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Coffee: is it healthy?

by Josephine Andrews

Coffee is the most popular drink of the people in Germany. The hot drink tastes slightly bitter and has a stimulating effect thanks to the caffeine. You can find out here what other effects coffee has on people, whether it is healthy and how much caffeine coffee contains.

Is coffee healthy?

Coffee consists of roasted and ground coffee beans. These are the seeds of the coffee bush fruit. Is coffee healthy or unhealthy? There is no clear answer. Whether and how healthy coffee is depends on various factors. One is how sensitive you are to coffee and the caffeine it contains.

Another is the amount of coffee you consume. As far as the effect is concerned, it makes a difference whether it is one, six or even more cups a day.

And: Coffee is not just coffee. It has over a thousand ingredients, which are composed differently depending on the type of coffee. There are different types of beans, roasting methods and degrees as well as different grinding levels.

How much coffee a day is healthy?

When it comes to the question of how much coffee a day is healthy, the study results contradict each other. This is presumably also due to the fact that it is a complex mixture.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 400 milligrams of caffeine spread throughout the day is safe for a healthy adult. That equates to about three to five cups. In this context, drinking coffee is even considered fundamentally health-promoting.

Some people tolerate coffee and caffeine well and feel more alert and focused after drinking them. But it makes others nervous, makes their hearts race and they don’t sleep. The caffeine in coffee can not only affect sensitive people, it sometimes also triggers intolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, too much caffeine can cause nausea and increase the urge to urinate, as it has a slightly dehydrating effect. The quality of sleep can also suffer. Accordingly, it varies from person to person how much coffee a day is healthy or tolerable.

Which coffee is the healthiest?

There is no scientific evidence as to what can be considered healthy coffee and which coffee is the healthiest. The best individual choice depends on what goals you are pursuing.

If you cannot tolerate caffeine or if it is late in the day, a decaffeinated, i.e. caffeine-free coffee is suitable. Alternatively, lupine or grain coffee (Caro coffee) are a healthy or sensible option, as they contain little or no caffeine.

Caro coffee is also easier to digest than conventional coffee because it contains less acid and tannins. It also contains the fiber inulin – and fiber is good for digestion.

When time is of the essence, some people turn to instant coffee with hot water poured over it. Instant coffee is as healthy or unhealthy as coffee beans, since in this country it can only be made using roasted coffee and water. However, instant coffee contains slightly less caffeine.

It is different with instant powder for cappuccino or other coffee drink mixtures. They often contain a lot of sugar and additives and are therefore unhealthy. Rather froth the milk yourself and prepare the coffee freshly.

If you love latte macchiato, cappuccino and co., but are vegan or want to limit your consumption of dairy products, plant-based milk alternatives such as oat milk can be a healthy option.

But make sure that the plant -based milk does not contain any added sugar. Otherwise the coffee will quickly become unnecessarily high in calories. The same goes for sweetening the coffee with sugar. The same applies here: keep it moderate or – even better – leave it out completely.

How much caffeine does coffee have?

Caffeine is probably the ingredient that most people think of first when they hear the word coffee. It is one of the so-called alkaloids, which are nitrogen-containing compounds that are produced during photosynthesis in the coffee plant.

Caffeine is toxic in high doses. In small amounts, caffeine has a stimulating effect, increases alertness, concentration and physical performance.

How many milligrams of caffeine does a cup of coffee have? According to the German Coffee Association, different types of coffee contain the following amounts of caffeine:

  • Cup of coffee, 150 milliliters: 50-100 milligrams
  • Decaffeinated coffee, 150 milliliters: 3 milligrams
  • Espresso, 50 milliliters: 50-150 milligrams
  • Instant coffee, milliliters: 15-90 milligrams

You can find out more about caffeine and its effects in the article ” Caffeine: How it works in the body “.

What effect does coffee have?

There are various studies that indicate that coffee has various positive effects on people. For example the following:

prevent depression

Certain secondary plant substances, the polyphenols, in coffee have an antidepressant effect, caffeine lifts the mood. In various studies, four cups a day have proven to be particularly effective against low moods. In sensitive people, however, the effect can also be reversed. Caffeine can then trigger insomnia and restlessness.

diabetes protection

The polyphenols in coffee and minerals such as magnesium probably improve the effect of insulin and glucose metabolism in the human body. As a result, people who regularly drink coffee—with or without caffeine—tend to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who don’t drink coffee. The guideline is one to six cups a day.

