Espresso is a Flavorful Source of Powerful Antioxidants
Coffee, in particular espresso, is often maligned as being fairly unhealthy for those who choose this beverage as their source of caffeine. However, it has now been discovered that coffee beans contain a plethora of antioxidants and can protect a regular java drinker from a myriad of diseases including many forms of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases. While moderation is the key to healthy consumption, we no longer need to feel guilty for enjoying a delicious cup of espresso for a lift in the morning or a pick-me-up after a long meal.
First, there has long been the assumption that because espresso is often served in smaller sizes than regular drip coffee that it contains more caffeine due to its stronger taste. This belief, however, is false. Despite its robust flavor, a serving of espresso contains no more caffeine than a regular cup of Joe. A common misconception says that the stronger the roast of a bean, the higher the caffeine content of the brew. Despite this common belief, science shows that the longer the bean is roasted, the more reduction we see in the caffeine content of the coffee the beans produce. Because of this, espresso will not cause the jittery side effects of too much caffeine so many people often associate with strong flavor of espresso drinks.
In and of itself, moderate consumption of caffeine has been shown to slow or completely prevent the symptoms of those predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease. While research is still in its infancy in regard to this exciting link, the statistical findings in regard to coffee beans’ apparent ability to prevent people from developing this debilitating disease are worth noting, particularly to those worried about their consumption of espresso.
Some Nutritional Information about Coffee
Beyond merely caffeine though, this drink also provides a host of potent organic compounds that prevent diseases and promote health. Antioxidants, particularly those of the polyphenol variety, and magnesium that supports healthy muscles and bones, are both abundant in this beverage. While many are familiar with magnesium, polyphenols – often associated with red wine and teas – seem to be a bit more mysterious group of vital compounds.
Polyphenols are a niche group of antioxidants that attach to free radicals produced by our bodies’ natural process of oxidation. While oxidation is a natural and necessary chemical process, free radicals must be eradicated or our tissues will be damaged. Antioxidants serve as the final line of defense between these free radicals and the damage they can potentially inflict. Particularly, damage caused by free radicals cause disease and aging, and antioxidants serve as powerful preventive compounds to these health concerns.
In particular, one of the most important polyphenols found in espresso is quinic acid, a compound also found in the cinchona tree from which we derive quinine, the key ingredient in tonic water and many antimalarial drugs. Quinic acid has been highlighted in a number of studies that show it is antimicrobial and antiparasitic. Further, a study out of Sweden concluded that quinic acid is a precursor to tryptophan and other neurotransmitters, and is used by the body to repair damaged DNA in the digestive tract. We are all now aware that cancer is caused by damaged DNA, which prevents cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) and that prevention of this kind of microscopic damage is the key in fighting cancer. Thus, the quinic acid found in a shot of espresso has shown significant statistical proof that it effectively prevents colon cancer in those that drink a coffee product every day.
Much like quinic acid, cinnamic acid is another polyphenol found in coffee. Also found in cinnamon, cinnamic acid is not only tasty and aromatic, but it, too, is used especially in the gut and has been found to have antimicrobial action. Additionally, cinnamic acid is implied in the prevention of prostate and lung cancers. Amazingly, this antioxidant also appears to regulate insulin production, thereby preventing hypoglycemia and diabetes in adults. Along these lines, many studies have shown that moderate consumption of coffee-derived beverages, including espresso, seems to prevent diabetes and obesity, even beyond the appetite suppressing effects of caffeine.
The third important antioxidant found in espresso is trigonelline, an organic compound that has been proven to prevent cavities due its antibacterial properties. In addition to this already astounding and appreciated benefit, trigonelline has been shown to improve memory and to prevent blood-sugar related diseases such as diabetes. And for those who suffer from migraines, you might be interested to know that not only does the naturally occurring caffeine found in espresso prevent these terrible headaches, but trigonelline too has been implied in the prevention of this insufferable ailment.
Thus, we can see that espresso should no longer be viewed as a harmful beverage. Rather, it is a delicious way to consume a bounty of naturally occurring antioxidants that fight chronic ailments. Whenever you need a boost, feel free to have a healthy coffee, especially an espresso, knowing that its many antioxidants boost vitality, prevent aging and prevent numerous diseases.