For those people who truly love coffee, the idea that it could actually be good for you is welcome news. Among its many health benefits include reduced risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes type II, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout.
There are several different species on the market. The most common, coffea canephora, commonly referred to as “robusta,” is the form we most often see in common brands available at local supermarkets. This type of coffee is often high in caffeine and fairly inexpensive to produce. A more prized form is coffea arabica. Originally found in the highlands of Ethiopia and Sudan, this species is found in more expensive gourmet roasts and espresso drinks. Arabica beans are lower in caffeine, more flavorful, and more expensive.
Coffee has been touted as a healthful beverage because of its’ rich array of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect our cells from aging.
A Rich Source of Antioxidants
Coffee has more antioxidants per cup than just about any other drink available. And studies have shown that people who consume a moderate amount each day — about three to five cups — have improved health. Studies suggest that coffee may lower our risk of multiple types of diseases such as dementia, prostate cancer, and may even help alleviate mild depression. And can act as a beneficial “pick me up” when we are having trouble starting our day.
Because we are very serious about coffee in our house, we only buy arabica beans. And while unfiltered coffee contains ingredients called diterpenes, which can raise cholesterol. We use a French press and never use a paper filter. Why? Because in addition to removing diterpenes, paper filters also remove beneficial antioxidants thought to have numerous health benefits.
We have tasted and enjoyed many coffees in our home. And while we don’t always agree on the variety, we all agree that Stumptown wins the award as the best tasting coffee on the market.
I first found out about this coffee company when I was living in Portland Oregon, and still attending medical school. I liked the quality of the coffee, and the care with which the company purchased and prepared the beans. And I also love how much diligence the company has taken in insuring the highest standards and quality. This is a company with an excellent human rights record; purchasing only from estates who treat their employees well.
Some Health Risk to Consider
The greatest health risk associated with drinking coffee appears to be acid reflux. Switching to a variety that is naturally low in acidity may help reduce the risk of developing acid reflux. Beans grown in the South Pacific and Asia, such as Sumatran and Hawaiian varietals, are naturally lower in acid. And may be a better choice for someone wishing to drink a coffee lower in acid.
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