There has been much debate over the healthiness of coffee and whether or not its consumers are helped or harmed by their habit. While studies are still mixed, and a mocha heaped with whipped cream will never be a very healthy option, specific chemical compounds found in roasted coffee have been shown to demonstrate remarkable health benefits for regular coffee drinkers. These four compounds in particular have been shown to improve your health in a variety of ways, and by choosing your coffee consciously, you can increase your exposure to them while still enjoying a delicious morning boost.
Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant that has been associated with lower blood pressure, decreased blood sugar levels after meals and a reduced risk for Alzheimer's. There is also some evidence that this compound's influence on your metabolism can lead to moderate weight loss. Chlorogenic acid levels deteriorate as coffee is roasted, so go for a light roast if you want to benefit from its effects. Trendy green coffee extracts use unroasted beans to deliver the antioxidant in its purest form, without requiring a jolt of caffeine.
Despite having a less catchy name, N-methylpyridinium, or NMP, is another important compound that can improve the energy metabolism of your cells, allowing them to regenerate and divide faster and carry out their tasks with greater efficiency. It is also an acid-inhibitor, making you less likely to suffer from conditions such as heartburn. NMP is not found in unroasted coffee, but it instead occurs as a chemical byproduct of the roasting process. This means that the darker the roast, the more NMP you will consume.
In terms of general health, diterpenes are a mixed bag. These oily compounds are present in unfiltered coffee, such as espresso, and can lead to elevated levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. On the other hand, these chemicals have been shown to cause cell death in cells compromised by mesothelioma, a highly malignant type of cancer. If you do not suffer from mesothelioma, it may be better to choose drip coffee over espresso at your local coffee bar, but further studies may unearth additional positive effects of the diterpene family.
The most famous chemical in coffee, caffeine is the primary agent responsible for the sudden rush of energy that makes coffee a staple in homes and offices nationwide. You may not have known, however, that caffeine is also associated with lower risks for a whole host of diseases and disorders. Dementia, heart disease, depression, strokes and certain cancers have all been documented to occur less frequently in regular coffee drinkers. On the other hand, caffeine can cause issues with insomnia, diabetes and medications, so manage your consumption with moderation and be sure to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
For more information about coffee, contact a professional distributor like Loft 950.