Recent research has shown that coffee, in particular, may help prevent diseases like stroke, certain cancers, lower our risk of Parkinson’s, dementia and boost our concentration and memory. However, there are some negative aspects of coffee. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that one ingredients called cardamom can be used to mitigate the acidic and negative effects of coffee.
Cardamom is a spice found in the form of a small pod with black seeds inside. It belongs to the zingiberaceae or the ginger family.
According to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine has protective effects against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and heart disease; it also lowers the risks of oral cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
“Coffee is an amazingly potent collection of biologically active compounds, at the same time caffeine is a drug that can be addictive, and coffee can promote anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue; it is a health risk for people with diabetes and blood pressure issues, and it can cause different digestive issues. Coffee also is one of the higher-pesticide crops out there, making it especially important to buy it organic,” Walter Willett, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, told the National Institutes of Health’s newsletter.
He added that because coffee can many times come from several different origin spots, mold has become a consistent problem. In fact, an entire culture of health-crazed consumers have begun following the popular “Bulletproof Diet” by author and podcast host Dave Asprey, which is centred around drinking coffee that is especially created in order to be low in mold residues.
Dr Willet said in terms of coffee itself, acidity from long-term consumption can also contribute to health problems and that is the reason cardamom seeds should be grinded and added to coffee, and also for cooking.
Explaining the negative effect of the acid in a coffee, Willet said it has a pH value of about 5.0, while the human body needs to be at about 7.4 for optimal health, while foods that are between 7.30 and 7.45 are the ones that will make most people feel the best in the long run, once the body becomes acclimated to digesting them.
While it was not yet figured out how to brew alkaline coffee (although low-acidity coffee does exist), he said there is one trick we can borrow from the Indian cultures – adding the spice cardamom to coffee will help mitigate its acidity.
“Cardamom like most spices is very alkaline, and it also happens to mix really well with coffee from a flavor profile standpoint. It will help neutralize your body’s pH level when drinking coffee. This spice is also warming and soothing to the digestive system, and it clears the lungs and opens the heart. Cardamom helps detoxify the body, promotes oral health, and is an anti-inflammatory,” he added.
He recommended that one can take between few pinches to half a teaspoon of powdered cardamom to a 12-ounce cup of coffee. Willet said cardamom does not only add healing properties to your coffee, it also has a strong aroma and a unique flavor.
“Traditionally cardamom is added to Turkish coffee, which has a distinctive taste and smell. Many people who tried it, like it so much they can never go back to drinking coffee without it” he added.