We can all agree that coffee is one of the most delicious drinks on earth. Whether you take yours black, iced, with almond milk, or as a double shot of espresso, there’s a reason why people around the world drink coffee daily.
Like so many others, have you started looking for ways to improve your health? Well, you’ve probably eaten normal things like fruits and vegetables, consumed vitamins, and even exercise. One thing you may not have thought about is eating coffee beans, which is actually an incredible benefit when it comes to a number of different aspects of your health.
Coffee beans are edible, but chewing on a roasted bean isn’t how most people enjoy it. Besides drinking coffee, you can also grind, brew, and mash those beans as an ingredient for all sorts of sweet and savory recipes.
After all, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients, so eating or drinking it is an excellent way to boost your daily diet. Studies have shown that eating coffee beans has many surprising health benefits.
In this article, I will show you the benefits of eating coffee beans, and also show you the negatives of eating coffee beans. Let’s have a look!
Can You Eat Coffee Beans?
People have eaten coffee beans for centuries, often mixed with other foods to boost energy. It seems that before it was a delicious beverage, it was a popular snack.
But what are coffee beans, exactly?
Coffee beans are naturally growing seeds of the coffee plant. A coffee plant grows tiny, cherry-like fruit, called coffee berries, whose pits are the coffee beans themselves. These beans and fruit grow in the thousands and growers pick, pit, roast, and sell them. We then grind them up and filter hot water through them to produce the coffee we love and enjoy.
However, just because drinking coffee is something we’ve always done, doesn’t mean it’s something we can’t eat.
The Differences Between Drinking Coffee and Eating Coffee Beans
- Taste and appearance aside, if you make juice from a fruit, it’s not going to have the same nutritional benefits that you would get if you just ate it.
- The main difference is that most fruit juices don’t contain the fiber that the whole fruit would have.
- Similarly, there are noticeable differences between drinking coffee and eating coffee beans. This ranges from nutritional differences to differences in taste.
What Taste Can You Expect If You Eat Coffee Beans?
The taste of your cup of coffee varies depending on what kind of beans you choose. So, if you’re going to be eating coffee beans, the overall taste is going to vary depending on the type of bean. However, there are some noteworthy constants.
- Green Coffee Bean: If you bite into a green coffee bean, then you are going to be met with an exceptionally acidic taste and woody or earthy flavor. Overall, this is going to be unpleasant for most people.
- Roasted Coffee Beans: Compared to this, if the coffee beans are roasted, then there will be a significant decrease in the acidic taste but the flavor will still be relatively intense. The level of intensity of the roast will also obviously affect the taste when eating roasted coffee beans.
- Chocolate Flavored Beans: The most common way that coffee beans are eaten nowadays is when they are chocolate-covered. The taste is still noticeably stronger than a brewed cup of coffee; however, the chocolate does make the overall flavor more pleasant by offsetting the bitterness.
How many beans can you eat in one sitting?
It depends largely on your caffeine tolerance. Most people can handle up to 200 mg in a single dose and up to 400 mg a day. This is equivalent to roughly 5 espressos per day or a double shot in one sitting.
The amount of caffeine in coffee beans changes based on the size and duration of roasting. Also, Robusta coffee beans contain around twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. On average, chocolate-covered coffee beans contain around 12 mg of caffeine each.
That means you should be able to eat up to 33 chocolate-covered coffee beans a day when it comes to caffeine content, provided you avoid all other sources of caffeine. Just don’t forget about all the added sugar in the chocolate glaze.
How Will I Know If I’ve Had Too Much Caffeine?
Following are few symptoms that will indicate you about high caffeine.
Headache and Mood Swings
One cup of coffee too many leads to headaches, jitters, and mood swings.
Other symptoms that suggest you’ve taken too much caffeine onboard include insomnia, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.
High Blood Pressure
Consume too much (over 500mg a day) on a regular basis and you might be looking at liver damage, high blood pressure, and addiction, which could lead to a period of withdrawal when you quit.
Again, this is worth bearing in mind if you decide to start snacking on coffee beans.
Health Benefits of Eating Coffee Beans
Coffee beans have a whole host of benefits. Though many people associate coffee the beverage with achieving these benefits, grabbing a fistful of flavorful coffee beans is a convenient way of getting your daily fix!
Antioxidants are compounds found naturally in fruits and vegetables. They decrease our risk of cancers, vision loss, and other degenerative disorders by fighting the dreaded free radicals, which damage our cells by oxidizing various molecules (hence why antioxidants are called anti-oxidants).
- Vitamins E and C are antioxidants.
- Unfortunately, most people don’t get as many antioxidants as they need.
- Over 90% of adults fail to get the daily recommended amount of vitamin E, according to tothe Director of Antioxidants Research at the prestigious Tufts University.
- The average adult’s diet just doesn’t have as many fruits and vegetables as it should.
Coffee beans contain more antioxidants than a typical cup of coffee does. Coffee is America’s #1 source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are linked to cardiovascular, immune system, and cognitive health as well as cancer prevention, so generally the more antioxidants you have in your diet, the better.
They pack more than 6 different antioxidants to get you over the recommended threshold:
- Chlorogenic Acid
But coffee isn’t just a source of antioxidants. It’s the best source! Coffee Beans have 11 times the antioxidant power of green tea!
