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Coffee, the original superfood!

From doctors and medical experts to nutritionists and sports coaches, the health benefits of coffee have been well-documented over the years by medical and healthcare professionals.

Research has highlighted how the high antioxidant content of coffee can improve life expectancy and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Whether you drink it before a workday, after a meal, or as a pre-workout energy boost, coffee has a number of nutritional benefits.

The process of cell oxidation leads to the production of “free radicals”, which are unpaired, reactive atoms or molecules. These can build up in cells and cause irreparable damage. However, antioxidants stop cells from being oxidised, reducing the number of free radicals in the human body. A diet high in antioxidants can reduce the risk of the many diseases associated with free radicals, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. 

Though as with nearly everything, moderation is key, The Journal of the American Heart Association found that moderate coffee drinkers (those who consumed between two and four cups daily) were 20% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

As such, in a number of European countries, such as Finland, Norway, Poland, and Spain, coffee is the single largest dietary source of antioxidants. In these countries, it provides more than 60% of the average consumers’ antioxidant intake.

Health and wellness are by no means a new trend, but research shows that Gen Z consumers do pay more for healthier food and beverage products. This is especially relevant for coffee brands; functional beverages that include ingredients with tangible benefits are becoming increasingly prominent within the specialty coffee sector. One sub-segment that’s gathering speed here is ‘functional coffee’. This umbrella term refers to any time coffee is mixed or prepared with ingredients which offer some kind of functional benefit, including botanicals, vitamins, probiotics, or even components of traditional medicine. 

Coffee is also regarded as a good base because it’s naturally low in sugar and free from other ingredients. The functional beverage industry presents a massive opportunity for cafés. As well as the classic turmeric latte, many different menu items are now emerging to appeal to consumers’ commitment to personal wellness. All things considered, coffee is a popular beverage that researchers have studied extensively for its many health benefits, including its ability to increase energy levels, promote weight management, enhance athletic performance, and protect against chronic disease.

Keep in mind that some people may need to limit their intake, including people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and adolescents, and people with certain health conditions.

Still, drinking coffee in moderation, about three to four cups per day, has been associated with several health benefits and is generally considered safe for most adults.

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