Could consuming coffee grounds have health benefits?

Could consuming coffee grounds have health benefits?

The debate over the benefits and risks of drinking coffee continues as research from the American Chemical Society suggests coffee grounds have an abundance of health benefits.

Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that coffee grounds can be rich in antioxidants with more than 1,000 compounds.

“People around the world drink millions of cups of coffee every day, generating about 20 million tons of used grounds annually,” said María Paz-de Peña, a researcher on the study, in a news release. “Although some spent coffee grounds find commercial use as farm fertilizer, most end up in trash destined for landfills.”

Some dietitians see potential health value from consuming the grounds.

“Brewing coffee increases the amount of antioxidants,” says Melodi Peters, registered dietitian at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “The antioxidants have been shown to help prevent or slow cell damage, which can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including liver, breast, colon and rectal.”

To help better analyze their findings, researchers tested three different coffee-making methods to find out the level of antioxidants in the coffee extracts. They found that filter, plunger and espresso-type coffeemakers left more antioxidants in coffee grounds, while mocha coffeemakers left the least.

“Because filter and espresso coffeemakers are more common in homes and commercial kitchens, most grounds are likely to be a good source of antioxidants and other useful substances,” Paz-de Peña said.

Researchers believe that this could open opportunities for making the leftover grounds into an antioxidant pill.

“Antioxidant supplements can be helpful in moderation but can be harmful in excessive amounts,” says Peters. “Try eating superfoods rich in antioxidants like purple, red and blue grapes, as well as blueberries and red berries, to name a few.”

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4 Comments

  1. OK, so just consuming the coffee is supplying the good antioxidants or must something be done with coffee grounds? This is a confusing article

  2. What’s a “mocha coffeemaker?” If it leaves the least antioxidants in the grounds, does that mean it puts the most antioxidants into the coffee?

  3. This doesn’t make any sense! I agree with John why suggest the coffee grounds and NOT tell how to take them, use them…?.

  4. Yes, the grounds are distasteful, but can they be watered down in a recipe or made to complement a recipe? The dietitian Melodi Peters needs to tell us more.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.

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