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The Health Benefits of Instant Coffee + You Are What You Drink?

instant coffee
instant coffee
Flickr/Harvard School of Public Health says that research shows that drinking coffee "may protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer and liver cirrhosis" and possibly cardiovascular disease.

But what about instant coffee? It appears that the speedy version of our favorite caffeine fix may be good for us, too, according to the latest issue of the Berkeley Wellness Letter: "Coffee's health benefits are thought to come largely from its antioxidants, and instant coffees seem to be loaded with them, despite the additional heat treatment and drying they undergo."

In fact, the process used to produce instant coffee may result in higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds like phenols and flavonoids than are found in other types of coffee. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that healthy people who consumed instant coffee from both green and roasted beans for just five days had reductions in biomarkers of oxidative stress, suggesting the beverage may offer protection against some chronic health problems, including heart disease.

Another study cited by the Wellness Letter, from the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, found that overweight men who drank five cups of regular or decaf instant coffee had some improvements in their blood sugar levels.

One thing these studies did not address: Is there an instant coffee in the marketplace that we might actually enjoy drinking? (If you've found one, let us know.)

In other coffee news, clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula surveyed 1,000 coffee drinkers and matched beverage preferences with certain personality traits.

Durvasula, author of You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, observed that people who chose black coffee "were straight up, straightforward and no-nonsense. Whereas those double decaf, soy, extra-foamy folks tended to be more obsessive and controlling. The latte drinkers tended more to the neurotic and being people pleasers, while the instant coffee drinkers had a greater likelihood of being procrastinators. Finally, those sweet folks who order those sweet drinks (e.g. frapped up coffee drinks) were the overgrown kids who retained the taste buds and sensibilities of children."

Durvasula, writing about the survey on The Dr. Oz Show website, hedged her findings by saying the survey was "meant to be sort of a fun exercise" and that we are no more defined by our coffee orders "than we are by our astrological signs."

We're guessing that all of those latte drinkers will just be sort of insulted.


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