Love your coffee but your sensitive stomach causing you issues? We have good news for you! Coffee drinkers with stomach sensitivities can better enjoy their brew by sipping on a dark roast!
In a recent study from the American Chemical Society, food chemists examined dark roast coffee to find that it naturally produces a chemical compound that prevents cells in the stomach from creating excess acid that is often exacerbated by drinking coffee. If you struggled with a sour stomach after drinking coffee in the morning, drinking a dark roast instead may be the solution that you have been looking for. Of course, many coffee drinkers with a sensitive stomach prefer cold-brewed coffee, which has up to 60% less acid than traditionally brewed hot coffee. There are also coffees on the market that are labeled as "stomach friendly," these are treated with steam to remove chemicals and caffeine that can often cause gastrointestinal discomfort. However, food chemists wanted to examine this issue even further to find out what chemicals in coffee caused a sour stomach and heartburn.
This research was done by taking extracts from two different coffee blends, one being light and the other being dark. These were also compared to the stomach friendly varieties of coffee that are steam treated. Each of the extracts showed to have a unique chemical composition, with varying amounts of other compounds, as well as caffeine.
When the extracts from these types of coffee were administered to human stomach cells, the cells increased their acid production. The one exception to the case was a compound in one of the extracts called N-methylpyridinium, which is a chemical naturally produced during roasting. It is not found in green coffee beans, but it begins to occur the darker that the coffee is roasted. This is a stomach-soothing compound produced in dark roast coffee, and scientific researchers are starting to test a specific blend of this compound for production.
This is fantastic news for anyone with stomach issues who still wants to enjoy their daily cup of coffee, especially since coffee has been proven to have such a broad range of health benefits. Overall, it will reduce the risk of cirrhosis of the liver, stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and even type II diabetes. Of course, you don't want to let a little sour stomach get in the way of this healthy enjoyment. Experts recommend that you drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day to maximize excellent health benefits. If you are a coffee drinker that also happens to have a sensitive stomach, take care to choose premium dark roasts that contain the gentle compound that will prevent excess acid production in your stomach. This is indeed the best way to enjoy your cup of Joe on a daily basis while still being good to your stomach!
In similar studies conducted by Veronika Somoza, Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D. from the Technische Universität München in Germany indicate dark roast coffee contains a substance that tells the stomach to reduce production of acid.
It is estimated that upwards of 40 million people in the United States avoid drinking coffee at all, or consume far less coffee to prevent stomach irritation. Doctors believe that chemicals in coffee cause the stomach to overproduce acid. Many people, as a result, drink only decaffeinated coffee or specialty roasts being marketed as stomach friendly.
The manufacturing processes used to produce so-called "stomach-friendly coffee" also can reduce the amount of healthful substances in the coffee, including some that scientists have linked to benefits such as protection against diabetes and heart disease.
During the study, the scientists exposed cultures of human stomach cells to a variety of different coffee preparations, including regular, dark-roast, mild, decaffeinated, and stomach-friendly varieties. Several substances were identified that were believed to trigger chemical changes associated with increased acid production. Among these substances were caffeine, catechols, and other ingredients.
"Our data reveal that caffeine, catechols, and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamines are those coffee elements that stimulate molecular mechanisms of acid secretion in the human stomach," Somoza stated. Most of these are eliminated by solvent or steam treatment of the raw coffee bean. There is no single key irritant, only a mixture of compounds that seem to cause the irritant effect of coffee."
The research discovered that one of the coffee components, N-methylpyridine (NMP) appears able to block the ability of the stomach cells to produce hydrochloric acid. NMP is produced only upon roasting and is not found in raw coffee beans. Dark Roast Coffee can potentially contain up to twice as much of NMP, but the levels vary greatly depending on the variety of coffee bean and the roasting method.
The researchers are testing different varieties of raw coffee beans and different roasting methods in an attempt to increase NMP levels to make a better stomach-friendly coffee.
Dark roast coffee Benefits for Colon Cancer
Different cells in our bodies divide and multiply in an orderly way to substitute old cells. Cell birth/renewal is a constant activity in the human body.
Cancer or malignant growths happens when the body's natural defenses or immune system cannot control cell division, this gives rise to abnormal cell multiplication. The result of such uncontrolled cell growth and replication is a mass or a tumor growth.
