An even more frequent perception is that caffeine is addictive. The truth is that caffeine is addictive to some extent. Even 100 mg of caffeine are enough to cause addiction of some kind.
In fact, a person who is used to consuming coffee three to four times a week, is more likely that one or two days after the last coffee consumption to display the syndrome of lack of caffeine, which can be expressed with headaches, stress, attention deficit, fatigue, depression and even migraines.
However, the most important thing is that the symptoms of the syndrome subdue even after the second day without coffee.
What is the issue with decaffeinate?
Regarding the decaf coffees, after some processing 98% of the caffeine is been removed. According to recent researches 240 ml of decaf contain approximately 16 mg of caffeine. Although this quantity is small , its action is not insignificant.
So, if we choose to drink decaf to avoid any of the properties of caffeine we should keep in mind that we are not completely free from it. However, decaf coffees do not lack the beneficial properties of common coffee, since they maintain the remaining ingredients except the caffeine.
How much is too much?
As mentioned above, coffee is no longer beneficial for humans when it exceeds the daily recommended amount. More than three cups of coffee on a daily basis are certainly an exaggeration.
In this case it is very likely to be faced with feelings of anxiety, confusion, headaches, migraines as well as lack of sleep or quality sleep. So, if you suffer from something from the above, one of the first things you should consider is how much cups of coffee you had yesterday.
Sensitivity to caffeine is not the same for all
It is also very important to bear in mind that we are not all equally sensitive to caffeine. Each body has its own specificities, so in this particular case there are no constants that are the same for everyone.
A factor that we should consider is how durable is someone to caffeine, which often depends on the time period we consume coffee.
For someone who consumes coffee on a daily basis for several years, two cups may not be quite so stimulating , compared to someone who drinks coffee for less time. Of course this does not mean in any way that over the years we would have to increase the amount of coffee we consume.
Should you drink coffee when pregnant?
Finally with regards to pregnant women, there is often some concern that coffee could cause an incomplete development of the fetus, premature birth or even abortion. Most researches concluded that two cups of coffee per day do not affect the health of the fetus.
However, for precaution many experts suggest that the non consumption of coffee during the first two months of pregnancy, while several others completely reject the consumption of coffee during pregnancy since studies have not come to a definitive conclusion.