Coffee isn’t just a magical elixir that re-energizes your body, mind, and soul; it also has a slew of scientific studies to back it up. However, you must brew it correctly, which has nothing to do with half-caf, double-hot, no-foam, or any of the other hyphenated descriptors spat out by baristas.
Getting the most out of this morning miracle worker requires selecting the perfect roast, properly grinding it, brewing type, water temperature, and a few other things you’re either not doing, or not doing well. We consulted experts on how to make the single healthiest cup, and they were more than ready to share their secrets.
There isn’t much that coffee can’t do, according to scientists. Drinking it has been linked to a lower risk of liver cancer, according to a review published in BMJ Open in May 2017; a lower risk of colon cancer in women, according to an analysis published in International Journal of Cancer in July 2018; and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and strokes in women (both older), according to previous research. A meta-analysis published in June 2019 in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics looked at 21 previous coffee studies with over 10 million participants and discovered that drinking one cup of regular or decaf coffee daily reduces your risk of death by 3%, while drinking three cups a day reduces your risk by 13%.
Polyphenols, plant-based chemicals present in coffee beans, are responsible for the majority of these health advantages. Polyphenols have been found to help protect against heart disease, diabetes, and some malignancies, as well as supporting brain and gut health.
Because polyphenols are so important for getting the most health advantages from coffee, says Bob Arnot, MD, author of The Coffee Lover’s Diet and former chief medical correspondent for NBC News, you should try to get as much of these chemicals as possible. Some beans are more adept at this than others. According to an analysis published in the journal Antioxidants, the beans with the most polyphenols are those cultivated in high-altitude areas such as Ethiopia and Latin America. Dr. Arnot recommends seeking for beans from Columbia’s Huila region, as well as Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia. When Arnot utilises beans from East Africa, he often finds 19,000 milligrammes (mg) of polyphenols per cup; major national chains have as low as 2,500 mg per cup. The goal is to consume at least 650 mg of polyphenols each day, but the more the better.