Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and can be prepared in a variety of ways It is usually served hot, although chilled or iced coffee is common; while sugar, milk or cream may sometimes be used to reduce the bitter taste. Coffee naturally contains a variety of ingredients including caffeine, antioxidants, diterpenes, vitamins and others. These ingredients contribute not only to its unique flavor but also to some of its physiological effects. The following are the ingredients in coffee with their unique benefits:
Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee and acts as a mild central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine is found in a number of plant species; popularly cocoa-beans, kola nuts, tea leaves and coffee beans. A typical cup of coffee provides approximately 75–100mg caffeine. In addition, caffeine is added to many popular carbonated drinks and is also contained in a number of medicinal products. Extensive research has shown that there are several beneficial effects of caffeine in the diet, such as improved attention, alertness, physical performance, improved mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general brain function.
Chlorogenic acids and Melanoidins
These compounds display antioxidant properties and may help deactivate oxidants. A number of studies have shown an increase in blood antioxidant levels after consumption of coffee. These antioxidant compounds found in coffee appear to show different effects in the body, but there is a need for further research on their potential roles.
Diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol, are both naturally present in the oil contained in coffee. Research suggests that consumption of these compounds may have a protective role against some cancers, although further research is required before any conclusions can be reached.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
This is one of the eight B-complex vitamins. Like other B vitamins, it plays a role in energy production in the body, but also has many other important uses. Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed for growth and overall good health. It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body. Vitamin B2 is also important for eye health and can lower the risk of developing cataracts, and helping those suffering from migraines.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
This is one of the most important vitamins for human life. It’s necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy. Vitamin B5 is one of eight B vitamins. All vitamins in this category help you convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy. B vitamins are also needed for: healthy skin, hair, and eyes; proper functioning of the nervous system and liver; making red blood cells, etc.
Coffee also contains manganese. It is required for the normal functioning of your brain, nervous system and many of your body’s enzyme systems. Despite the fact that we only need small amounts of manganese, it is essential when it comes to the formation of bone mass, helping to play in the absorption of calcium, working alongside this mineral as well as zinc and copper to encourage healthy bone density. We also need manganese when it comes to the synthesis of cholesterol, carbohydrates and protein and the mineral is very important for the digestive system, aiding the production of digestive enzymes and even working as an antioxidant, protecting your cells against free radical damage.
The importance of potassium is highly underestimated. Interestingly, potassium is linked to many powerful health benefits. It may help reduce blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke and help prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones. It also helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
This is a very important nutrient as every part of the body needs it to function properly. Vitamin B3 or Niacin is primarily used to lower high cholesterol levels in the body, aids in good blood circulation, normal functioning of the brain and boosting memory.
Trigonelline has hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, antimigraine, sedative, memory-improving, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-tumor activities, and helps to protect your teeth by preventing streptococcus bacteria from attaching to the enamel.
This is mild stimulant that is very similar to caffeine. It is medically used to help relieve the symptoms of lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. Theophylline is also used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. It relaxes and opens air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
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