Antioxidants and Other Benefits of Our Favorite Drink
Coffee is one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages worldwide due to its stimulating effects on the central nervous system, taste, and aroma. Coffee is no more a guilty pleasure, as once believed. Taste sensations, mouthfeel, smell, and texture of the brew are all part and parcel of this mind-body experience. Some of the world’s most influential businesses, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started as coffee houses.
We all know that caffeine is a jolting bi-product of those beautiful bright, red cherries that have been harvested, fermented, dried, roasted, and ready for consumption. Researchers have found the ‘golden’ ingredient in the superfood coffee pharmacopeia known as Chlorogenic Acid.
CGA is a potent antioxidant, which is a phenol. Phenol means that they can stop the reaction of free radicals, preventing damage to your DNA and staving off long-term health effects, and protect the body’s cells from day-to-day wear.
These CGA compounds convey the well-known taste of bitterness to coffee. The essential component of the bitterness of coffee is that it purges toxins and inflammation in the body resulting in an anti-inflammatory, nerve protector, lowering cholesterol, and decreasing blood sugar.
CGA antioxidant activity and capacity depend on roasting time, brewing method, temperature, and coffee beans type. Antioxidant capacity correlates with the amount of chlorogenic acid content. Research results show that the C. arabica from Kenya possesses the highest chlorogenic acid content and highest antioxidant capacity. The C. arabica from Kenya is the most suitable green coffee source for nutraceutical applications because of its high antioxidant capacity.
One interesting fact is that there is evidence that decaffeinated coffee has similar benefits as regular coffee. The decaffeination process decreases caffeine in coffee but does not affect the components contributing to the health-protecting effects.
Chlorogenic acid primarily exerts its effects by inhibiting an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates. By doing so, it reduces the uptake of carbohydrates and glucose during digestion.
Therefore, CGA maintains glucose levels and affects heart risk by decreasing blood LDL levels and the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease.
The importance of this is that glucose and cholesterol disorders are closely related to the occurrence and progression of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers.
Also, chlorogenic acid acts to reduce body weight gain and overall body fat accumulation by inhibiting fat absorption and activation of fat metabolism in the liver.
Coffee is a sensorial experience and increases endorphins when people know that they will indulge in this ancient gastronomic experience. The bitterness, aroma, and a myriad of taste profiles are what entice and lavish your senses to enjoying a great cup of coffee.
You can now wake up knowing your morning brew contains chlorogenic acid, a potent antioxidant with health benefits, whether your java is from your favorite specialty craft coffee shop or a home, freshly filtered ground coffee brew. Consumption over time has been linked to protection against Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, gout, and liver disease, including liver cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack, and stroke.
by Michael Kanubhaidasa Ferranti
Michael Kanubhaidasa Ferranti is a barista and teaologist originally from NYC, NY. He now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
His background focuses on combining eastern and western medicine traditions. He has a double Bachelors’s Degree in Biology and Biochemistry plus a post-Baccalaureate degree in Clinical Research, having worked for the NIH for many years.
He also has a degree in Ayurvedic Medicine (traditional Indian Medicine), yoga, and meditation and has a thriving international practice.
Michael lectures with longtime friends and Ayurvedic Doctor Dr. Deepak Chopra and the late Horst Rechelbacher of AVEDA. He is the Ayurvedic practitioner to Martha Stewart and was a staple on her ‘Morning Living’ show on Sirius XM for many years. Michael has also had the fortune of learning about the coffee industry in the 1990s, from ex-CEO of Starbucks, the late Orin Smith.