Coffee, a grain whose extract we consume in delicious hot or cold drinks, comes from a bush called the coffee tree . The origin of this plant is in the territory of present-day Ethiopia, although it is also believed that it may arise in the Arabian peninsula, in recent Yemen.The dimensions of the coffee tree vary between 3 and 4 meters in height, although it reaches up to ten meters. Reddish fruits or berries are extracted from the coffee tree. Its pulp is sweet and with a peculiar smell. The seeds are extracted from the fruit, known to us as coffee .Coffee contains in its chemical composition a variety of fifteen hundred substances , which participate in many processes within the body.

What is coffee for?

Coffee, as the seed of the coffee tree fruit, generally receives a drying and roasting treatment to be used in the preparation of infusions . In this modality, served in a cup and known to all, coffee is used to:

  • Integrate into the diet
  • Provide caffeine to the body
  • As an antioxidant
  • Bring a large amount of nutrients to the body

Integrate into the diet

The main function of coffee is food. It can be added to a multitude of products , such as drinks, ice cream, sweets and even some stews.

In the form of a drink , it is used as a complement to sweet foods, such as desserts. For example, when events such as congresses and conferences are held on a full scale, there is an in-between moment called a “ coffee break ”, which is a break in which a dessert and drinks are offered to the attendees. It is customary for the drink to be coffee, and for the dessert to be cake, muffins or cookies.

Provide caffeine to the body

Coffee beans emerge from the fruit of the coffee tree.

The coffee bean contains a valuable substance called caffeine , which is an organic compound listed as an alkaloid . There are two kinds of coffee beans, according to their caffeine content. These are Arabica , which has a moderate amount, and Robusta , which has a high concentration of the alkaloid.

Caffeine is responsible for multiple functions, which regulate and drive important processes in the human body:

  • It stimulates the nervous system , managing to increase neural interactions so that thinking is more fluid and creative.
  • It improves alertness , giving the mind the ability to react better to problem situations, and to deliver a faster solution. Disintegrates the state of drowsiness, which hinders the action.
  • Reduces fatigue , both physical and mental, making it easier for the consumer to carry out their tasks without hesitation due to fatigue.
  • It helps to have an elevated state of mind , favoring the concentration of neurotransmitters, substances in charge of keeping us happy and energetic.
  • It favors short-term memory , which is why it is able to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

It is for its benefits on the nervous system that caffeine is also added to specific medications, against headaches , to improve brain activity while you recover.

Caffeine received its name from its origin from the coffee bean, but it is also contained in other plant species such as tea, cocoa, mate and kola nut.

As an antioxidant

Coffee contains substances such as phenolic acids, chlorogenic acid and melanoidins, which help in the elimination of free radicals , substances that deteriorate the complete and stable composition of cells and tissues. Any chemical compound that supports this type of protection is called an antioxidant .

It is thanks to antioxidants that conditions such as aging and cancer are prevented, achieving healthy longevity.

Bring nutrients to the body

Coffee is part of a very widespread drink in the world.

Coffee contains nutrients that include vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamins A (Retinol), B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 ​​(Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (Cyanocobalamin), C ( ascorbic acid), D (calciferol), E (tocopherol), K.
  • Alpha-Carotene, Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene, Beta-Cryptoxanthin, Beta-Tocopherol, Delta-Tocopherol, Folates.
  • Sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium.

Side effects of consuming coffee

It is recommended to consume coffee in small amounts, less than three cups a day , because excess can cause harmful effects. Caffeine is the substance responsible for most of these consequences, which can be listed as:

    • Insomnia
    • Nervousness
    • Excitement
    • Headache
    • Gastritis due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa
    • Tachycardia due to overstimulation of the heart
    • Increased frequency in urination, since it is diuretic and urine is generated in more quantity
    • Dehydration, if fluids lost through urine are not replaced
    • Vasoconstricción
    • Elevated blood pressure

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Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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