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Coffee Offers Plenty of Health Benefits

Posted Apr 02 2010 9:04am

CoffeeWho said coffee isn’t healthy? In a recent study, Harvard researchers concluded that coffee offers several health benefits and may reduce disease risk: “the overall balance of risks and benefits of coffee consumption are on the side of benefits”.

Some people may find it surprising but the famous beverage has been historically associated to health benefits, including lowering risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and colon cancer. Coffee’s negative health effects are often blamed on its high caffeine content but caffeine has also been associated with its ability to act as an antidepressant. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants in coffee has been shown to prevent free radicals from causing cell damage.

Coffee is a natural beverage and brewed from roasted seeds (commonly called coffee beans) of the coffee plant. Coffee berries are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. Once ripe, the berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, and they are then ground and brewed to create coffee.

Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. However, the quality of coffee and method of preparation are essential to determine whether coffee consumption is beneficial or harmful. Coffee prepared using paper filters removes dangerous oily components called diterpenes, present in unfiltered coffee brewing.

In addition, pure coffee, popular known as “black coffee”, is the healthiest way to enjoy a cup of coffee. Most people add sugar, cream or milk to coffee, creating a better tasting beverage but reducing the benefits. As always, moderation is a good advice. Don’t add too much sugar or too much cream and your coffee is still “healthy”.

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