Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry or coffee fruit. It’s these seeds that are dried and roasted and then brewed to make coffee. Coffee is one of the most popular hot beverages around the world. Not only is its flavour loved and cherished, but it’s also known to offer numerous health benefits. For example, coffee is proven to reduce the risk of liver diseases and type 2 diabetes.
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But is eating coffee beans as beneficial as consuming brewed coffee?
Coffee beans are consumed as munchies, especially coffee beans coated in chocolate. Coffee beans are more popular in individuals who’re looking for an instant caffeine fix. If you like eating coffee beans, you might want to know if it’s actually safe to eat coffee beans and whether or not you should be eating them.
This blog post highlights the benefits and potential risks of eating coffee beans to help you decide whether you should continue eating them.
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Coffee Beans vs. Regular Coffee
Coffee beans have been used for hundreds of years, long before they were brewed for the coffee that we drink today. Hundreds of years ago, coffee beans were mixed with animal fat and were used as an energy booster. Coffee beans are known to provide the same nutrients as brewed coffee, only in a lot more concentrated form.
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The coffee that we consume today is filtered and diluted. As a result, the content of caffeine and other nutrients is greatly reduced compared to whole coffee beans. Moreover, when you consume coffee beans, the caffeine content gets absorbed into the bloodstream more rapidly. So much so that the absorption starts in the mouth through the lining of the oral cavity.
In short, the benefits and potential risks of coffee are amplified when you consume whole coffee beans. As much as it’s tempting to keep munching on chocolate-coated coffee beans, it’s best that you consume coffee beans in moderation.
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How is Consuming Coffee Beans Beneficial?
Consuming coffee beans offers more or less the same benefits as a coffee beverage. Let’s see in what ways consuming whole coffee beans is beneficial for you.
Rich Source of Antioxidants – Coffee beans are a rich source of antioxidants. It also contains chlorogenic acid, which is a polyphenol that is known to promote a healthy body environment. Studies suggest that it reduces the risk of diabetes. It combats inflammation efficiently and prevents the development of diseases like cancer.
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The amount of chlorogenic acid that coffee beans contain varies with the type of coffee beans and the method that’s being employed to roast them. When coffee beans are roasted, 50 to 95% of chlorogenic acid is usually lost. As far as raw coffee beans are concerned, they have abundant quantities of chlorogenic acid but are too bitter in taste. Hence whole coffee beans are roasted to make them edible. Even after roasting, coffee beans are the best source of antioxidant chlorogenic acid.
Caffeine from Coffee Beans is Absorbed Rapidly – Caffeine is a natural stimulant which is why it’s such an incredible source of energy. It has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. One of the most prominent benefits of consuming coffee beans is that the caffeine is absorbed much more rapidly than the brewed coffee. When you consume whole coffee beans, you feel an instantly uplifted mood, boosted energy and alertness, improved memory function, and much more efficient performance as a whole. Consuming about 17 coffee beans delivers approximately 200mg of caffeine which is as effective as taking a 30-minute nap.
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Other Benefits – Other benefits of consuming coffee beans include a reduced risk of heart diseases and stroke, liver diseases, and brain disorders like depression, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What Potential Risks Does Eating Coffee Beans Pose?
The nutrients, including caffeine, are in much higher concentrations in coffee beans than brewed coffee, which means consuming too many coffee beans can pose potential health risks.
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Diarrhea – Coffee beans have a laxative effect. Consuming whole coffee beans can worsen diarrhea Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Sleep Problems – Consuming coffee beans can boost energy so much that it can cause difficulty sleeping.
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Eating coffee beans isn’t harmful as long as you consume them in moderation. A single coffee bean contains about 12mg of caffeine and the safe level of caffeine that you can consume per day is not more than 400mg.
So, if you ask us if you should be eating coffee beans, our answer would be – there’s no harm in consuming coffee beans in moderation.