COFFEE: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE MOLDY
My guess is (without digging into any statistics) most Americans drink at least one cup of coffee sometime throughout the day, every day, if not multiple cups throughout the day, every day. Being that this is an everyday habit for most of us, it makes sense to perform this daily habit in the healthiest way possible, which is largely dependent upon what type of coffee we drink and how much.
But first, here’s a little bit about coffee.
Coffee is high in antioxidants
Coffee contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5 and magnesium
Coffee can improve mental acuity
Coffee can improve your mood
Coffee is high in caffeine
Coffee becomes inflammatory beyond 1 cup. This is because it helps to increase a pro-inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Coffee is often riddled with chemicals (ex. pesticides and/or insecticides)
Most coffee is moldy
Coffee is subject to becoming moldy because of how it is processed. Green coffee “beans” (seeds) are extracted from coffee cherries, sorted, fermented, and set out to dry. They are then usually packaged together in bulk and stored or shipped. This exposes the beans to naturally occurring molds.
When molds (a type of fungi) reproduce, they create mold “spores.” These spores are basically tough, protective coverings with fungi genetic material inside. Spores are designed to survive harsh environments that may be very salty, very hot, very cold, or very acidic. Naturally, these spores found on the coffee beans survive the processing, the grinding, and the brewing process, making their way into your cup of coffee. Your body provides the perfect environment for a mold spore to blossom - an environment that is warm and moist. When these mold spores have the opportunity to thrive in your body, they produce mycotoxins, which are damaging and inflammatory.
Recommendations - What’s the Best Coffee?
The best coffee to buy is…
Organic. It will be free of synthetic fertilizers and harmful pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.
Shade-grown. Coffee plants grown in the shade of larger trees are naturally protected by birds, lizards, and other animals, reducing the need for any unnatural intervention to protect the coffee plants. The complementary relationship between the coffee plants and the other trees and plants, plus the reduced amount of chemicals that leach into the soil, produce a healthier soil for the coffee plant to grow in.
Grown at a high elevation. Coffee grown at a higher elevation (4,000 feet or higher) not only will have a nuttier and fruitier taste, it is also more likely to contain less mold spores due to being grown in a less humid environment.
Dark roast. Coffee is roasted longer to produce a darker roast (compared to a medium or light roast). This increases the flavor (it is less sour) and the amount of antioxidants, decreases the caffeine amount, and decreases the acidity of the coffee, which makes it easier on your stomach.
Mold-free. Some coffee producers are concerned about the amount of mold consumed by coffee lovers. They specifically process their coffee to remove mold spores. Two companies that I know of that produce mold-free coffee are Lifeboost and Bulletproof.
So, to improve your overall health and reap the benefits of coffee while avoiding the pitfalls, look for organic, shade-grown, high elevation, dark roast, and mold-free coffee!
For more detailed health tips, please contact the Ollis Chiropractic team at [email protected] or 502-412-8580.