Improve your memory
Many of the positive health benefits of caffeine are tied to the fact it’s an antioxidant, but that’s not caffeine’s whole story.
In a 2013 study by Johns Hopkins University, students were given 200 milligrams of caffeine after a period of studying.
Researchers found that caffeine helped students consolidate memories, “reducing forgetting” as one researcher put it, up to 24 hours after ingesting it.
Decrease post-exercise muscle pain:
- Caffeine decreased post-exercise muscle pain by 48% according to a 2017 study. By comparison, the active ingredient in Aleve reduced pain by 30%, and aspirin reduced pain by 25%.
- There are a couple of caveats about that particular study, though; it focused only on women (so the jury is still out for men) and it noted regular caffeine consumers may not experience the same benefits.
- However, a study of distance cycles found that 400-milligram doses of caffeine prior to activity may still be effective for habitual coffee consumers. That’s about double the average adult’s daily dose.
Increase stamina during exercise
Not only will you feel better after exercising, but you’ll also get a better workout!
- People who consumed both caffeine and carbs after working out had 66% more glycogen in their muscles after activity compared to people who consumed carbs alone.
- Because glycogen is the fuel used for athletic activity, the caffeine-plus-carbs group was able to exercise longer and harder the next day.
- Another study found 15-kilometer runners who consumed coffee prior to working out had improved anti-inflammatory responses during and after their run.
Decrease long-term, chronic inflammation
Age gracefully and with less pain by munching on a few coffee beans every day.
Researchers from Stanford University found caffeine blocks a specific gene responsible for chronic inflammation, which affects how we feel day-to-day and has been associated with all-cause mortality in 85 and older individuals.
Feeling Full Faster
- Because coffee beans are full of fiber they’re actually great as a diet aid as well, without you feeling like you’re missing out on something like with most diets.
- The beans are filled with a whole lot of fiber that gets absorbed by your body. When this happens, it helps with constipation but it also helps with weight control and your overall healthy diet at the same time, which is a double bonus that you’re going to want to pay attention to.
- Fiber absorbs the water that is in your digestive tract, this helps to fill your body and you feel like you’ve eaten more than you actually have.
- The absorption of that water starts right away and by just eating a few beans you’re going to eat less of the other foods you take in throughout the day.
Fight Against Migraine
Migraine can be a very uncomfortable and unpleasant condition. Migraine sufferers seek only immediate relief from their symptoms, with the headache as the most prominent.
Nowadays, there are a great number of alternatives in the market whose composition has a high dose of caffeine because it has been demonstrated that coffee works as a vasodilator, improving the circulation and thus decreasing the headache.
Diuretic and digestive effect
Coffee contains theophylline, a compound that makes it a powerful diuretic. The prudent consumption of this drink or its grains, therefore, helps to combat fluid retention.
It also considerably improves digestion. However, you must take care if you suffer from gastritis or a delicate stomach.
Improves intellectual performance
The moderate consumption of coffee not only avoids muscular fatigue and strengthens physical capacity. It is also very useful to increase reflexes, keep us in a state of alert, and also considerably increase intellectual performance. A small portion is enough for a good performance in a study session of 5 to 6 hours.
The Negative Side Effects of Eating Coffee Beans
Nothing is perfect, and that also applies to eating coffee beans. Just as drinking coffee has shown a lot of benefits, there are also some issues with regulation and the fact that it may not be a good idea for everyone. It’s important to understand that caffeine affects everyone differently, just like any substance.
Eat chocolate-covered coffee beans seldom
- If you eat the chocolate-covered coffee beans, you are not only consuming more caffeine, but you’re also eating more fats and sugars than you need to.
I recommend either eating them plain or limiting the amount of chocolate-covered coffee beans you eat.
- People who eat coffee beans have reported occasional bouts of diarrhea, as coffee beans have a laxative effect. While not everyone will experience this, it can happen and while it may not be life-threatening (for most people), it is quite a nuisance.
- If you already suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), then it may not be a good idea to eat coffee beans.
Increase Stomach Acid
- Caffeine and other compounds called catechols present in coffee beans have been shown to increase stomach acid.
- That can in turn lead to heartburn and other types of stomach discomfort.
- And secondly, caffeine can lead to sleep problems which can last up to 9.5 hours after consumption in people who are sensitive to it.
Coffee contains cafestol and kahweol, both of which may cause high cholesterol. There is between 10 and 40 times more present in beans than in the drink.
It has not been conclusively proven that coffee causes high cholesterol, but for those considered high-risk, consumption of beans is not recommended.
- Makes it difficult to absorb certain minerals and vitamins such as B and C. as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron
- It increases the risk of breast and digestive cancer.
- Increases glucose curve disorders in diabetics, causing them to require more insulin to compensate for the increase in blood sugar
- Stains teeth and causes bad breath.
- Excessive caffeine consumption can be harmful to some men by causing sterility through reduced sperm count levels. It is also thought to cause faulty sperm.
Eating Coffee Beans Pros & Cons
To Sum Up
One thing you may not have thought about is eating coffee beans, which is actually an incredible benefit when it comes to a number of different aspects of your health.
You can eat coffee beans, whether in their raw or roasted form or ground into flour and baked into your morning muffin. It will give you lots of health benefits.