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Green coffee beans have supplied a new player in the antioxidant arena. An extract of green coffee beans has been found to have a stronger antioxidant effect than established antioxidants like green tea and grape seed extract.
The active constituent in coffee that is responsible for its many health benefits is a compound called chlorogenic acid. It neutralizes free radicals, and addresses the problem of hydroxyl radicals, both of which can lead to cellular degeneration if left unchecked. Chlorogenic acid also helps regulate metabolism. Compared to green tea and grape seed extract, green coffee bean extract is twice as effective in absorbing oxygen free radicals.
One of the advantages of using the green coffee bean extract is that the negative effects of coffee are avoided. The chlorogenic acid is thought to boost metabolism by changing the way glucose is taken up by the body. And it does contain caffeic acids, which give a boost to energy levels like regular coffee does. But unlike boiled coffee, green coffee bean extract contains no cafestol, which is a diterpene. Along with its diterpene relative kahweol, cafestol increases concentrations of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL, to levels that over a lifetime might increase the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 20% These diterpenes also had an effect on the levels of liver enzymes measured. When these are elevated it is an indicator of stress on the liver. However the study that measured this found this was a transient effect, and also that the levels of liver enzymes were much lower than those with liver disease.
As a side note on the health effect of the diterpenes found in regular coffee, it was found that by simply drinking filter coffee, none of these effects on cholesterol levels or the liver took place. The coffee filter removed the offending diterpenes. And levels of these diterpenes in instant coffee are low.
Other benefits of green coffee bean extract include an increase in the effectiveness of pain killers, especially for migraine medications; a reduction in the risk of diabetes; and assisting the body burn a higher proportion of lipids (fats) compared to carbohydrates, which could help with muscle fatigue for athletes and bodybuilders.
Interestingly, on the subject of caffeine and liver disease, further studies have indicated it may in fact support liver health for some people. Those who were at high risk of developing liver disease due to drinking too much alcohol were found less likely to suffer liver damage if they drank more than two cups of coffee or tea a day. This was a population based study, not a clinical trial, and so is not conclusive on the subject. But it does offer some promising information. Those drinking in excess of two cups or more a day were half as likely to develop liver disease compared to those drinking less than one cup a day. Researchers do not know what caused this protective effect.
One of the criticisms of coffee in regards to health is that it leaches calcium from the bones. But this effect has been found to be overemphasized, at least in children. And adults who consume a diet with sufficient levels of calcium will be protected from the small amount of calcium that is lost due to coffee consumption.
So the old axiom that caffeine can stunt a child’s growth is a myth. It was based on the fact that in older studies, caffeine was associated with low bone mass because those studies were done on elderly people who both drank a lot of coffee and had diets that were low in calcium. Recent studies in the US followed 80 teenagers over 6 years, and found no difference in the bone density of those with a high level of caffeine in their diet, compared to those teenagers who had little caffeine. Other studies determined that the amount of calcium lost from bones is small and can be balanced by having sufficient calcium in your diet.When purchasing coffee beans, take care to buy whole beans and grind only enough for one pot of coffee at a time. Whole beans retain their flavors, oils and aromas much longer than ground coffee. Buy only enough coffee beans as you will use in one or two weeks; this will help insure freshness. Its best if you could store your beans in an air tight glass, ceramic or plastic containers. If you use plastic, you should use the beans in one week or less.Never store beans or ground coffee in the refrigerator or freezer. Both the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the National Coffee Association of USA recommend storing whole coffee beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry location (in a cabinet); never freeze or refrigerate the beans. Roasted coffee beans contain volatile flavor oils and essences that can crystallize in cold temperatures. Once crystallized, they are locked up and can no longer contribute to coffee flavor or taste.Brewing Coffee Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is easy. Always start with fresh, filtered water and freshly ground coffee beans. Always consume brewed coffee within 30 minutes or, store in a thermal carafe (a carafe will hold coffee for up to 2 hours). The method of brewing is up to your personal taste. Here are the most popular methods.Automatic Drip This is probably the most popular method of brewing. This method produces a clear, crisp cup of coffee with little or no particulates. Depending on preferences, you can use either a permanent gold filter or disposable paper filters. If you use paper, always use natural unbleached or pre-washed filters. If you use regular filters, rinse with water prior to using. Never reuse a paper filter. Always brew at least 80% of the coffee maker’s capacity unless it has a short brew cycle.French Press The French press has a loyal following. It produces a very rich, full bodied cup of coffee with a small amount of coffee particulate that many find desirable. To brew, take coarsely (standard perk) ground coffee and add it to the bottom of the container. Add hot water (about 190 degrees), put the cover in place and push the plunger down about 1/4 of the way and let steep for about 3-5 minutes, depending on taste. Push the plunger down to trap the grounds and stop the brewing and serve immediately.Vacuum Brewing Vacuum brewing was popular in the 1930s and 40s. It is now making a comeback. This method produces full bodied coffee with very little particulate. Most brewers use a nylon filter that filters out most of the particulate but allows body and flavor through. Place cold water in the lower part, insert the upper part and add coffee grounds (grind to standard drip or electric perk). Follow instructions for your particular maker. The water is heated to near boiling, forced into the top and steeps. As the lower part cools it forms a vacuum and draws the brewed coffee back down. Serve immediately or pour into a thermal carafe.Despite the way you make your cup of coffee in the morning, always note that the more coffee you consume, the more addictive it gets, morning after morning. So its best if you can avoid it at times, besides it takes 24 hours for one cup of coffee to pass through the kidneys and urinary tract. (For those who drink 7 or 8 or more cups a day, you might want to invest in your own dialysis machine … or at least invest in the company which makes them!) Cheers! In the Middle East, the Syrian region has been a major cultivator of coffee for a long period of time. The coffee plant that is cultivated in this area is almost 3 meters high, but produces the same coffee bean. The Middle East population has long cherished the taste of coffee with fondness, and a guest in the Middle East is honored and welcomed with Arabic coffee. The history of this coffee can be traced back to the Arabian Peninsula where about 1,000 years ago, traders from central Africa and Ethiopia introduced the coffee berry and bean. Initially, coffee plant’s fruits were used to prepare a type of wine. However, it was not long before the aroma of the bean enchanted the people of the Middle East.Arabic Coffee in the western world is quite a generic term that is used for a cup of coffee that is brewed in Arabian style. In some cases, it is also known as Turkish coffee. Such a coffee is often known as qahwa. Black Arab coffee is known as awha sada and the one that is slightly sweetened is called as ahwa ariha. When greater quantities of sugar are added to it, the coffee is called as ahwa mazboot and in cases where the coffee is very much sweet, it is known as a ahwaziyada.
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