Taking about two cups of coffee a day can result in a 25% reduced risk of colon cancer. Coffee drinkers, as compared to people who are not, appear to be 50% less likely to get liver cancer than non-drinkers. They also stand less risk of developing colon, breast or rectal cancers.
Coffee contains a powerful antioxidant called Methylpyridinium that boosts blood enzymes widely believed to protect against colon cancer.
The study of coffee consumption and the protection against cancer as a result of coffee's high antioxidant content is a common research subject.
Methylpyridinium, the anticancer compound, is found almost exclusively in coffee and coffee products. Methylpyridinium is not found in significant amounts in foods and beverages.
Methylpyridinium is formed in the roasting process from a chemical found naturally in coffee beans called Trigonelline.
Dark Roast Coffee contains two to three times more Methylpyridinium than medium roasts.
Dark roast brews are milder for the stomach than lighter blends; this is because it contains Methylpyridinium which helps lower acid level in the stomach.
Other scientific coffee research reveals that polyphenols in coffee and tea shield against the formation of colon tumors, most likely through their antioxidant properties.
Plant polyphenols are, undoubtedly, powerful antioxidant compounds.
Plant polyphenols in fruits, vegetables, and red wines, for example, protect us from oxidative stress.
You can say that one of the best forms of gene therapy is eating and regularly drinking plant foods and beverages laden with polyphenols.
Polyphenols in coffee increase our antioxidant capacity, and this is a good thing.
The claim that coffee does not increase the risk of colon cancer gets support from scientific research conducted worldwide by private, government and educational organizations such as the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston among many others.
So coffee lovers have no reason to change their coffee drinking habits. You can go on enjoying your favorite coffee drink and its added health benefits.
However, it is crucial always to heed your doctor's recommendation regarding any medical conditions. Using coffee as home remedies or natural medications may aid in relieving or preventing (partially) some symptoms or conditions. However, you should always listen to your health practitioner first and be a good patient.
Caffeine Content in Dark Roast Coffee
One such debate is whether dark roast coffee contains higher caffeine levels as compared to light roast coffee. The answer is not that simple. It depends on how you measure the caffeine level present in the coffee under analysis. We all know that anything that is roasted at such a high temperature is bound to lose a significant amount of its water content. Same is the case with coffee. Interestingly, however, when coffee beans lose water, they become low in weight and larger in size.
We also know that water content in dark roast coffee is lower as compared to that in light roast coffee. So, if we assume that all the other variables are uniform, if you measure the coffee by weight then dark roast coffee has more caffeine in it due to the water lost during its roasting process. Now, interestingly, if you measure the coffee by volume, you will have lesser caffeine in dark roast coffee because the beans lose their density in the roasting process and thus weigh less.
Storing Dark Roast Coffee
Storing roasted coffee properly will keep it fresh for an extended period. Since coffee does not like air, light, heat or moisture, the best place to store coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.
This sounds like the refrigerator is the perfect place. This is not true. Coffee is porous, which is a good thing when making flavored coffee as it will absorb the oils and flavorings used in the process. However coffee will also absorb refrigerator odors.
For the same reason, freezing coffee is not a good idea. The porous beans will absorb freezer odors and the moisture that your freezer produces. This moisture can further deteriorate the coffee and make it taste like whatever is in your fridge. Also, coffee beans release oils when roasted. When you tamper with these oils by freezing, you lose flavor.
Buy whole beans whenever you can and grind them right before using them. Grinding coffee breaks up the beans and their oils, exposing them to the air. It quickly loses flavor no matter how well you store it.
For serving the best dark roast coffee:
- Use fresh roasted whole bean coffee
- Store coffee beans in a cool, dry, dark place
- Grind coffee beans as you use them
- Look for a valve-sealed container, not vacuum-sealed.
- Try Colombia dark roast coffee. It delicious flavor stems from the fact that Colombia has the perfect geography for growing coffee. Colombian coffee is known for its rich and mild flavor
- Treat yourself to Costa Rica Dark Roast coffee. Costa Rican coffee beans are generally believed to have some of the best flavor profiles from anywhere in the world.