A steaming hot cup of coffee is essential when it comes to super charging our bodies to take on the challenges of a new day. This explains why so many people pace through the streets with a cup of Starbucks glued to their lips, but did you know that an extract from coffee may have even wider reaching benefits?
|Coffee Beans Before Roasting||Roasted Coffee Beans|
Now, we’re all aware that coffee beans are brown, right? That’s what we see in the stores and on all the adverts, but that’s not their natural colour.
Coffee beans are naturally green and it’s the roasting process that turns them brown.
Everyone always wants to know the latest weight loss tips, so we’re going to explain exactly what’s behind the buzz causing people to fight in the supplements aisle!
The Amazing History of Green Coffee Beans
Dr Oz, of course, wasn’t the sole discoverer of the magic of green coffee beans. People have been using them for thousands of years.
Today we primarily associate coffee beans with that delicious drink we can’t do without, but go back a few thousand years and things were very different.
East African tribes had no interest in making a big mug of mocha with their precious coffee beans.
Instead, the tribes used them as a food source.
Despite only having primitive medical knowledge, the tribes had noticed the health benefits of green coffee beans.
By grinding the coffee beans together, the tribesmen were able to produce a fine powder which was then mixed into an easily digestible paste with animal fat.
Doesn’t sound tasty, but it’s a lot more natural than some of the junk available today!
The next evidence of green coffee beans being implemented into human diets comes from around 1000 AD.
Ethiopians hadn’t quite cottoned on to using a percolator yet, but they were determined to make something drinkable.
By fermenting dried coffee beans in water, the Ethiopians were able to produce a type of wine. It may not have been a nice Cabernet Sauvignon, but they glugged it down all the same!
Europe’s introduction to green coffee beans came as their explorers began to travel farther and farther around the globe.
The first recorded shipment of green coffee beans into Europe is down as taking place in Venice in 1615.
It’s not surprise that Venice opened the first coffee house and the coffee culture, which is now bigger than ever, began to thrive.
It was here that the potential of green coffee beans began to be forgotten as the Western world fell under the spell of roasted coffee.
What Exactly Are Green Coffee Beans?
The coffee tree – known by botanists as coffea – is a flowering tree which is most at home near to the equator and is a common sight in the tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
Covering the tree are numerous berries which are a tasty snack for wildlife, but even more desirable for humans.
You see, within these berries are seeds and it’s these seeds which are better known as coffee beans.
The desirability of these beans comes from the fact that they’re pumped full of antioxidants which prevent the production of pesky free radicals which can damage living organisms.
Two of the most chemically active antioxidants found within coffee beans are the well-known stimulant caffeine and the lesser known chlorogenic acid.
Time for a quick science lesson!
Chlorogenic acid is classed as a ‘phenol’ which is a group of compounds known for having a strong influence on cell metabolism which determines how energy is used by cells.
The reason that most people haven’t heard of chlorogenic acid is because the majority of it is destroyed when coffee beans are roasted to improve their taste.
You don’t want to try a cup of pure green bean coffee, it’s very bitter!
Are You Saying That I Need to Snack on Raw Coffee Beans?!
To experience all the green coffee bean benefits you would need to sit and eat a lot of raw coffee beans.
And raw coffee beans have a terrible tendency to get stuck in your teeth!
What happens is that the beans are soaked in water and then concentrated to produce the magical extract that ends up in capsule form.
Top 6 Health Benefits Of Green Coffee Beans.
We know what green coffee beans are now, but how can they help us?
There’s been a growing interest, in the last few years, in the power of green coffee beans, so many studies have been carried out.
Let’s take a look at the reported green coffee benefits:
- Helps to Promote Weight Loss
The most well reported benefit, and the one that’s grabbed the most headlines, concerns the potential benefit of green coffee bean extract in weight loss.
Dr Joe Vinson, of the University of Scranton, performed an experiment in 2011 where participants were instructed to keep their diet and exercise habits the same, but some of them were given green coffee bean extract in a double-blind and placebo-controlled setting.
These conditions eliminated any bias on the part of the experimenters as they would not know who was receiving the placebo and who was receiving the green coffee bean extract.
The results of the study suggested that consumption of green coffee bean extract led to reductions in body weight, BMI and body fat.
- Reduce Blood Pressure Levels and Protect the Heart
A study by R. Revuelta and EA Al-Dujaili in 2014 demonstrated that green coffee bean extract reduced blood pressure in patients and also strengthened arterial elasticity to ensure blood pumped effectively.
This is crucial for enhancing cardiovascular health and offers a natural alternative to current antihypertensives.
- Manages Blood Sugar Levels and Aids Diabetes
Chlorogenic acid has been shown to have a powerful effect when it comes to managing blood sugar levels. Ensuring that blood sugar levels don’t spike in diabetics is important due to the health risks of hyperglycaemia.
Dr Joe Vinson performed a study in 2012 which found green coffee bean extract lowered the blood sugar levels of every participant taking part.
This paints a bright future of novel treatments for managing diabetes.
- Protects Against Neurodegenerative Disease
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s cause huge distress to individuals and families as well as the healthcare industry who struggle to treat it.
Green coffee bean extract, though, may be able to help in this arena.
Chlorogenic acid was shown to protect the neural pathways from inflammatory effects known to damage neurons and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.
- Help to Ensure That Liver Function Is Optimised
The function of the liver in providing us with a healthy body and quality of life cannot be underestimated.
The liver acts as a filter for our precious blood and works to detoxify nasty chemicals which could cause severe damage to other parts of the body.
A damaged liver, therefore, is not something to relish, but unfortunately disease and alcohol abuse promote damage.
This is where green coffee bean extract is able to stake a claim to remedying the issue.
It may well be time for you liver to undergo a green coffee cleanse!
- Don’t Forget About Caffeine!
We can’t, of course, forget about our old friend caffeine!
Caffeine is present in green coffee bean extract and provides a huge number of health benefits.
The most well-known of these benefits is increased energy and an ability to enhance concentration levels by improving focus.
Is Green Coffee Bean Extract a Wonder Drug?
You may be thinking that green coffee bean extract is the answer to all your problems, but just hold on a minute!
Sure, we’ve shown that numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of green coffee bean extract, but this doesn’t make it fact.
You always have to be wary of funding bias when looking at the legitimacy of a study. It’s possible for the funding to influence the result.
As with all supplements, green coffee bean extract won’t be right for everyone.
The following groups will not be able to take it:
Those Who Are Allergic to Caffeine
Although rare many people are allergic to caffeine, so taking green coffee bean extract could have disastrous consequences.
- Pregnant Women
There is no definable risk for pregnant or breastfeeding women when it comes to taking green coffee bean extract. However, most manufacturers of the supplement put a disclaimer on their packaging to advise against taking it. This is due to the lack of research into how it could damage a baby.
- Those Already on Medication
Again, the lack of research into green coffee bean extract means that interactions with other drugs are unknown territory. It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any supplements as they will be able to advise best.
However, as long you aren’t in one of these at risk groups, we see no harm in supplementing your diet with green coffee bean extract. It should make an excellent part of your approach to a healthy food, for helping with the weight and for overall health.