More than a drink... Happy Coffee Month!
Coffee represents more than a delicious morning beverage. For many, it represents community, livelihoods, passion, friendships and tradition. Coffee has been a staple in different homes for generations, but how did it all start?
International Coffee Day, celebrated October 1, aims to bring coffee lovers together, "in a global celebration to share their love of coffee and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on it," the International Coffee Day website said.
Every day, in the world, approximately 3 billion cups of coffee are consumed. And it is the second most consumed drink after water. And it is obtained from the roasted and ground grains of the fruits of the coffee plant (coffee tree).
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The average American drinks two to three cups of coffee every day. Why? For most of us, it’s the caffeine—the most popular psychoactive drug in the world. The caffeine in coffee is what wakes us from morning grogginess, brightens our work breaks, chases away late-afternoon energy slumps, and keeps us up at night.
This year, the International Coffee Organization is aiming to highlight "the plight of coffee farmers, the threat they are facing to their livelihoods and the need to take collective action."
As the representatives of the local coffee proposals explain, although consumption increased and became highly specialized in the home environment, it had a fierce counterpart of closed coffee shops or with minimal turnover due to the global context.
When thinking about these changes in behavior, for Romina Fontana, Nespresso marketing manager, the most noticeable change in this context occurred with online shopping. "Even our consumers, who always chose to come to our boutiques to live the experience we provide at Nespresso , their adherence to the online format adapted very quickly." In addition, he explains that in this context there is a marked trend of more gourmet consumer behavior. "The increase in technological kitchen accessories grew steadily, and this is because what they used to consume outside they want to continue enjoying, and they do it at home," says Fontana, who understands that home consumption was a positive surprise when coffee consumption was overturned of specialty in the houses.
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We may love coffee for the way caffeine makes us feel, but the rich aroma and delicious flavor actually comes from the many other phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) coffee contains. Caffeine itself is tasteless and odorless—and most of the health benefits of coffee apply to decaf as well.
Among the advantages of consuming a couple of cups or more of coffee daily are a lower risk of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, cognitive impairment, and heart disease. There’s also some good evidence that coffee has a beneficial effect on your gut microbiome.
The value of coffee is so clear that the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that moderate consumption (three to five 8-ounce cups a day, or up to 400 mg of caffeine a day) can be incorporated into a healthy eating style. Beware elaborate coffee-based drinks, however. A cup of brewed black coffee has only about 3 calories, but at Starbucks, a 16-ounce caramel macchiato with soy milk contains 34 grams of sugar and runs to 320 calories.
Antioxidants from a Coffee Mug
The caffeine, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in a cup of coffee all contribute to your health, but perhaps the most important contribution comes from the many different organic compounds found in coffee. Many function as antioxidants in your system, quenching the damaging free radicals your body constantly produces as part of its normal metabolism. Free radicals are a major cause of inflammation—and inflammation is the underlying cause of many chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cognitive impairment, and other issues. In fact, according to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, “Coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of total mortality (3–4% lower mortality with 1 cup/day), especially cardiovascular mortality.” That puts coffee way ahead of other superfoods with high antioxidant content, like blueberries and kale.
Brain Benefits of Coffee
In 2015, researchers from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study looked at the relationship between caffeine intake from coffee and the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia in women aged 65 and older. They found that the women who consumed the most caffeinated coffee (the equivalent of more than two cups a day) were about 25 percent less likely to develop dementia or cognitive impairment compared to the women who consumed the least (less than a cup a day). Clearly, a couple of cups of coffee every day helps protect older women against memory issues and other problems that age can bring.
Microbiome Benefits of Coffee
Having a diverse range of bacteria is key to a healthy gut microbiome—the vast community of bacteria and other microorganisms found mostly in your colon. You need a healthy microbiome for normal digestion and a strong immune system, but it influences almost every other aspect of your health as well. In general, coffee drinkers seem to have more diversity in their gut bacteria compared to non-coffee drinkers—and the more coffee you drink, the more diverse your microbiome. A 2019 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that heavy coffee drinkers have higher levels of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria and lower levels of potentially harmful bacteria. An interesting aspect of the study is that the heavy coffee drinkers had healthier gut microbiomes regardless of how healthy their diet was in general.
Check out all our Coffee Mug's Collections and let's all celebrate this month with a cup of hot coffee.