A cup of coffee in the morning boosts your health!
A cup of coffee early in the morning is cherished by a large number of people. How good it is to discover that this stimulating drink not only satisfies our tongue but also adds to a number of health benefits. Coffee is prepared from the seeds of the coffee plant belonging to the genus Coffea. Before reaching our homes, the beans are subjected to a number of processing steps. This beverage is commonly consumed across the world in various forms as either a piping hot drink or a refreshingly cold one.
Nutritional Facts about Coffee
The combination of nutrients present in the Coffee drink depends on the methods used for processing and brewing. However it adds very less number of calories to our body and contains certain amino acids in trace amounts. It contains certain vitamins like choline, Niacin, Folate, Riboflavin and Pantothenic in trace amounts. It is rich in a xanthine alkaloid known as Caffeine, which acts as a stimulant. It is also rich in certain cancer fighting isoflavones like, genistein, daidzein and formononetin.
A Regular Consumption of Coffee Protects the Liver
Infection by hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus leads to liver cancer in many cases. The consumption of coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer within the infected patients. In fact, drinking coffee regularly as a habit is considered to reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma  . It also prevents liver cirrhosis. The presence of caffeine and phenolic acid antioxidants, within coffee promote the protection of liver.
What is ROS
- How does reactive oxygen species harm our body?
Free radicals hamper the normal functioning of the body. Get an idea about free radicals and how to reduce them from the above link.
Other Health Benefits Of Coffee
An increase in reactive-oxygen-species (ROS) is considered to be the major cause behind Type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Dark roasted coffee is rich in N-methylpyridinium ions (antioxidants) and a regular intake of this variety of coffee increases the proportion of antioxidants within erythrocytes. This not only helps to reduce the body weight but also to fight against diseases. Dementia in brain is associated with damage of the neuronal network. Trigonelline present in coffee helps in increasing the percentage of nerve cells with neuritis. This compound also promotes the extension of axons . Coffee is considered to be very effective in case of Parkinson's disease. During this disease, neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine triggers the death of nerve cells by promoting the generation of reactive-oxygen-species and activating the caspase-3 pathway within nerve cells. Kahweol present in coffee prevents this damage to the nerve cell . Caffeine within coffee is responsible for the potential anti-viral effects. It damages the virucidal activity and inhibits the multiplication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-I) and poliovirus . Coffee is a solution for a common problem like headache.
How to minimize the negative effects of coffee and consume it in a health friendly manner?
A common disadvantage associated with any processed food is that some vital nutrients are lost during the steps of processing. An intelligent choice of the processing steps helps one to grab maximum health benefits of coffee. Drinking 2-3 cups of black coffee per day is beneficial to health in a number of ways. But many people cherish coffee with rich creamy milk and sugar. These additives add to the calories and lead to many excessive fat-related problems. The oily components of coffee (kahweol and cafestol) can be removed only with the help of paper filters. These components are the actual culprits behind coronary heart diseases as they elevate the bad cholesterol (LDL) within blood. Some times a decaffeinated coffee is advised for a few people who are at risk of heart burn or high blood pressure. The coffee berries should be mildly roasted so that the vital nutrients are not charred during the roasting process.
An intake of coffee in moderate quantities is always beneficial. So choose a good variety of coffee as per your health conditions and enjoy each sip of your coffee.
1. Effect of Coffee and Green Tea Consumption on the Risk of Liver Cancer: Cohort Analysis by Hepatitis Virus Infection Status.
2. Influence of coffee drinking on subsequent risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a prospective study in Japan.
3. Tohda C, et al. Trigonelline-induced neurite outgrowth in human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells. Biol Pharm Bull, 1999 Jul, 22(7), 679-82. PMID: 10443461.
4. Hwang YP, Jeong HG. The coffee diterpene kahweol induces heme oxygenase-1 via the PI3K and p38/Nrf2 pathway to protect human dopaminergic neurons from 6-hydroxydopamine-derived oxidative stress. FEBS Lett, 2008 Jul 23, 582(17), 2655-62. PMID: 18593583.
5. Utsunomiya H, et al. Antiviral activities of coffee extracts in vitro. Food Chem Toxicol, 2008 Jun, 46(6), 1919-24. PMID:18314244.
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