Java. Joe. Cup of brew. Whatever it is that you call it, around the world many of us simply cannot do without our morning cup of coffee and often subsequent cups throughout the day. While there is sometimes the idea that drinking too much coffee can be unhealthy, there are actually many reasons why coffee is good for you.
No matter what your age might happen to be, many of us are looking for ways to cut back on calories. Drinking coffee is actually an excellent way to do just that. When coffee is served without any additional condiments, such as sugar or creamer, it is completely calorie-free.
For those times when you feel you need an extra little kick start for your day but want to do so naturally, there is simply nothing better than coffee. This is because coffee contains several different compounds that affect body chemistry. The coffee bean contains several chemicals that work as mild psychotropics. In addition, as we all know, coffee also contains caffeine, which works as a natural stimulant. Further research has found that there are also additional effects of coffee that act in a stimulating manner. In fact, coffee has now been found to contain a chemical agent that works to stimulate the production of adrenaline and cortisone; two powerful stimulating hormones.
Trying to get healthy? Coffee might be better for you than you think. Studies have found that moderate coffee drinkers can benefit in these ways:
• Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
• Reduced risk of gallstone disease
• Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
• Improved cognitive performance
• Increased effectiveness of analgesics
• Reduced risk of diabetes mellitus
• Reduced incidence of cirrhosis of the liver
• Reduced risk of oesophageal, oral and pharyngeal cancer
• Helpful in preventing dental caries
• Decreased risk of gout in men over age 40
Step into any coffeehouse and you will find almost an overwhelming selection of different ways in which you can have your coffee prepared and even different varieties. There is truly something for everyone. Need a little jolt to get you going in the morning? Try an Americano-a single shot of espresso with a few ounces of hot water. Looking for something a little more mellow? Why not try a Café au Lait-brewed coffee and steamed milk. Of course, if you’re in the mood for something indulgent, there is nothing better than a cappuccino with equal parts steamed milk, espresso and frothed milk. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon or flaked chocolate for even more indulgence. A huge favorite in certain parts of Latin America and Europe, the Frappe is now gaining ground in other parts of the world as well, especially during the summer. Once a cold espresso, the Frappe is now often prepared with the use of one or two teaspoons of instant coffee along with water, ice and sugar. If you happen to be a true aficionado, the Lungo is definitely a must have.
You will find there are many different varieties of coffee, but there are two main species of coffee beans; Arabica and robusta. Robusta tends to be grown in areas such as India, Brazil, Malaysia and Western and Central Africa. Featuring a high caffeine content, Robusta offers a stronger, more bitter flavor than the milder Arabica. Grown at higher altitudes; Arabica can be found cultivated in areas such as Central and South America, India, Eastern Africa and Papua New Guinea. While Arabica does have a lower caffeine content, it makes up for it with a refined aroma and delicate flavor.
While there are obviously many different ways to have your coffee prepared, there are also plenty of different varieties to choose as well. Around the world, there are more than 50 different countries that grow coffee beans. For lighter coffees with a somewhat tangy quality, Latin American varieties are usually the best. On the other end of the spectrum are Asian coffees, often known for their thicker and fuller-bodied flavors. Out of the Middle East and Eastern Africa you will find several outstanding varieties, many of which contain excellent flavors including citrus fruits, blueberries, spices and cocoa.
While many of us may never think of coffee beyond its taste and ability to give us a quick ‘pick-me-up’, coffee is actually an important economical commodity. Around the world, it is the 2nd most traded commodity. In many parts of the world, especially in Latin America, local economies are dependent upon the coffee trade.
And finally, did you know that coffee may have helped to win the Second World War? It’s true! It’s thought that the Americano was invented by baristas in Europe for American G.I.’s as a way to replicate the drip-style coffee Americans preferred.
James MacGrath runs supplement-deals.co.uk, a price comparison and resource website for sports nutrition products. James takes a keen interest in reading and writing about nutrition, diet, fitness and general health.