The Coffee Bean

Coffee has many more benefits than the notable morning wakeup call with its bold taste and aroma. Roasted coffee beans brewed and enjoyed as drip coffee – in its natural state – is great. But, unfortunately, after adding excessive amounts of cream and sugar to your morning “cup of joe,” it does not tout itself as one of the healthiest choices. However, do not count coffee out; it actually offers so many benefits that are often overlooked. In this blog post, we will highlight a few of the many great traits found in the coffee bean.

Where does coffee come from?

In order to appreciate coffee, we have to explore its roots. The origin of coffee is the Kingdom of Kaffa in the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau.

Green coffee beans are unroasted seeds from coffee plant shrubs that grow to be more than five feet tall. In their most unprocessed form, coffee beans are a cherry-like fruit that change to a bright red color when ripe. If left unharvested, coffee “cherries” bloom into flowering white blossoms with a beautiful, fragrant smell.

Interestingly, around 60 percent of Americans drink coffee daily, which makes it a valuable, trading commodity in the United States. The word “coffee” has roots in Yemen, where it became known as “qahwah,” and later became the Turkish “kahveh;” as time progressed, “koffie” in Dutch, and finally, “coffee” in English. Even Thomas Jefferson had an appreciation for coffee, especially after the Boston Tea Party:

“Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world.” – Thomas Jefferson

What is the difference between roasted coffee bean and green coffee bean extract?

Green coffee beans are seeds that grow on the coffee plant inside its berries. Similar to some vegetables in their cooked form, when green coffee beans are roasted, they lose their antioxidant properties and are not an effective weight management tool. Although they may lose some of their health benefits, roasted coffee beans preserve their aroma and stimulant properties.

What are the key benefits of green coffee bean extract?

Green coffee beans have a higher content of chlorogenic acid. I know sometimes the word acid can sound scary, but in this case, chlorogenic acid is actually very beneficial. Chlorogenic acid is a combination of small polyphenolic molecules that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that usually come from the fruits and vegetables you eat. Antioxidants are effective at neutralizing and even preventing the oxidation of molecules in the body.

If antioxidants were not present to counteract the effects of the oxidation of molecules also referred to as free radicals or reactive oxygen species, the body could develop a wide range of illnesses and chronic disease. Chlorogenic acid has also been associated with a reduction in calorie intake over time. In a small research study, green coffee bean extract helped reduce weight in pre-obese adults. It’s benefits in the weight management world are still being uncovered.

Tips

  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise to see the best results from supplementing with green coffee extract.
  • Monitor your caffeine intake. Four cups of brewed coffee contains about 400 milligrams of caffeine, which appears to be a safe maximum daily intake for most healthy adults looking for energy.
  • Always stay hydrated.
  • Remember that green coffee bean extract has chlorogenic acid while roasted coffee beans do not.

References:

Flanagan J, Bily A, Rolland Y, Roller M. Lipolytic activity of Svetol, a decaffeinated green coffee bean extract. Phytother Res. 2014; 6:946-8.

Vinson J, Burnham B, Nagendran M. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7.