Benefits Of Coffee
Coffee is the largest consumed beverage in the world, sold in almost all countries of the world. It is brewed from the roasted seeds, typically called coffee beans, of the coffee plant, from which it derives its name. It is grown and cultivated in over seventy countries across the world. Green unroasted coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world with the primary exporters being Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. After water, it is regarded as one of the most consumed drink in the world.
History Of Coffee
Coffee was first consumed for purely spiritual reasons. Over a millennium ago, traders first brought the seeds across the Red Sea into modern day Yemen, where the Muslim population of the region began cultivating the plants in their gardens. However unlike the current beverage made out of the beans, they made wine, known as gishr, from the fermented coffee berries. This was usually consumed during religious ceremonies of the period. It has evolved from this to a drink with many varieties of uses and forms. The drink is now brewed and presented in over fifty different varieties.
The Health Benefits Of Coffee
The primary constituent of coffee, caffeine acts a stimulant and hence finds a variety of applications. However the benefits of coffee extend beyond managing to keep one awake and reduce stress.
The consumption off coffee, on a regular basis is found to reduce the risk of onset of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and gallstone disease.
Coffee contains the compound methylpyridinum, a known anti-cancer compound. Though this is not found natively in the coffee seeds or the plant, it is formed during the roasting of the beans. This compound is not found in measurable amounts in any other food stuff and hence regular consumption of coffee reduces the risk of cancer.
The stimulant action of coffee is not limited to the brain and extends all the way up to the lower intestine. It is a powerful stimulant of the peristaltic movement and hence is a good antidote to constipation.
Coffee has long been used as one of the most effective analgesics throughout history. It not only acts as a standalone pain killer, but also enhances the effects of other pain killers and hence caffeine forms a part of many over the counter painkillers.
The consumption of coffee is also known to reduce the instances of liver cancer, reducing the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Coffee has long been known to be a risk to pregnant women and young children. The consumption of coffee amongst both mothers and infants leads a drop in the blood iron levels, while it also interferes with the assimilation of supplementary iron.
Apart from antioxidants which reduce the risk of cancer, the roasting of coffee also results in certain compounds called rodent carcinogens which when consumed in large quantities can be carcinogenic. Though these are naturally occurring, prolonged consumption in large quantities can prove harmful.
Coffee consumption can also damage the inner lining of the intestines causing gastritis and stomach ulcers. Coffee consumption has also been linked to increased instances of high blood pressure. This invariantly results in an increased risk of coronary heart disease. However decaffeinated coffee to an extent counters the ill effects of prolonged caffeine consumption.