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Coffee and Nutritional Value

Updated on July 19, 2014

Nothing starts the day better than a nice cup of hot coffee. Java, espresso, cappuccino, latte, kopi – no matter how you name it, coffee is a must for many! Perhaps the most popular beverage in the world, coffee can actually do more than just perk you up in the morning.

The big question now is: does coffee have any nutritional value? Upon examination of a regular cup of plain brewed coffee, one will find that there are no nutrients in it! Coffee may contain trace amounts of sodium, but it is mainly water. This means that your favorite stimulant has no calories and no fat.

But despite this lack of necessary nutrients, did you know that coffee still has health bonuses for its drinkers? Read on to find out more.

Antioxidants in coffee

A known polyphenol in coffee is chlorogenic acid, which like all other similar antioxidants, has shown the ability to protect the body’s cells from damage. Chlorogenic acid has been reported by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in 2008 as having the potential to prolong the lives of mice with neurological disease.

Aside from that, coffee contains another antioxidant, caffeic acid, which the journal Atherosclerosis published in 2007 as having anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the risk of plaque formation in blood vessels. Besides caffeic acid, ferulic acid is also a beneficial antioxidant found in coffee. A 2010 study by Circulation Research found that these phenolic compounds can help further reduce cholesterol levels in blood samples. Future research may prove the effectiveness of coffee consumption against certain types of cardiovascular disease.

When too much isn’t a good thing

Sure, you love coffee – but do you need it every day? As mentioned earlier, there really are little or no available nutrients in plain coffee. For a majority of drinkers, consuming coffee involves adding sugar and cream for flavor, thereby upping the calorie and fat content of the beverage. This may be a problem for persons at risk of certain conditions. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, caffeinated coffee has been found to possibly decrease the effectiveness of insulin treatments for diabetic patients. This is only an illustration of how excessive java intake may not always be good for health.

The journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition said in a 2008 study that it is safe to have a moderate daily intake of coffee. About three to four cups per day, with regulated amounts of fat or sugar will be ideal for health maintenance.

So that’s good news! For those who really can’t say no to their favorite hot drink, the key thing to remember is moderation. Coffee does have its pros and cons, but the secret to a healthy body lies good eating and healthy lifestyle. Keep that in mind as you enjoy your next cup of Joe.

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    • kkbunnylover profile image

      kkbunnylover 

      8 years ago

      great i love coffie (comment on me

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