The earthy, fresh aroma of coffee comes from roasted and brewed coffee beans. This popular hot or cold drink gives you high amounts of stimulating caffeine, a healthy dose of antioxidants and smaller amounts of other nutrients. Drinking coffee has been linked to benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes and improving brain health. However, these nutritional benefits are not confirmed; limit your coffee intake and avoid adding excess sugar and full-fat milk to your coffee beverage of choice.
Vitamins and Minerals
While coffee beans are not a nutrient-rich food, they do provide small amounts of minerals and vitamins. A cup -- 8 fluid ounces -- of ground and brewed coffee beans gives you 5 milligrams of calcium, 7 milligrams of magnesium, 7 milligrams of phosphorus, 116 milligrams of potassium and 0.5 milligrams of zinc. It also contains trace amounts of vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate.
Coffee beans are naturally dense in antioxidants including chlorogenic acid. A 200-milliliter cup of brewed coffee contains 70 to 350 milligrams of this antioxidant. Roasting and processing coffee beans reduces some of the antioxidant content; higher amounts are available in extracts from green coffee beans. The NYU Langone Medical Center notes that chlorogenic acids from green coffee bean extract can help lower high blood pressure and may also aid weight loss. Further clinical research is needed to determine the extent of these effects.
Your cup of coffee gives you an energizing jolt because it naturally contains caffeine. The Linus Pauling Caffeine Institute notes that this compound is quickly absorbed by all your body's tissues, including the brain, and stimulates the nervous system. The amount of caffeine depends on the type of coffee and how it is prepared. A standard cup of brewed coffee gives you 100 milligrams of caffeine.
The caffeine found in coffee beans may provide several protective health benefits. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, individuals who drink coffee regularly showed a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have the same benefit. A study published in 2000 in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" concluded that higher coffee and caffeine intake is linked to a lower incidence of developing the cognitive and nerve disorder Parkinson's disease. However, further research is needed before coffee can be used to help prevent diabetes or Parkinson's disease.
- The Journal of the American Medical Association: Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake With the Risk of Parkinson's Disease
- Linus Pauling Institute: Coffee
- NYU Langone Medical Center: Green Coffee Bean Extract
- USDA Nutrient Database: Coffee, Brewed From Grounds, Prepared With Tap Water
- Harvard Health Publications: Listing of Vitamins
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.