Good coffee while WFH

We are really fond of our coffee in Ireland.  Speciality coffee houses and cafes have hugely increased in Ireland over the last ten years.  And while many are taking a hit now with lockdown, there are some who have pivoted to online sales.  For some suppliers, online sales jumped by 1000s of per cent once lockdown hit.  

It is clear that we have upped our at-home coffee game.  Working from home shouldn’t mean settling for poor coffee – step away from the dried instant granules and get your coffee groove on. And as a useful pick-me-up and one of life’s small pleasures, we thought we would take a look at reasons why you should embrace great coffee at home. 

Health benefits of coffee

Coffee may be vilified for its caffeine content, and it is true that this stimulant is not necessarily helpful in excess or if you are substituting it instead of real nourishing food.  But up to about 3 cups a day, there are some excellent health benefits to consider.  In recent years we have learned a lot about the varying benefits of coffee and the news keeps getting better.  Studies just published this year show more benefits for your heart, liver and more. 

Coffee is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols

Many of coffee’s health benefits may actually be attributed to the antioxidant and polyphenol content. These are helpful plant compounds that support anti-inflammatory pathways in the body. They also support diversity in your microbiome, your helpful army of beneficial bacteria. Some of the below listed health conditions may be associated with your bacterial balance and thus coffee may reduce risk of these diseases via your gut.  

Coffee is good for your liver

Authors of a new 2021 study on liver health say that ‘coffee consumption may be considered an essential preventive measure for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’ although of course we still need further evidence to explore this relationship.  Coffee drinkers had about a 30% lower risk of developing this liver disease and further progression to the more serious state of liver fibrosis.  Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is purported to affect about 30% of Irish adults, according to our Food Crew partners Glenville Nutrition who have themselves published a clinical trial on this condition. 

Coffee may reduce risk of stroke

We’ve heard this before, but recent studies are confirming that coffee may reduce your risk of stroke.  A large analysis published this year in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases confirmed a 21% reduction in risk of stroke with 3 cups of coffee per day. Other studies suggest that coffee might be helpful for heart disease but on the other hand, some of the evidence is conflicting and suggest increases in cholesterol. It is reasonable to approach this with caution, sticking to 2-3 cups of coffee per day and of course evaluate other risk factors when it comes to heart disease. Though coffee may be wondrous in many ways, it is not going to offset unhealthy habits. 

Can coffee help reduce risk of colon cancer?

Colon cancer is the second most common cancer in Ireland and with all the benefits of coffee for your microbiome, you might think this one would be a no-brainer.  However recent studies indicate that yes the polyphenols might help, but the caffeine might be an issue.  2 cups of decaf coffee per day can reduce risk for colon and rectal cancer by 30-40% but this benefit was not seen with caffeinated coffee.  There has been no correlation between coffee consumption though and overall cancer risk so we still give it the green light. 

Enjoy fine coffee

Whether you are buying your own beans or frothing up a barista-style milk alternate, you better brush up on your coffee making skills.  You can still get great tasting coffee at home and benefit from the plant compounds to be found within.  Just until we get back to our friendly local barista!

About the author : Aine Ryan

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