Espresso is a strong coffee drink, incredibly popular among coffee lovers. It is used as an espresso in its purest form (mostly with cream) and a basis for coffee drinks such as americano, latte, cappuccino, and so on.
The appeal of espresso within coffee amateurs community is quite clear: the drink is easy to prepare, it has rich taste and perfectly energizes during the day… What else? We would like to add one more feature to the list: espresso health benefits. Let's discuss its healing properties: what is the real benefit of a rich coffee drink, does it really help to fight chronic diseases?
Brief historical reference. Who and when discovered espresso?
Espresso is a European coffee tradition which originated in Italy in the early XX century. The name of the drink apparently took from Italian [esprɛsso] – "squeezed". You can also associate the name with the English term “expressly” as coffee can be prepared quickly with the help of an espresso machine.
The first coffee machine was invented in 1905 and called the Tipo Gigante. Modern espresso machines, well known to us, compact and affordable, appeared on the market much later – in 1947 due Gaggia (Italian Manufacturer, still producing professional and coffee machines for home).
Espresso as serious diseases preventer
Well, let’s focus on the main advantages of espresso-related effects on body. Scientific evidence shows that coffee reduces the risk of serious diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, diabetes type 2 and Parkinson's disease.
Antioxidants against liver cancer
In addition to caffeine, espresso contains antioxidants. These substances inhibit oxidation processes, improving the immune system of the body and strengthening health. Coffee, tea and cocoa antioxidants are contained in tannins which are plant origin compounds.
Tannins and antioxidants, together with caffeine, are widely used in medicine. They reduce the risk of developing liver cirrhosis which in some cases leads to development of more dangerous liver cancer.
Espresso coffee reduces the risk of developing diabetes
Scientists from Harvard University found that daily consumption of 5-6 cups of coffee (equivalent to 1-2 cups of espresso) reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by approximately 2 times for men (55%) and women (30%). The studies were conducted in the experimental group aged over 18.
Note. You may say: how is it possible when 5 cups of coffee on a regular basis is a huge dose which can eventually kill. However, the studies conducted by Harvard School of Public Health assured that even 5 and 6 225 ml. cups of coffee daily is quite a reasonable amount. It is important to clarify that the total caffeine intake should not exceed 100 mg (!) per day.
Read our the article How much Caffeine is too Much about the proper daily dosages of coffee.
Espresso and cardiovascular disease
There is stereotype that espresso coffee is extremely harmful to your heart, because it abounds in caffeine (see also other popular myths about the dangers of coffee). You can have any attitude to this information, however, you should consider other important facts which are associated with positive side of espresso in relation to cardiovascular disease.
For example, Scottish Heart Health studies, conducted in 1984-1986 among the local population, indicate that caffeine reduces death rate from heart disease, at least among men and women aged 40 to 59 years.
A cup of espresso in the fight against Parkinson's disease
One of the most dangerous chronic diseases among elderly people is Parkinson's disease (paralysis) which damages motor neurons in the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.
Well, we hasten to share another fact about health benefits of espresso: drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day (1-2 cups of espresso) reduces the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in both men and women by half!
Good to know. If you think that Parkinson's disease won’t threaten you (you are still young and your brain is still in perfect condition), we’d recommend to pay attention to other positive effects of espresso, mentioned in the article on positive effects of caffeine on mental activity.
Other pleasant effects from drinking espresso
We’ll briefly list the most universal espresso benefits (as well as coffee in general) that can strengthen your physical form.
Use espresso for weight loss
The article Caffeine and Calories (by the way, we’d recommend you to check it if you’re on diet!) states that coffee is one of the most low-cal drinks.
Unlike other methods of coffee brewing (filter, french press, turkish coffee, etc), harmful substances (oils, carbohydrates, fats) are removed in the filtering and pressing processes, while tannins (antioxidants) and caffeine remain in espresso. For reference, a standard cup of coffee contains only 2 calories!
Espresso increases energy levels
Do you want to ”recharge your batteries” quickly? 1 small cup of espresso will instantly energize you from light drowsiness, improve mood, increase concentration and performance. No wonder a espresso machine is a must have at any office. What to say, in every coffee shop at the railway station and even in "eatery" espresso machine is available. Another thing is that quality of brewing espresso, as well as taste quality meals, vary greatly.
Caffeine as a stimulant before a workout
If you combine two above-mentioned advantages of coffee (low caloric and energy values), it can be concluded that espresso is suitable for drinking before a workout. Indeed, caffeine stimulates both mental and physical activities, thereby causing greater fat burning during a workout or hard work.
Final thoughts. What about disadvantages of espresso?
Caffeine contained in an espresso in the highest concentration has not only advantages but also disadvantages, which we’ve mentioned repeatedly. Do not turn a blind eye to them, even in spite of the positive coloring of the article. So we advise to delve into the negative effects of espresso to decide for yourself whether it is useful for you to drink espresso or you’d better stop it due to contraindications and doctors’ exhortations.