For most of us, our cup of coffee in the morning is simply part of the daily routine. We don’t really think about the components of coffee or how the coffee compounds affect our bodies. We know that our beloved cappuccino helps us to wake up properly in the morning and to improve concentration during the afternoon slump in the office. But what else is the liquid gold capable of?
Let's take a closer look at the composition of coffee, so that you know what you're drinking!
What Are the Components of Coffee?
The main components of coffee are: Carbohydrates, fat and lipids, water, proteins, acids, alkaloids (caffeine), minerals and aromatics. The nutrients contained in our favorite brew are negligible from a nutritional point of view, as they don’t find their way into our cup. However, the many active substances extracted from the grounds are well worth a closer look.
For example, did you know that this aromatic beverage contains more than 1000 chemical compositions? Many of them are aromatics and flavors. Others have a direct effect on our bodies; such as caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline and cafestol.
Each of these substances has a unique effect on your body. Caffeine is an all natural stimulant that keeps you awake and improves your concentration. Chlorogenic acid has several effects on the body; it has antioxidant, hypotensive, blood-thinning, liver-protecting and sugar-regulating properties, but it can also cause stomach irritation. Trigonelline may help keep your teeth healthy, and cafestol may improve your liver function.
It's important to note that the effects of these substances can vary from person to person, and also depend on how you take your coffee. But in general, our beloved pick-me-up has many positive effects on our body and mind.
Coffee Is More Than Just Caffeine
When we talk about our favorite brew, we generally think only about the caffeine that gets us going in the morning. But the multitude of components in coffee all have their own effects.
Did you know that the liquid gold also contains minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, which are important for muscle and nerve function?
Coffee and iron are also often mentioned in the same breath, although the ferritin content is too low to serve as a significant source of iron. Other food sources like meat, fish, legumes and leafy vegetables contain much higher amounts of iron and are therefore preferable as a source of ferritin.
The liquid gold contains a number of different acids, including chlorogenic acid, malic acid, citric acid and acetic acid. The acids are natural components of the coffee formula and contribute to its unique taste. However, they can cause stomach upset, heartburn or sensitive teeth in some people. The acidity can vary depending on the variety, degree of roast and the method of preparation. However, there are mild coffees that contain little acid and are therefore usually well tolerated.
Oil and Lipids
Coffee contains fat in the form of coffee oil. The oil content of the beans varies, depending on the variety, as well as the growing and roasting conditions. As a rule, Arabica beans have a higher oil content than Robusta beans; it generally lies between 10 and 15%. However, this value refers only to the bean, as there is almost no fat left in the actual brew.
According to coffee analysis, it contains a number of antioxidants that help the body protect itself against free radicals. These valuable compounds can help reduce cell damage and inflammation in the body. Chlorogenic acid and polyphenols are two important antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals. These unstable molecules can cause damage in the body and lead to chronic diseases.
In short, coffee is so much more than just caffeine!
How the Method of Preparation Affects the Components of Coffee
When you make a cup of espresso or use your French Press, you've probably noticed that the taste and aroma can differ depending on the method of preparation. But did you know that even the components can change depending on the method of preparation? The pH value and the temperature have an especially big influence on the chemical processes that take place during preparation. For instance, more bitter substances are released during the preparation of espresso than if you make filter coffee. The amount of caffeine can also vary, depending on the method of preparation. So if you wish to pay particular attention to certain substances in coffee, you should learn about the effects of the different methods of preparation beforehand.
Healthy and Unhealthy Coffee Compounds
As mentioned before, there are some toxins in coffee that could affect our body, as well as substances that are beneficial to our health. Healthy substances include antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals in the body and thus protect against cell damage. Taken in moderation, caffeine, which has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, can also have positive effects on cognitive performance. However, coffee also contains unhealthy substances such as acrylamide, which is formed during the roasting process and is suspected of carcinogenic properties. In addition, coffee can cause stomach problems or sleep disturbances in sensitive individuals. It is therefore important to enjoy your favorite brew in moderation and to ensure that the quality is impeccable.
Possible Effects of Coffee Consumption on the Body
There are many myths and assumptions about how the consumption of coffee affects the body. Some people claim that it causes dehydration, while others are sure that it stimulates digestion. But what is actually true? In fact, coffee can have a variety of effects on the body depending on how much you drink. For example, coffee can increase blood pressure and put a strain on the cardiovascular system. At the same time, it can also improve cognitive abilities and brighten your mood. Opinions differ on whether coffee is healthy or not. However, it has been proven that it has many health-promoting properties, although it should be noted that everybody might react differently. So, you should listen to your body and pay close attention to its reactions.
Which Types of Coffee Are Healthier?
Generally speaking, organically grown and fairly traded coffees are the best choice, not only from an ethical perspective but also for our health. In organic farming, the beans are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which means they contain fewer chemical residues. Fair trade coffee is grown and traded according to ethical standards and is vital for the sustainability of coffee farming. For Coffee Annan, sustainable farming comes first, along with quality. Therefore, our coffee is not only fairly traded, but sustainable cultivation in the growing countries keeps the land fertile and secure for the next generations. This benefits our health and the environment.
How Does Organic Farming Affect the Components of Coffee?
Cultivation without the use of pesticides and fertilizers is not only the more sustainable method, it also improves quality and flavor and can potentially lead to higher levels of minerals and antioxidants.
How Many Calories Are in a Cup of Coffee?
A regular cup of filter coffee (236 ml) usually contains only 1-2 calories when drunk without milk, sugar or other additives.
Can I Get Palpitations After Drinking Coffee?
Caffeine has a stimulating effect and can lead to an accelerated heartbeat or palpitations in some people. In this case, it is advisable to choose decaffeinated blends or blends with low caffeine.
The Bottom Line
What can we conclude from this? The components of coffee all have different effects on our body. The effects of our favorite pick-me-up are quite individual and depend on various factors such as age, weight and the general state of our health.
Overall, coffee is a highly complex beverage with many positive and negative effects on our bodies. It is a good idea to pay attention to the quality, origin and processing of the beans, which you are purchasing. In any case, organically grown beans are better for the body and the environment.
As with so many things in life, the rule of the golden mean applies here as well: Enjoy your brew in moderation and listen to your body, as it generally knows what’s best for you.