Gallstone Destroyer

The most common type of gallstone forms from cholesterol . Coffee can stimulate gallbladder contractions, thus stimulating bile flow and preventing cholesterol from crystallizing in the gallbladder.

control weight

Is coffee good for weight loss? He can probably help to tumble the kilos. According to a meta-analysis, regular caffeine intake reduces weight, BMI and body fat.

Green coffee extract is said to have a similar effect. This unroasted coffee is available in the form of capsules, for example. It is said to promote weight loss and help with colon cleansing. However, the study situation here is still very thin.

If you want to lose weight, black coffee is healthy. Or better: A good option because it hardly provides any calories.

promote heart health

In various studies, subjects who drank an average of three cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of heart diseases such as hardening of the arteries and stroke.

Which ingredients are responsible for this has not yet been scientifically clarified. It doesn’t appear to be just the caffeine, however, as some of the cardio-protective properties have also been demonstrated in decaffeinated coffee.

Reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases

The caffeine in coffee may reduce the risk of conditions like Parkinson’s. There is scientific research that suggests that coffee also lowers the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.

What are the ingredients and nutritional values ​​of coffee?

The most important ingredients that the coffee bean supplies are carbohydrates , water, fats and proteins, acids, alkaloids, flavorings and minerals . But all in very small quantities, since roasting destroys various nutrients such as fats and proteins.

100 milliliters of coffee (about five to six grams of beans) contain approximately:

  • from 10 mg caffeine
  • 2 calories
  • 0.1 grams of protein
  • 0.3 grams of carbohydrates, mainly polysaccharides (polysaccharides)
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 0.01 milligrams of vitamin B1
  • 0.08 milligrams of vitamin B2
  • 0.01 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 2 milligrams of phosphorus

In 100 grams of roasted coffee are found

  • 5 µg Chrom
  • 22 µg folic acid
  • 90 µg Fluoride
  • 3 µg Jod
  • 49 mg Potassium
  • 2 mg calcium
  • 700 µg Kupfer
  • 3 mg Magnesium
  • 10 mg Niacin
  • 77 µg Nickel
  • 230 µg pantothenic acid
  • 5 μg Selenium
  • 10 µg Vitamin K
  • 710 µg Zink

How much coffee is allowed during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, expectant mothers do not have to give up coffee entirely, but they should control their caffeine consumption. How much coffee is healthy for soon-to-be moms?

According to the EFSA, up to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day is acceptable, which is about two cups of coffee.

Excessive consumption of caffeine can affect the growth of the fetus because it crosses the placenta and enters the growing child, who lacks the enzymes to break down the caffeine.

Coffee: You should pay attention to this!

If you like drinking coffee, you should pay attention to:

Beware of histamine intolerance

Anyone who does not tolerate histamine can get a stomach ache, headache and nausea from just a cup of coffee. Caffeine hinders the breakdown of histamine in the body and at the same time promotes its own histamine production.

withdrawal symptoms

Suppose you drink coffee regularly and get your body used to the daily caffeine intake. In that case, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches if you suddenly reduce or stop caffeine intake.

Coffee: storage and preparation

The line between Plörre and perfect is sometimes a narrow one when it comes to coffee. In order for the dark brown pick-me-up to develop its full aroma, it must be stored and prepared correctly.

Store coffee properly

Coffee – whether bean or powder – does not like oxygen, light or moisture. It is therefore best to keep it in the original packaging, which you pack in an airtight container and store in a dark, dry place.

A drawer with spices or the refrigerator are not suitable for storing coffee, as coffee literally absorbs foreign odours.

Instant coffee should be consumed within two weeks so that it still tastes full of flavor. Freshly ground beans are best used within a month or two. If you want to keep the coffee longer, you can freeze it: packed airtight and in small portions at best.

Preparing coffee: how it works!

There are different ways of preparing coffee: including in the French press (pressurized jug), using a fully automatic machine, a mocha maker on the stovetop or a classic filter machine.

As different as these preparation methods may be, they all have in common that no good coffee comes out if the basic ingredients are inferior. In other words, invest in quality coffee and use oxygenated and mineral-rich water for brewing. This improves the taste.

And: only brew coffee powder once, coffee powder that has already been used makes the coffee more bitter.

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