Trends in increasing coffee consumption in South Korea have been noticed by analysts around the world. Moreover, the percentage of instant drink on the menu of Koreans is becoming less and less, and the country's inhabitants, especially young people, are happy to spend time in numerous coffee-related establishments.
South Korea and coffee - a short history of relationships
If we talk about coffee in a historical aspect, then in Korea they generally learned about this drink quite recently - a little more than 100 years ago. It all started with the Korean ruler, who was addicted to a drink one noble at home originally from Russia. For a long time, the use of coffee beans was considered the privilege of the elite in the country.
After the military revolution in 1961, which ended with the coming to power of the main embodiment of the idea of an “economic miracle”, Pan Jung-hee, a ban was imposed on the import of this product.
Years passed, social disasters in the country succeeded each other, and coffee gradually won the sympathy of the country's inhabitants. Today, South Korea is the sixth largest country in the list of world leaders in terms of grain consumption.
Modern Koreans choose coffee
Another achievement in the coffee market of the world - 11th place in terms of sales - is provided by a large number of establishments. In 2013, there were already more than 12 thousand of them in the country. Enterprising Koreans massively take coffee machines for rent for cafes to open a newfangled business. It got to the point that the government forbade the opening of new establishments if there is already a cafe at a distance closer than 50 meters.
Survey data indicate that the average resident of the country drinks an average of 12.3 cups of coffee per week. For comparison, a dish of kimchi is eaten in Korea at approximately the same frequency (11.8 times in 7 days). But rice, which is a national product in all of East Asia, is eaten in the country on average only 7 times a week.
The share of instant drink in relation to the total volume of coffee consumed in South Korea is constantly decreasing. Today this figure is 40%, forecasts for the next few years indicate a decrease to 30%. The thing is that recently, residents of the country increasingly prefer espresso, cappuccino, specialty coffee or alternative methods of brewing.
The benefits and harms of coffee for the body
Coffee has a certain effect on the human body - it stimulates cardiac activity and the functioning of the cerebral cortex, raises blood pressure, increases motor activity and mental performance, and helps to reduce fatigue and drowsiness. Let's see what the benefits are and how to avoid the harm from drinking coffee.
The positive effect of coffee on the body:
- Prevention of stone formation in the kidneys and gall bladder,
- Reducing the risk of cancer, due to antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects,
- Stimulating bowel function (acts as a mild laxative)
- Mitigation of asthma attacks,
- Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease,
- Prevention of diabetes
- Reducing the risk of suppressed conditions.
At the same time, improper use of this tonic drink can seriously undermine health and cause addiction similar to drugs (at least on a physical level).
The negative effect of coffee on the body:
- Withdrawal syndrome with an already formed dependence, manifested in the form of a headache, irritability, nausea, unstable mood, fatigue,
- Feeling of anxiety, depression, arrhythmia, jumps in blood pressure, exhaustion of the nervous system and various mental disorders (obsessive thoughts, psychoses, epilepsy attacks) with too large doses of coffee, especially when drunk regularly and for a long period,
- Causes or aggravates gastritis and stomach ulcers if you drink coffee on an empty stomach, especially without sugar, milk or any light meal (sandwich or pastry),
- Dehydration caused by a strong diuretic effect, if you do not make up for the loss of fluid in clean water,
- Washing and preventing the absorption of calcium (to the greatest extent), magnesium, sodium, potassium, vitamins B1 and B6 and other important trace elements,
- Violations of the course of pregnancy and the development of the fetus in the womb with excessive drinking coffee,
- Deterioration of the state of the cardiovascular system - the occurrence of a disease in healthy people or its more severe course in people with a similar diagnosis,
- Sleep disturbance with coffee in the afternoon.
So what brings coffee more - benefit or harm?
The fact that the caffeine contained in coffee is even used in medicine to “shake” the body and bring it out of collapse or a state of shock, and is a component of a number of medications, suggests that it should be treated like a medicine. To achieve a noticeable positive effect, you need to drink a large number of cups of coffee, which is likely to cause any side effects.
Therefore, if you like the taste of this drink, but you want to limit the use of caffeine, you can reduce its release into the finished drink (while maintaining the same taste and aroma) yourself, or immediately purchase decaffeinated coffee. Then you should be sure that caffeine has been removed from it in a safe way (without chemical solvents of dichloromethane or ethyl acetate, which may partially remain in the grains after processing).
What time is better to drink coffee?
The expediency of drinking coffee at certain hours of the day is influenced by the mechanism that determines the increase in vitality with the greatest effect after a cup of hot aromatic drink.
The fact is that the power of coffee on the body is inversely proportional to the level of cortisol - the stress hormone. Its amount in the blood begins to increase from 6 in the morning, and reaches a peak in 8-9 hours, then gradually decreases and again increases from lunch - from about 12 to 14 hours. Therefore, it is worth letting the body wake up on its own, and when the vigor decreases, that is, from 10 to 12 hours, plus or minus half an hour (depending on what time you usually get up), you can drink a cup of coffee. The interval from 14 to 17 hours can also be called conditionally optimal for taking caffeine, if, despite the approaching time of bedtime, it does not cause you insomnia.
Using a proven recipe to double your mood - to drink coffee with chocolate - you need to keep in mind that a sweet bar of cocoa beans contains not only flavanol and glucose, which help to better cope with the analysis of the situation and decision-making, but also a certain amount of caffeine.
