Nutrition Notes: Enjoy your coffee

Nutritionist Eve Kalinik on the nutritional benefits of our daily coffee hit


Nutrition Notes: Enjoy your coffee

Coffee’s seductive power has become an enticing ritual for a lot of us, but beyond its taste, there are numerous nutritional benefits to be absorbed from this beautiful bean.

There are many studies to prove the health benefits of coffee in its pure state. A fast-growing nutritional trend is bulletproof coffee, a blend of high-quality coffee, butter from grass-fed cows and a medium chain triglyceride oil, reported to help with enhanced performance and weight loss. Or there’s cold-pressed coffee, extracted over a longer period to reduce the acidity of the bean.

The caffeine high

Research has linked coffee consumption to preventing neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia. It’s also been associated with protecting against Type 2 diabetes, and liver and heart diseases. And it’s an excellent diuretic and has antioxidant benefits. Plus, as it blocks the inhibitory brain chemical adenosine, your other neurotransmitters’ abilities are enhanced, so it sharpens your thinking. But this doesn’t advocate five cups a day. Genetics can dictate how we tolerate caffeine, so one cup can bring on the jitters for some, while others barely buzz after several. One cup in the morning is best to stick to though, just make it black (or use nut milk), organic and sugar-free.

The coffee caveat

Coffee may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety disorder, and it’s best to avoid if you’re trying to get pregnant. Avoid decaf unless you know it’s been processed via a Swiss water or CO2 process, as some washing treatments can leave behind sinister chemicals. If you’re craving coffee but need to avoid it, ground chicory is a good alternative.

Drink responsibly

Always make sure your cup’s organic/farming practices are transparent, sustainable, Fairtrade and fresh (as coffee can be one of the most pesticide- and mould-ridden foods), and ensures the welfare of farmers, too.

Try these:

  • CRU Kafe – pods that are organic and fit into a Nespresso-style machine, using high-altitude coffee for a unique flavour. Try the limited-edition Galapagos variety. 
  • Purearth cold-pressed coffee – the brand’s medium-blend coffee is organic Fairtrade and contains only pure almond milk, with no sweeteners. For flavours, choose from Mochaccino, Latte or Americano.
  • Monmouth – known for its supreme-quality coffee, it sells only single-estate beans rather than blends, and works with producers to ensure that Monmouth coffee is sustainable and Fairtrade.
  • Four Sigma mushroom coffee–combining coffee with medicinal mushrooms to help manage the spiking effect. The Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps flavours come in handy sachets, perfect for on-the-go.

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Photograph: iStock

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