My Eye-Opener, Coffee Please

You roll out of bed bleary-eyed from your night of rest. You head to the bathroom to get a shower, but the only thing on your mind is that first cup of coffee. It’s what wakes you up in the morning; it’s what gives you jitters at night if you drink it all day. It will give you withdrawal headaches, and warm you on a cold night. We like our coffee, this much is true, but what do you really know about this favorite drink?

Coffee plants can be grown in your garden, but more than two thirds of the world’s coffee comes from Arabica coffee beans grown on plantations. Arabia coffee beans originated in Arabia; where they were grown on mountainsides. They are believed to be the first bean used to make coffee. Brazil, Columbia and Indonesia are the top three, in order, coffee bean producers in the world.

Who drinks coffee? It’s been estimated that half of all American over the age of eighteen – over 100 million people – drink coffee daily. On average, they drink two and a half cups of coffee every day. Scandinavian’s drink the most coffee per capita and Fins are believed to drink the most coffee per person a day, about four cups.

Is all this coffee good for us? Well, medical researchers associate positive health benefits to moderate coffee consumption, including improved mood and the prevention of gallstone and kidney stone formation. Coffee also contains a substance called cafestol. Cafestol is a potent stimulator of LDL, low density lipoprotein; however, if you brew your coffee with a paper filter most of the cafestol gets left behind in the filter. So if you have high cholesterol levels or who want to prevent having high cholesterol levels, it’s much better to use paper filters to brew your coffee.

Coffee seems to be beneficial for exercise performance, too. But if you drink decaffeinated coffee, it does not enhance exercise performance as well. Coffee also causes an increase in blood pressure, but the increase is substantially weaker than what one would expect for the amount of caffeine it contains.

Want a simple and inexpensive way to keep drinks delicious and healthy? You guessed it – coffee. You can experiment with natural spices at home and see what combination makes the best cup of coffee for you. Nutmeg, cinnamon and fennel are great coffee additives.

Coffee is one of the two most consumed beverages in the world; tea is the other. Coffee also contains polyphenols (antioxidants) with potential health-promoting effects. Coffee drinkers generally experience two major absorption peaks – one early after consumption and another several hours later. Hence the boost you get from drinking coffee.

As a disease fighter, coffee is known to have other surprising properties, too. A study completed in Lisbon showed that drinking coffee can help prevent the neural degeneration associated with brain disorders and aging, concluding that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day over a long period of time actually prevented the deterioration of memory.

That concoction of water and ground bean you drink may also protect you against cardiovascular disease, as coffee is a major source of dietary antioxidants that may 84 coffee inhibit inflammation and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases in postmenopausal women. Coffee also tops the list of foods that are densest in antioxidants, surpassing blueberries, broccoli, and most other produce. Only chocolate, dried fruits, and dried beans rank higher.

Flavored coffee has become extremely popular. Flavors such as hazelnut, almond, caramel, and even chocolate coffee have driven sales to new heights. Likewise, flavored non-dairy creamers add zest to the “regular” coffee served at convenience stores everywhere.

Coffee, including instant coffee, amounted to a $47 billion dollar ticket in 2009 in the retail and food-services sectors – that’s a lot of coffee, folks. So, open those eyes and grab yourself a cup of coffee.

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