In today’s fast-pacing world, there is a dire need for quick bursts of energy but can you eat coffee beans through the day. When there is no time to pause, one has to have such a source right in their hands, that they can sip every once in a while. Something that has a distinct flavour, something that comes in different varieties to accommodate us all.
And what best fits all the above criteria, if not a delicious, fulfilling cup of coffee?
Yes, coffee has definitely become a favourite in the last few decades, being the go-to choice for busy students, harried office workers as well as lovers who want to share something warm between them. From so many different brews, beans and types to choose from, there is a drink that can be customized for everyone. You can take it cold and sweet after a long day, to chase all that exhaustion away. Or, you can drink it bitter and dark in the early slivers of sunshine, so that you can jolt yourself awake to get your work done. You can add your extra goodies on the top, making it easy on the creamer and sugar as much as you want, making the coffee that speaks to your soul.
But have you ever wondered if you could eat coffee beans alone? Surely, sometimes you may get bored of the same old drink and might just be tempted to chew the coffee beans whole. Maybe there are days when you are running late and just putting a few coffee beans in your mouth might save you the ardour. Even as your curiosity grew, you may have stopped yourself, fearing the consequences.
What if we told you that eating coffee beans is not dangerous, after all? What if you could just eat those lovely beans once in a while, munching on their husk, enjoying this solid dose of caffeine? Well, you needn’t look for answers any further, because we are here to tell you all about eating coffee beans.
A Botanical Understanding of Coffee Beans
First, it’s time for a brief history lesson in the wonderful world of coffee and coffee beans. As you must know, coffee beans are the seeds of the fruit belonging to the evergreen coffee plant. This fruit is also called a coffee cherry, which is initially green and then ripens to red, orange, pink, etc. These green seeds from the fruit are then taken and roasted to form coffee beans, which can be grounded later to form your regular coffee powder.
Though coffee is first thought to originate in Ethiopia, it has now spread all over the globe. There are many kinds of coffee beans, the most popular of which are Arabica and Robusta. These are consumed in several ways, in several combinations of ingredients, to make your favourite cup. Thus, the coffee you drink has travelled many miles, gone through many processes and has endured just to keep you sated.
Now, isn’t that something to be treasured?
Is it Safe to Eat Coffee Beans
So, now that we have covered the basics, you may be wondering: can you eat coffee beans? Well, the short answer is: yes, of course, you can. And the long answer? It says: as long as you do it within a limit, just as anything else.
Coffee beans have been eaten whole for many years now. You can either eat them raw, where they are green, bitter and hard to chew. Or, you can eat them after roasting, which makes them a little softer. In fact, there are many delicacies available that have such roasted coffee beans, including those that are glazed with chocolate.
Whole coffee beans have the same nutrients as liquid coffee, except in a more concentrated form. Also, eating coffee beans whole will lead to the more rapid absorption of caffeine through your mouth. Thus, you might feel the effects of it sooner.
If you eat coffee beans whole, you might even enjoy certain benefits such as:
- Coffee beans contain antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, which can reduce inflammation and also increase the strength of body cells, which in turn means a healthier, more immune body.
- Coffee beans are a quicker source of caffeine and can make you feel more energetic, improve your mood, focus and concentration, as well as strengthen your memory. Eating coffee beans whole results in faster absorption of caffeine which means you enjoy all these benefits much earlier.
- Though there is no guarantee behind these claims, coffee beans might also help prevent the risk of certain diseases such as the liver, type 2 diabetes and heart conditions, amongst others. Keep in mind that this is not a sure remedy and you still need proper care if needed.
- It can just support you in your daily tasks since you will be able to focus even more. Having a specific time to eat or drink your coffee can provide structure to your life, as well.
- If you eat it with chocolate glaze, it can indulge your sweet tooth while also giving you a small dose of nutrients such as riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, etc.!
Clearly, there are many good reasons to give in to your temptations and just take a bite of your coffee.
So, are there any possible risks in eating coffee beans? Well, nothing too severe, but if you overdo it then it can take a toll on your body.
It is important to consume the caffeine in the coffee beans to a limit. Though different people have different caffeine tolerances, up to 400 milligrams per day is considered a healthy limit. Anything above that might cause problems, especially if consumed regularly.
Keep in mind that different varieties of coffee contain different amounts of caffeine. For example, Robusta coffee beans have around twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. Hence, make sure to be careful about that.
Potential side-effects of eating too many coffee means might be:
- It can cause discomfort in the form of heartburn, upset stomach, bloating, etc. This is because certain compounds in coffee beans can cause an increase in stomach acid.
- It can have a laxative effect on certain people, especially those who have a sensitive gut and conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), etc.
- It might contribute to high cholesterol levels over time if the coffee beans are consumed in excess consistently.
- Though caffeine can definitely keep you up and going with your day, too much of it can disrupt your sleep cycle. It might make it difficult for you to catch a much-needed shut-eye.
- The caffeine might increase your anxiety, symptoms of your stress, make you feel restless, etc. Make sure to pay attention to how your mind and body react to eating coffee beans.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any other medical conditions, it is best to consult your doctor to know what is the safe caffeine intake limit for you.
Being a Responsible Coffee Lover
There is only one moral to this story: enjoy the things you enjoy, but always remember to respect your limits. Yes, you can eat coffee beans to sate your curiosity and your taste buds. Just make sure to stick to the amount that is safe for you.
It is always okay to indulge your senses and savor all the food you love. After all, your body is always right there to support your favorite meals. In return, remember to look after it and give it the care and nutrition that it needs.
You and your body are partners on this journey. Having each other’s backs will surely make this life a wonderful one!
Also read; Signs of Caffeine Addiction