Here in the West, coffee has somehow managed to gain a bad reputation as being a guilty pleasure, something to cut back on, or enjoy sparingly as a treat that whilst delicious we really shouldn’t over indulge in. How coffee has become a guilty pleasure is something of a mystery as the health promoting benefits of coffee are staggering. There is indeed robust clinical evidence to support the fact that regular coffee consumption:
Reduces the risk of Type II diabetes
Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by up to 60%
Reduces the prevalence of certain cancers, including liver and colon cancer
Crucially, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, outranking both fruit and vegetables combined!
In light of these findings, we can be pretty confident that coffee is health promoting and can be included in your daily regime without a hint of guilt. Well, perhaps depending on the type of coffee that you are enjoying as the benefits vary drastically between different types of coffee, and herein lies the crux. Unfortunately the quick and convenient coffee are minimal, as you would expect the processing that instant coffee is subject to destroys much of the health benefits. Things get better when you look at the freshly ground coffee or beans that you grind yourself and then make way for the 2 ”super coffees” that are the other end of the spectrum. These coffees contain exceptionally high level of antioxidants and more extensive health promotion benefits when compared to normal roasted coffee beans. And at the top of the “super-coffee” league table lies Greek coffee.
Greek coffee is unique in that it is only very lightly roasted (it is almost raw) and then ground into an extremely fine powder before being boiled using a very specific, almost ritualistic approach (rather than being filtered or percolated). Because of these three factors, the antioxidant and health promoting benefits of Greek coffee are vastly superior to roasted beans. Indeed, research conducted by the University of Athens and published in the journal Vascular Medicine revealed than the regular consumption of Greek coffee significantly slowed the ageing of blood vessels and heart tissue and in doing so slowed the aging and degenerative processes that lead to heart disease.
And crucially, Greek coffee is consumed in moderate amounts on a daily basis (2-3 cups a day) by most of the inhabitants of a small Greek island called Ikaria. And the significance of this is that Ikaria is one of several places in the world with an exceptionally high concentration of centenarians (with an average age of 104 years) and an almost non-existent prevalence of the types of diseases that are statistically most likely to kill us here in the UK; heart disease, cancer, Type II diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease etc. Could the daily consumption of Greek coffee be responsible, in part, for this? The evidence very strongly suggests it plays a key role. And just as importantly for the coffee lovers amongst us, Greek coffee tastes incredible – rich, smooth and silky - and once tried many fail to go back to that slightly tarnished cup of nescafe!
If you would like to make and taste Greek coffee, and learn many other diet and lifestyle approaches that are clinically linked to longevity, based around the research of Ikaria and other such places, then join us for our 6-week Live Longer, Live Better course which starts on the1st of April at Hamblin Hall.