Espresso – Nutritional Facts And Health Implications

Espresso - Nutritional Facts and Health Implications

Espresso - Nutritional Facts and Health ImplicationsThe smooth and versatile espresso, with its rich flavor and lingering aroma, is one of the best ways to boost your energy levels in the morning. Also, it makes the perfect foundation for lattes and cappuccinos, later, in the afternoon.

Whether you’re into single, 1-ounce shots (called solo) or double shots (doppio), espresso has virtually no nutritional impact. Nevertheless, its frequent consumption may influence in many ways your health condition. Scroll down and learn all you need to know about these dark, bitter liquefied drops of pleasure!

Nutritional Facts

Just like coffee, espresso is remarkably low on fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. In fact, it is low on most nutritional components. One single shot may contain traces of riboflavin, folate, and niacin. Choline can also be on the list but in very low concentrations.

The 30g of espresso contained in a solo (of which 29.3 g consist of water only) has a 27.6 mg amount of total Omega-6 fatty acids and 0.3 mg of pure caffeine. The rest of its chemical composition is made of minerals, such as magnesium (24.0 mg), phosphorus (2.1 mg), potassium (34.5 mg), and sodium (4.2).

Obviously, the figures above are for plain espresso only. If milk, sugar, or syrup are added, the numbers will dial-up dramatically and the apparently inoffensive espresso will have sabotaging effects on your weight-loss efforts. If you care about your diet, drink it as plain as possible – a decadent combination once in a while will do you no harm, yet drinking such mixes on a regular basis will increase your weight, your blood sugar levels, and your cholesterol.

Espresso’s Health Risks

The thousands of studies that have been recently conducted on the influence of caffeinated products on the human organism and its functioning have not yet reached an agreement on whether coffee is a healthy or an unhealthy product. Rather it seems that the secret lies in the dosage, not in the intrinsic qualities of the drink. The same applies to espresso.

Nevertheless, espresso abuse (as any other abuse, in fact) is likely to have harmful and unpleasant effects on your body. Scientists have found that more than one shot of espresso in a row may reduce blood flow to the heart by almost a quarter, within an hour after consumption. Moreover, the high concentration of caffeine found in a single, plain espresso does have unfavorable influences on the cardiovascular system, especially in susceptible patients.

This is the reason why health departments from many states worldwide advise people not to drink more than four or five espressos a day. A single espresso contains one time and a half the dosage of caffeine in a cup of instant and around the same amount contained in filter coffee. Of course, caffeine is not the only one accused of other potentially harmful effects such as addiction, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, handshakes, or yellow-stained teeth. It is also important to know that if espresso consumption is associated with smoking and physical inactivity, these unpleasant consequences may become more severe.

Espresso’s Health Benefits

On the other hand, the same medical investigations have pointed out that one espresso a day has beneficial effects as well. For example, it is able to reduce half the risk of dangerous cancers affecting the mouth, the gullet, and the liver. Other scientific evidence suggests two espressos a day can slash the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, thanks to the drink’s beneficial action on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Most of us love our espresso and drink it regardless of its nutritional value and medicinal benefits. Even so, you will read the following lines as good news: drinking espresso and coffee, in general, in moderate quantities can actually improve your health condition.

Anti-oxidative Action

First of all, coffee beans that enter the composition of any espresso are rich in antioxidants. This means your immune system will get stronger in fighting the free radicals resulting as by-products of cell oxidation. Consequently, you will recover more quickly after an illness or workout, while also cleansing your blood from free radicals and fighting the potential risk of disease.

A recent Harvard medical investigation has revealed that regular – yet moderate – espresso drinkers are 50% less likely to develop colon cancer, rectal cancer, or breast cancer. This drink also reduces the possibility to suffer from cirrhosis, dementia, or severe conditions of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Moreover, the antioxidants slow down several aging processes and promote longevity. Basically, espresso helps you stay healthy in the long term!

Weight Loss

Having one shot of espresso in the morning is actually recommended for those involved in weight-loss efforts! Its content of caffeine will enhance your metabolism and this, in turn, will stimulate the calories to burn off. Moreover, since it is low on calories, to begin with (one shot equals one calorie only!), it does not increase your daily calorie intake. Nevertheless, watch out for the tempting, yet fat and sugar-rich combinations with steamed milk, cream, sweeteners, or syrups – those don’t count!

Energy Boost And Brain Gains

The caffeine concentration in espressos may vary according to the recipe, the methods of preparation, or the kind of coffee beans used. All these considered, though, if you don’t ask for decaf, the espresso will immediately boost your sense of energy,  as well as your focus and memory levels for a few hours after the shot.

Conclusion

While espresso, just like regular coffee, cannot be considered a cure or a remedy, drinking them in moderation can actually improve your health, make you live longer, stay focused and feel better. On the other hand, one should be aware of the risks brought about by caffeine abuse, especially if accompanied by a rather unhealthy lifestyle.

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