But the use of coffee with ginger will allow you to combine the beneficial properties of each of them, avoiding the undesirable synergistic effect. Ginger has not only a pleasant spicy taste, but also pronounced medicinal properties - relieving pain, cramping and nausea, lowering blood cholesterol, antimicrobial and anthelmintic effects. True, during pregnancy, some skin diseases accompanied by an inflammatory process, as well as with ulcers and bleeding, coffee with ginger can be harmful.
How else can I use coffee?
The pleasant smell of coffee, as well as the adsorbing, abrasive, coloring and other useful properties of coffee grounds give rise to many ways to use it after the drink itself has already been drunk:
- In pest control,
- As a fertilizer,
- To absorb odors,
- As a surface cleaner
- As a dye of fabrics and paper "antique"
- In the form of a coffee scrub.
Given the specific effects of coffee on the body, you can use it in reasonable doses and get the desired effect, creating a variety of drinks based on it. The remaining coffee grounds also have a ton of use cases. Let coffee become a source of only pleasant emotions and inspiration for you!
1. Coffee and hydrochloric acid
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid. This acid should only be produced by digesting food. If your body begins to produce hydrochloric acid more often than expected due to the regular use of coffee, it may have difficulty digesting large amounts of food.
The lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach can especially affect the digestion of proteins. Protein food can simply go further down the digestive tract before being digested in the stomach. Undigested protein can cause a variety of health problems, from bloating and flatulence to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, and even colon cancer.
Properly digested foods due to the low amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach can cause dozens of other health problems. There is even an unfounded saying - "Almost all diseases begin in the intestine." Given this, you can understand why it is so important to limit everything that interferes with its normal operation and periodically cleanse the intestines.
2. Ulcers, IBS and acidity
The damage to coffee in this case is this. Many of the compounds in coffee, such as caffeine and various acids found in coffee beans, can irritate the stomach and mucous membranes of the small intestine. This is a known problem for people suffering from ulcers, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. Typically, patients with these problems are advised to completely stop drinking coffee. But the following question arises - can excessive consumption of coffee contribute to the development of the above diseases?
Ulcers are believed to be caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. The acidic effect of coffee has a weakening of the resistance of the gastric mucosa to H. pylori bacteria. Drinking coffee can also irritate the mucous membrane of the small intestine, which can lead to abdominal cramps, colic and stool problems (constipation and diarrhea). This condition is known as irritable bowel syndrome and in recent years, more and more people suffer from this disease. With gastrointestinal diseases, coffee is harmful.
3. Heartburn from coffee
Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by coffee due to the fact that it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This small muscle should remain tightly compressed after eating, to prevent the contents of the stomach from returning to the esophagus and damaging the mucosal surface with hydrochloric acid. Caffeine, found in cola, energy drinks, and other foods, is also known to relax the esophagus sphincter, but it does the most harm - coffee.
Even decaffeinated coffee in some people can constantly cause heartburn. Researchers believe that other components found in coffee can also cause acid reflux.
4. Coffee as a laxative
Drinking coffee can stimulate intestinal motility. Some people use it intentionally as a laxative, but there is one problem. By stimulating intestinal motility with coffee, we also help to speed up the emptying of the stomach, resulting in incompletely digested food quickly moving from the stomach to the small intestine. In this case, the harm to coffee is that it complicates the extraction of nutrients from food and increases the likelihood of inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract, which we discussed above. Do you use coffee with or without caffeine, it does not matter, and in either case, coffee has a laxative effect and negatively affects digestion.
5. The absorption of minerals and coffee
People who drink a lot of coffee may lack minerals in the body, even if they eat foods rich in minerals or take nutritional supplements. In this case, the harm to coffee lies in the fact that this drink negatively affects the absorption of iron in the digestive tract and promotes the leaching of calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.
Although all of these minerals are essential for maintaining good health, their deficiency can lead to various kinds of diseases. For example, only a lack of calcium can lead to more than 150 various diseases, and coffee washes it out of the body quite strongly.
If you are still a coffee lover, you need to include more foods rich in calcium and other minerals in your diet, or start taking mineral-rich preparations. Learn more about choosing the right form of calcium.
6. Acrylamide in coffee
Acrylamide is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance that is formed by roasting coffee beans. The darker the grains of coffee, the higher the level of acrylamide in them. In the USA, coffee was recognized as one of the main (including fast food) sources of this dangerous chemical among all food products. The harm of coffee is obvious - acrylamide contributes to the development of cancer. Read also about the prevention of oncology and the causes of its occurrence.
7. Coffee, stress and tension
A large amount of coffee consumed contributes to the release of stress hormones - cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase heart rate, blood pressure and mental stress. A surge of stress hormones due to drinking a cup of coffee before eating interferes with the digestion process. When your nervous system is agitated, the body expends energy for other purposes, resulting in insufficient energy for digestion.
Finally, caffeine in coffee is known to interfere with the metabolism of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This amino acid is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and stress levels. It also has a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Your mood and your digestive system are wonderfully interconnected. Unfortunately, coffee does both harm here because of the high level of caffeine in it.
Many people are so fond of coffee that they simply do not even want to listen to anything about its harm and the health problems that it can cause if it is used uncontrollably. If you read this material, you may have the feeling that you need to reduce the amount of coffee you drink or even abandon it altogether. The harm of coffee is great enough and you should be worth putting on one side of the scales - its great taste and effects, and on the other - your health. Think about it.