Coffee Beans: Is it OK to Eat Them?

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Coffee is an essential part of most people’s lives. If you’re a coffee-lover, then you’re probably here to see how you can kick your coffee intake up a notch, or maybe you just want to know if coffee beans are edible.

The answer is yes, you can eat coffee beans. But, there is a more important question which is, is it healthy to eat coffee beans?

We’ve made it easier for you to learn more about this delicious snack and have compiled ways on how you can enjoy it. So, let’s get started.

What are coffee beans?

Before you go and eat a coffee bean, you have to know what exactly it is you’re eating first. Coffee beans aren’t really beans, but seeds. They’re found in the fruit of the coffee plant and many enjoy eating them roasted or covered in honey or chocolate.

Why do some people like to eat coffee beans?

There are people who love the enhanced and heightened taste of coffee and the crunchy texture of the beans. Also, because plain coffee beans are more concentrated than brewed coffee, it also contains more caffeine.

A single unroasted arabica coffee bean has 1.9 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a robusta coffee bean contains 2.9 milligrams. On the other hand, one cup of brewed coffee normally contains 59 milligrams of caffeine. This will differ depending on what bean you’re using and how it’s roasted.

Since it’s more concentrated, there will be side effects, from heartburn to sleep disturbance, if consumed in excess.

Eating coffee beans or drinking coffee should be avoided by pregnant women, people with sleeping problems, or those who are sensitive to caffeine.

The benefits of eating coffee beans

People who love coffee are mostly aware of the countless benefits it offers. A little backstory, there’s an Ethiopian legend that talked about how a goat herder discovered the effects of coffee as he witnessed his goats having full of energy after eating the fruits of the coffee shrub.

The goat herder tried eating the fruit himself and had a similar reaction. They used to chew on coffee beans to get the invigorated and energized feeling that we now get from drinking it.

Now, you rarely see anyone munching on roasted coffee beans. So what are the health benefits of eating coffee beans?

  • Excellent source of antioxidants

Coffee has chlorogenic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that can improve health and help reduce the risk of diabetes.

Antioxidants are also helpful in reducing inflammation and keeping the skin looking young and healthy.

  • The body absorbs caffeine quicker

Caffeine improves our stamina and increases our metabolism 一 very helpful in maintaining our weight and keeping us awake throughout the day.

When eating coffee beans, we’re consuming caffeine in a more concentrated form which means that we metabolize caffeine faster, compared to consuming it when brewed. 

  • Helps detoxify our system

Consuming roasted coffee beans without any added honey or chocolate is an effective way to detoxify our bodies and cleanse toxic substances that stick to our intestines. It’s also an excellent source of fiber which promotes good digestion.

coffee beans
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  • Improves memory

A 2013 study at John Hopkins University found that caffeine is a good memory enhancer. Students were given 200mg of caffeine at the end of each study period and found that it helped strengthen their memories within the duration of 24 hours after drinking coffee.

The effects of caffeine on memory have been the topic of many research projects in the past years. Caffeine has always been associated with longevity, and although no scientific proof, can help protect the brain from cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Maintains blood sugar levels

Coffee has the ability to control the level of sugar in the blood. It contains vital enzymes that help the pancreas produce insulin and glucagon, which then help lower blood sugar.

Although consuming coffee beans has a lot of benefits, there are also risks when eating them in excess. Some of the negative effects can include high cholesterol, heartburn, and sleep disorder.

Coffee bean snack: how does it taste?

It’s recommended to eat coffee beans when they’ve been roasted. Eating coffee beans raw can be hard to bite into, and it won’t have that earthy taste of coffee. Although plain coffee beans can be eaten since they’re safe, the taste is not as enjoyable as it is when cooked.

On the other hand, the taste of roasted coffee beans can differ depending on the bean and roast. With roasted beans, you get a woody, robust and smoky flavor. If you like to munch on a bean that has an oilier crunch and texture then choose a medium or dark roast.

You can eat coffee beans in the following ways:

  • Whole and plain
  • With strawberry or cherry
  • Covered in chocolate
  • Roasted
  • In their seed form
  • Mixed into your protein shake
  • As a snack (light or medium roast Arabica beans to start)

Consuming coffee beans won’t do you any harm and they do provide many benefits. But overconsumption may also cause side effects. If you enjoy it in moderation, you can enjoy its benefits and satisfy your cravings.

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