Coffee: An unexpected health-giving food by bwIjXO


									                                                                Health News with Grace

                                       Brew up a bounty of healthful benefit with coffee

A surprising trend is cropping up among the general population: drinking coffee as a health
promoting beverage.

Not only does coffee help to boost energy and clarify the mind, research has shown it to be an
important source of antioxidants. To maximise the benefit and minimise potential health risk, it is
vital for individuals to be selective about the coffee they consume.

As Australians, we are indeed fortunate to have available to us home grown organic varieties which
stand proudly and easily on a par with those imported from the traditional coffee growing nations.

Coffee: An unexpected health-giving food
A clue to coffee's exceptional antioxidant content is found in its often extreme growing
environment and harvesting measures.

Thought to have originated near the Horn of Africa, the coffee plant grows in some of the hottest
and highest regions in the world, often times near the equator. These severe climates force the
coffee plant to create formidable antioxidants that protect it from high levels of ultraviolet

Research has found that medium-roasted coffee preserves the highest bio-active properties of the
bean compared with dark coffee. Whether or not the coffee is caffeinated doesn't appear to
influence the antioxidant levels.

As it turns out, coffee is often the leading source of antioxidants in the diet. (Looks like we don't
always eat 5 greens and 3 fruit servings per day).

Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania notes, "The point
is, people are getting the most antioxidants from beverages, as opposed to what you might think."
His research team found that a standard adult consumes 1,299 mg of antioxidants daily from
coffee compared to 294 mg from tea, the second highest contender. Next most consumed were
bananas at 76 mg.

It would seem that morning tea, or even lunch for a lot of people is a coffee and a banana.

Not only is coffee a rich source of antioxidants, it also helps to alleviate other health concerns.
Studies have shown that individuals who ingest one to two cups of coffee per day have less
depression and anxiety than those who abstain from the beverage.

Try to minimise the quantity of sugar and dairy you may be tempted to add to your brew of choice.

Avoid potential hazard by making informed choices
Conventionally grown coffee is notorious for its toxicity due to dangerous production
practices and chemical processing.

A cocktail of harmful substances commonly used on conventional coffee plants include:
cypermethrin, diazinon, edosulfan, and methyl parathion.Highly toxic when ingested, these
chemicals also endanger the health of coffee harvesters and surrounding wildlife.

Roasting further concentrates the poison onto the bean. To decaffeinate coffee, in many
cases, hazardous solvents are used. These solvents are not necessary; For decaf, Swiss
water processing is a safe alternative.

To sidestep toxic chemicals while enjoying the healthy benefits, if not choosing
Australian grown organic produce, individuals are urged to        use only organic beans,
grown and produced on Fair Trade Farms.

Enhanced coffee is also available. Extra antioxidants from green tea, pomegranate,
grape, acai, and blueberry are infused onto the bean which creates a potent and
beneficial brew.

It is important to note that coffee can pose a real threat of addiction along with adrenal
fatigue due to the presence of caffeine. However, these risks can be bypassed by
choosing decaffeinated beans.

By practicing sensible moderation and opting for high-quality fair trade organic coffee,
consumers and health enthusiasts alike can take full pleasure in the health supporting
features that this familiar beverage offers.

Sources for this article include:

"Antioxidant Properties of Coffee Brews in Relation to the Roasting Degree" M.C. Nicolia,
M. Aneseb,
L. Manzoccoa, C.R. Lericia a Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, University of Udine,
via Marangoni 97, I-33100, Udine, (Italy) b Istituto di Produzioni e Preparazioni
Alimentari, University of Bari, via Napoli 25, I-71100, Foggia, (Italy). Received 1 April
1996. Accepted 15 June 1996. Available online 18 April 2002. Retrieved on June 11, 2012
"Effect of Roasting on the Antioxidant Activity of Coffee Brews" Maria Dolores del
Castillo, Jennifer M. Ames, and Michael H. Gordon, School of Food Biosciences, The
University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6?6AP, United Kingdom. J. Agric. Food
Chem., 2002, 50 (13), pp 3698-3703DOI: 10.1021/jf011702q. Publication Date (Web):
May 24, 2002. Retrieved on June 11, 2012

"Coffee a top source of healthy antioxidants, but beverage is still no substitute for fruits
and vegetables" AP Associated Press, updated 9/12/2005, MSNBC Health. Retrieved on
June 11, 2012 from:

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