Elixir of Life: Coffee

On a day such as today you may find yourself enjoying a large mug of coffee. In this post we look at the 21st century elixir of life: Coffee.

Origins & Current Production

The exact origin of coffee is unknown but one of the oldest stories is the legend of Kaldi. Kaldi, a goat herder, found his goats eating berries from a bush. Later that night the goats overflowing with energy, had trouble sleeping. Kaldi tried the beans himself and was overcome with energy. Those magical beans were eventually roasted and brewed into what we consider coffee today.

coffee bean stages.jpg

Those original beans that Kaldi found came in the form of the cherries seen above. Coffee cherries are dried and roasted to create aromatic ready-to-brew beans. Coffee beans are produced on nearly every continent; the top coffee exporters are Brazil, Vietnam, and Columbia (in order by volume).

Gift of Health

The consensus views toward coffee seem to change with every new study, some days coffee is the elixir of life, on others it's burnt water. Coffee has been linked with many health benefits. Coffee contains chlorogenic acids and caffeic acid, both of which help detoxify the body. While chlorogenic and caffeic acid are linked to reduced blood pressure, resiliency toward cancer, and helping some respiratory allergies, the main benefit of coffee lies in the liver.

For those of you who skipped out of anatomy class, the liver is one our major organs. Most of us know that the liver synthesizes drugs and processes alcohol, but it does much more. The liver plays 3 crucial roles: cleans our blood, aids in digestions, and processes nutrients.

Coffee keeps out liver flushed out and operating in good form. This liquid gold reduces scarring in the liver from alcohol consumption and obesity. The caffeine boosts our metabolisms and regulate our blood especially helping those with type 2 diabetes manage their insulin. Caffeine from other sources do not purport the same results. 

Studies look at the effects of black coffee, not your 2/3 caff triple ristretto affogato venti, 2 pump mango 1 pump classic, 2%, mango to the second line, 3 scoops protein, 3 scoops berries, 2 scoop matcha, add banana, double blended, with whip, caramel drizzle, salted caramel topping, vanilla bean frappuccino. Adding milk and sugar to your coffee changes the profile of your elixir of life to a solution of liquid calories. Black coffee has 1-2 calories per cup as you start to get fancy with your Starbucks order you will see the calories increase quickly. That treat yourself moment where you order a caramel frappuccino, you could have had two bananas and an apple (shameless fruit advertisement).   

 The calories add up quickly as you move away from black coffee. 

The calories add up quickly as you move away from black coffee. 

Final Thoughts

As with anything, discretion and mindfulness reigns supreme when it comes to your coffee consumption. Juan Ponce De Leon may not have found the Fountain of Youth in Florida, but he might find a new elixir of life today. So to recap:

- Coffee helps your liver 

- Your liver helps you

- The closer to black coffee the better

- Be kind to your local barista

 

 

Continued Reading

https://www.thespruce.com/the-origin-of-coffee-765180

http://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/10-Steps-from-Seed-to-Cup

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-coffee-producing-countries.html

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coffee-reveals-itself-unlikely-elixir

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorogenic_acid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeic_acid