As we walk through life in our day to day hustle, there is that one staple that helps keep us going, coffee. While some people enjoy multiple cups per day, others might enjoy only a few or maybe just a couple. Some of you may drink espresso or dark coffee, a good cappuccino or latte, and others may like the lighter blends.
What ever the case may be, we all may have had this same thought at some point. Where does coffee come from and is drinking coffee good for me?
While coffee may taste delicious and smell absolutely divine, and most of us probably feel we can’t go about our day without it, there are some things you should take into consideration before drinking that morning wake me up. I’m going to breakdown where your coffee comes from, and the pros and cons of drinking coffee for all of you.
From some of the best health benefits to some of the worst effects it has on our bodies if drank in excess. So before you grab that so desired cup of morning bliss, let us take a minute to learn about where this magical drink comes from and the different effects it has on your body. Therefore, you can make your own educated decision as to if drinking coffee is right for you.
Where Your Coffee Comes From
We all know coffee comes from a coffee bean right? Yet do we know where that bean comes from? The most likely answer to this question is no. You probably don’t even think about it. In order to enjoy every aspect of our coffee to the fullest, we should think about these things. Where does it come from?
Coffee is a member of the botanical family called Rubiaceae. In this family of beautiful, tropical plants there are about 500 genera and over 6,500 species including trees, herbs, and shrubs. These are grown mostly in the Central and South American regions, along with Southeast Asia and Africa. Of these there are roughly only around 25 species of the Coffea plant, and of these there are only 2 that are most likely where your morning coffee comes from. The Arabica and the Robusto plants.
The Arabica plant contributes to around 60 percent of coffee production around the world and is known for having higher quality and a smoother taste.
The Robusto plant only contributes to about 40 percent of production and consists of a more bitter taste. On the upside of drinking Robusto, it contains about 40-50 percent more caffeine than Arabica, hence the name “robust coffee”. There are also the Liberica coffee and the Excelsa coffee, but these are only produced in small amounts and may be harder to find.
One major fact about the Coffea plant is that it is sprayed with chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides more than any other plant. So you might want to consider buying organic coffee.
What Is In Your Coffee
Coffee contains many substances like vitamins, minerals, dietary proteins, antioxidants, and of course, caffeine. Of these substances the effects can be very different for any one of us, considering your overall body health and age. Here is a break down of what is in your coffee.
Caffeine. This is by far the biggest reason we drink coffee right? We need that kick start in the morning! Caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on our body. Too little and it’s not doing its job. Too much and it can make you feel nausea and/or give you a headache, cause irritability or make you jittery, along with other issues (see “Cons” list). Just the right amount though will do wonders for you. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, can curve your appetite, keep you alert and focused, improve your memory, and other positive effects (see “Pros” list).
Antioxidants. As mentioned in my previous post “How To Make The Best Coffee At Home”, oxidation is the aging/staling process most foods go through once introduced to the air. This is the same for your body. Most of the antioxidants fight free radicals inside your body that can cause aging and certain types of disease. Other antioxidants can have a negative effect (see “vitamins and minerals”).
Dietary Proteins. Ever drink a cup of coffee before you workout? If not, you should give it a try sometime. The dietary proteins in coffee will give you that extra boost you need to up your performance by about 11-12%, as well as increasing your adrenaline and alleviating sore muscles.
Vitamins and Minerals. In truth, most of us probably take a daily vitamin in the morning. Also, most of us probably don’t realize what our coffee can do to some of these vitamins we need. Though coffee does contain small amounts of magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium, some of the antioxidants in coffee can hamper the absorption of these vitamins and minerals. Your best bet would be to make sure you eat foods rich in these substances throughout the day just to make sure you’re getting the right amount.
Coffee also contains vitamins B-2 and B-5. Vitamin B-2, also called riboflavin, helps to breakdown the nutrients you get from the foods you eat. Vitamin B-5, also called pantothenic acid, helps maintain your digestive tract and adrenal glands, and produces red blood cells.
So now that you have the basic knowledge of where your coffee comes from and what it contains, let’s get into the specific pros and cons.
Pros of Drinking Coffee
1. The caffeine in coffee can have a positive effect on the central nervous system. This helps produce mood enhancing stimulants like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. These can also help fight depression which in turn can lower the risk of suicide by 45% if drank on a regular basis.
2. Drinking coffee can curve your appetite and reduce those unwanted cravings for desserts and sweet snacks.
3. Caffeine can help reduce pain from migraines and chronic headaches. If coffee is drank while taking painkillers it can increase the effects of them.
4. Drinking coffee can help to improve your memory, help you focus better, and help keep you more alert throughout your day.
5. Helps improve physical performance by 11-12%
Helps reduce the risk of diseases and health issues such as:
- Cancer (oral, esophageal, and pharyngeal)
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart rhythm problems
- Asthma attacks
- Migraines and Chronic headaches
Cons Of Drinking Coffee
1. Too much caffeine intake can make it harder to sleep and even cause insomnia. It can cause confusion, heartburn, increase blood pressure, and be a mild diuretic which can lead to dehydration.
2. Some components of coffee can lessen the absorption of some vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron.
3. If you drink coffee that is not filtered, or if you drink espresso or anything with espresso in it, it can raise your cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol you should consider using filters to lower this risk.
4. Drinking an excess of coffee per day can stain your teeth and cause more frequent urination.
5. An excess amount of caffeine can cause headaches, nausea and/or vomiting, irritability, and rapid heart rate.
6. If you so happened to drink bad quality coffee, or coffee that has been sitting on the burner all day you might also experience headaches and/or nausea.
No Guilt. Just Coffee.
Don’t you feel good now? Having that peace of mind of knowing what is in that magical morning cup you drink. Knowing where your coffee comes from and all the benefits and disadvantages of consuming it. I know I do. When deciding what type of coffee to buy it’s always good to know a little about the background of your product.
This makes it a more comfortable purchase and will leave you feeling less guilty when drinking it. If you deal with some health issues or even if you don’t, well now you know what your risks are and what about it can be very beneficial to you.
If you would like to leave any comments or have any questions about this post, please leave them in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!
For the Love of Coffee