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Drinking Coffee May Be Healthier Than You Think!

 

Contributed by Josefina T. Gonzales, RUMD

 

According to American scientists, coffee probably contributes more healthy antioxidants to your diet than fruit and vegetables. Scientists measured the antioxidant content of more than 100 different foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and beverages. Based on the findings and from the data of the US Department of Agriculture, coffee was the biggest source of antioxidants per serving and level of consumption. It was followed by black tea, banana, dry beans and corn. According to Professor Joe Vinson, head researcher from Scranton University in Pennsylvania, Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appeared to provide similar antioxidant levels. Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). They are linked to a number of health benefits, including protection against heart diseases and cancer. Studies have associated coffee drinking with a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. But watch out for coffee’s hidden calories. You might be getting a mug full of calories, sugar and fat, depending on the kind of milk and other ingredients used. For example, a large latte’ may be loaded with 250 to 570 calories, says a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Source. But there’s no need to get frothy over this information, you can still enjoy your coffee as long as you follow these healthy tips:

– Choose the smallest cup-either 8 ounces (oz). or 12 ounces (oz.) that can save you 110 calories- Get your coffee drink     with fat free milk instead of whole milk that can save you about 8 calories and 8 grams of fat. Lessen your sugar

– One cup of coffee with 2 teaspoon of sugar has 30 calories;

– Do without the whipped cream, flavored syrup or chocolates. They are loaded with calories.

Prof. Vinson urged moderation and advised people to drink only one or two cups of coffee per day. The British Coffee Association says that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups a day is not only perfectly safe but may confer health benefits. Prof. Vinson says that it is also important not to ignore the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain higher amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber.For a healthy lifestyle and enjoyable long life, follow the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) developed by FNRI-DOST and a team of medical, health and nutrition organizations. NGF message no.1 says Eat a variety of foods everyday! While NGF message no.2 advocates exercise regularly, avoid smoking and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.

COFFEEE VARIETIES

A. Arabica

Characterized by waxy leaf margin, light green leaf color, thin leaves, pulp and parchment, and known as “Kapeng Tagalog”. It could be grown productively in cooler places. Arabica thrived in Batangas before it was wiped out by coffee rust at the turn of the 19th century. Arabica beans are considered the coffee of the world market because of their superior flavor and aroma.

B. Robusta

Characterized by large umbrella shaped growth with thinner leaves which have more waxy margins and known by its local name as “Kapeng Robusta”.The berries are borne on heavy cluster with the pulp and parchment. Robusta is harder and yields more than the Arabica but has the poorest flavor and aroma among the four varieties. This belongs to species Coffea robusta and Coffee canephora. A more popular variety among growers, it is widely cultivated in the highlands of Cavite.

C. Excelsa

Have wide leaves with smooth edge that are thicker than Robusta but thinner, smoother and more rounded than Liberica. Belongs to the species of Coffea excelsa and locally known as “Kapeng Excelsa”. The pulps and parchment of Excelsa is thicker than the Arabica and Robusta but thinner than Liberica. This variety is more tolerant to drought, nematodes and rust than other varieties. Excelsa has better flavor and aroma than Robusta and Liberica.

D. Liberica

It is locally known as “Kapeng Barako” or “Kapeng Amerikano” because it produces the biggest berry. This variety belongs to the species of Coffea Liberica. It is rounded and borne singly or in a small clusters, has thicker leaves than Excelsa and twice as long as Arabica. The pulp is thick and the parchment is woody. Liberica also characterized a very strong pharmocopial taste and flavor. It is tolerant to drought, quite resistant to nematodes and grows in a wider type of soil.