Coffee has long been associated with the ability to perk you up, with millions of people across the UK reaching for the kettle as part of their morning routine. There are, however, many health benefits to coffee that are not widely known, in this article we explore why coffee offers much more than just a ‘pick me up’.
Nutritional Benefits of Coffee
As a society we’re increasing concerned about the nutritional value of the things we consume. Great news for coffee bag lovers – coffee beans are full of healthy nutrients.
Did you know, coffee is full of antioxidants? Most of us know this is something we need, but what do they do? Antioxidants prevent our cells from being oxidised by toxins, chemicals and inflammation, and drive down the chance of injury and illness.
Most people know coffee contains caffeine – the elixir of productivity. But we’re often left wondering it this stimulant good for us? Caffeine is used in many products to prevent headaches, migraines and drowsiness, as it acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Although, over consumption of caffeine can produce negative side effects (below).
It’s not just antioxidants and caffeine! Coffee also contains vitamin B which improves metabolism, magnesium which supports muscle and nerve function, and potassium which controls blood pressure and reduces the risk of strokes.
Nutritional Values in Coffee Varieties
Coffee comes in different varieties, whole beans, ground coffee and freeze-dried. The Little Coffee Bag Company use only the best, freshly ground beans. Nutritionally speaking, organic black, fresh coffees (beans or ground) are higher in nutritional value. Research suggests that dark roast blends have higher antioxidant levels than light or medium roast blends.
Coffee Consumption and a Healthy Heart
Studies have shown that consuming a moderate amount of coffee daily decreases the chance of heart failure and cardiovascular health including lowering blood pressure, most likely linked to the potassium and magnesium content found in each cup. This comes with a health warning though, as those who over-consumed coffee showed evidence of increased blood cholesterol. Coffee, as with all food, should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to feel its full effects.
Coffee and your Metabolism
As coffee contains vitamin B, studies have been carried out to identify if it can have a positive impact of your metabolism. Researches have concluded that coffee consumption is linked to a moderate boost in your metabolic rate which may have an impact on how much fat you burn whilst resting and exercising.
Coffee, Energy Levels and your Performance
Caffeine found in coffee has been proven to decrease fatigue and increase energy levels, ultimately increasing productivity and performance. When ingested in moderate levels, caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain where it activates neurons that are related to improved memory, mood, energy and cognitive function.
Studies have shown that caffeine can have a positive impact on athletic performance. Caffeine found in coffee can help to increase the amount of oxygen consumption during exercise. Some reports state that drinking coffee before exercise can improve athletic performance as much as 11-12%.
Again, another health warning – as coffee is a stimulant excess consumption can lead to adverse effects, including over stimulation of the central nervous system which can lead to long term health complications.
Coffee as Part of Healthy Lifestyle
There are currently no specific guidelines recommending a safe level of coffee consumption for residents of the UK. Pregnant women are advised to limit caffeine intake to 200mg a day.
Caffeine is a stimulant which affects people differently, some people who report dizziness and sickness. The biggest health warning is related hidden ‘extras’; increasing numbers of coffee shops and companies are producing coffee-based drinks that are high in fat and sugar, through the use of additional extras such as flavoured syrups and milks.
As connoisseurs of coffee, The Little Coffee Bag Company recommend that coffee is best consumed black or with a splash of milk. We have selected blends for all palates, from mellow chocolate notes to suit sweeter palates and fruity acidic blends for those who like a deeper flavour. We even offer a decaffeinated bag, to help you regulate your caffeine intake as you continue to enjoy the rich flavour of walnut and cocoa notes.