Filter coffee, French press or as an espresso: many don’t even get up in the morning without a coffee. Studies still disagree about the health benefits and drawbacks of coffee. But there are interesting findings about which preparation is healthiest.
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With milk, condensed milk, even cream or completely black- with white sugar or brown, with sweetener or pure?
The way you drink coffee can be a decisive factor in its health benefits.
A team of researchers led by nutrition expert Walter C. Willet, a Harvard School of Medicine physician and epidemiologist and chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, has now found in a study that the preparation method has just as much influence on how healthy coffee is.
- Reading tip: Five common misconceptions: which mistakes you should avoid when making coffee
Drinking coffee every day: healthy or unhealthy?
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For a long time coffee, consumed daily and in large quantities, had a bad reputation.
It favors cardiovascular diseases, promotes high blood pressure and also has an over-acidifying effect, it was said.
Willet and his colleagues have now been able to reveal in their study that the right type of coffee – on the contrary – is beneficial to health. According to the study, daily coffee consumption can even prolong life.
Study conclusion: This is how you should prepare coffee
Not the gently prepared espresso, not the coffee with the connoisseur’s crema from a portafilter machine, but plain filter coffee is the healthiest, according to researchers.
In addition to finding that coffee can help with weight loss because it curbs appetite and boosts metabolism, scientists identified other health benefits:
- Filter coffee lowers cholesterol levels,
- enhances the pain relief of tablets,
- has an anti-inflammatory effect,
- protects against certain types of cancer (skin, breast, prostate),
- reduces the risk of certain liver diseases (liver fibrosis and cirrhosis) and
- lowers the risk of heart disease.
An earlier study by the same research team in 2006 showed that moderate coffee consumption also reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes.
coffee contains important antioxidants and minerals
Coffee contains many secondary plant compounds such as polyphenols and alkaloids.
These are important antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect and protect against free radicals, which attack the cell structure and are involved in the development of various diseases (u.a. Cancer, cardiovascular diseases) are involved.
Coffee also contains a lot of magnesium, potassium and vitamin B3.
In its overall effect, it can therefore positively influence intestinal health as well as sugar and fat metabolism.
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Why filter coffee is so healthy?
In addition to these good ingredients, however, roasting the beans can also produce harmful substances. Therefore the preparation of coffee is so crucial.
Unfiltered variants, such as coffee from the French Press or Turkish coffee, contain so-called diterpenes that increase cholesterol levels.
The much-praised espresso, which is brewed gently, also contains fewer but still moderately high levels of harmful substances. Here, too, a certain amount of coffee grounds remains in the cup, which is often drunk as well.
The bad LDL cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease with coffees other than filter coffee by a full 11 percent (with a consumption of six cups per day), the study says.
Unfiltered coffee is therefore particularly dangerous for people with lipometabolic disorders.
Don’t drink too much coffee
If you drink filter coffee, you don’t have to worry about the amount either. A full three to five cups a day are still considered beneficial to health. Here naturally also the strength and the roasting play a role.
How bitter you perceive your coffee is, by the way, partly dependent on your genes. Some people lack certain receptors that pick out bitter compounds, which is why they perceive their coffee to be milder than others who have these receptors.