Coffee beans are famous for their qualities and benefits. They are of different types with various kinds of flavors and aroma.
What most people don’t know about is the coffee fruit. As a matter of fact, coffee beans are obtained from this bright and highly nutritious fruit that is disposed of during the making of coffee.
In this article, we will discuss its amazing health benefits and how it can be used.
It is also referred to as Coffeeberry or Coffee cherry. It grows on the coffee plant in red or purple color. It is considered a stone fruit because it contains a pit in the middle which contains coffee beans in the form of a seed.
Even though it is richer in flavor than regular coffee beans, the caffeine content is considerably lower than beans which means it can be a better option of instant energy source to people who are sensitive to caffeine. It is considered a superfood and can be taken in the form of juices, supplements, herbal teas also.
It is now becoming known as a supplement and used by many as a beverage ingredient.
Coffee fruit is highly nutritious and has some potential health benefits on the body as well as mind. Some of them are-
1. High in AntiOxidants
As we all know, antioxidants are substances the assist in protecting our cells by fighting against free radicals. Adding foods that contain a good amount of antioxidants to our diet can help in defending the body against morbidity. Coffee fruit contains a high amount of antioxidants.
In particular, it contains antioxidant compounds such as rutin and chlorogenic, protocatechuic, and gallic acids. These substances also have some anti-inflammatory properties.
However, the amount of antioxidants it packs depends upon the extraction method. For example- studies showed that the number of antioxidants in the extracts was
multiple times higher than in the powdered form.
Its antioxidant property helps in building up immunity. Also, it lowers the chances of heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
2. May Benefit Brain Health
Studies have shown that it helps in the proper working of the brain. It promotes the growth of new brain cells and supports the existing neurons. It does this with the help of a protein called BDNF which means Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It also helps in long term memory function.
According to the study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, “a whole coffee fruit concentrate powder increased the BDNF levels by 143 percent, which is significantly higher than those of green coffee caffeine powder and grape seed extract powder.”
Coffee fruit could also help people with Alzheimer’s disease since studies show that these people have lower levels of BDNF.
Studies were conducted which show that it slows down aging. It affects the mental health of older people in a good way. For example- A study in 71 older adults with declining mental conditions showed that after taking coffee fruit extract for 28 days, it cut down their reaction time.
3. May promote Fat Loss
Research shows that coffee fruit contains some components that help in fat loss.
It has chlorogenic acid which is known for its fat-burning properties, thus, aiding in weight loss. A study, where mice were given a high-fat diet for 6 weeks, showed that chlorogenic acid helped in preventing fat gain.
Test tube studies show that it promoted the breakdown of fat cells while inhibiting the growth of new ones.
Researches and studies do bring forward its fat loss properties, but currently, they are only limited up to test tubes and animals. Although in the coming time, we are expecting more clearance on this topic.
Coffee Fruit is considered safe with a very less number of side effects when taken in moderation. As mentioned earlier, it is lower in caffeine content which means problems related to caffeine overdose such as anxiety, insomnia, etc. are less likely to occur.
Nevertheless, one must be careful regarding dosage because caffeine amount varies depending upon the product, and also sensitivity varies.
Also, drinks containing coffee fruit might also contain erythritol (sugar alcohol used as an alternative to sugar to reduce the calories). Erythritol alone is not toxic but in combination with different artificial sweeteners, it can cause various health issues.
For example- With fructose, it causes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. One must take care to avoid such digestive problems.
Coffee fruit is widely available in various forms. It can be taken in the form of juices or teas or other liquid extracts. Or it can be bought from health stores in the form of capsules and tablets. It is available in the form of flour as well and in combination with other flours, it adds nutritional values to the diet.
It is also available as supplements and added to the diet in order to improve brain condition and elevate energy levels.
Cascara, a coffee cherry tea, brewed from dried skins of coffee fruit is gaining popularity.
Not just in the diet but it is also added in cosmetics. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help in improving skin.
Besides its antioxidant and brain health properties, phenolic compounds contained in it help in lowering blood pressure and promote heart health. It reduces the chances of diabetes. It has the ability to suppress the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Coffee fruit is a great immunity booster.
Researches are being conducted to discover more such uses of the coffee berry.
The food industry is making efforts to find more ways to take advantage of the unique qualities of this fruit and also maintain its sustainability.
Coffee fruit or coffee cherry is a superfood from which coffee beans are extracted and roasted but the fruit is discarded.
It has the ultimate health benefits. It is high in antioxidants, promotes brain functioning, and aids in fat loss.
Widely available as supplements or beverages or flour, the dosage of caffeine may vary with the product.
Although it is safe consumption should be moderated in order to avoid health issues. It is suggested to consult one’s healthcare provider before taking supplements.