Can You Eat Coffee Beans?

Coffee beans, the seeds of coffee fruits, are usually dried and roasted and later, brewed to make coffee. Drinking coffee can help you feel fresh and energetic in an instant, thanks to its aroma and the stimulant action it can produce. However, will you be able to derive the same benefits if you eat coffee beans without brewing them?

Let’s find out…

Is it safe to eat coffee beans?

Before coffee beans were developed to be consumed as a refreshing beverage, the beans were consumed raw to increase the energy levels.

However, raw coffee beans are not pleasant to eat as they can be hard to chew and have a bitter flavor. Roasted beans are easier to consume as the process makes them slightly softer.

What are the potential benefits of eating coffee beans?

  • Coffee beans are packed with natural antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid that can help to protect your body against oxidative damage. It can protect you against several degenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease. [1]
  • Chlorogenic acid in coffee beans may reduce the risk of diabetes and reduce inflammation. It also possesses natural anti-carconogenic properties, which can help reduce the risk of cancer. Chlorogenic acid can destroy the free radicals responsible for triggering abnormal changes in healthy cells and tissues. This can prevent the development of cancer in various organs including the stomach, esophagus, uterus, colon and so on.
  • Caffeine in coffee beans can stimulate your brain and help you feel fresh just the way you feel after drinking a cup of brewed coffee. The stimulant action of coffee beans can boost your energy levels and help you stay more alert. It would improve your memory, attention span, and problem-solving skills. This effect of coffee beans could be beneficial for students and working professionals. Eating coffee beans is also linked to improved creativity and cognitive skills of the brain. [2]
  • Eating coffee beans is also linked to a reduced risk of heart diseases and stroke. It is believed to work by improving blood flow through vital organs. [3]

What are the potential risks involved in eating coffee beans?

Coffee beans, when eaten in moderation, could be perfectly healthy. However, eating too many could cause problems. Some of the unpleasant side effects you may develop due to the consumption of raw coffee beans include lack of sleep, heartburn, and stomach upsets.

Conclusion

If you exercise regularly and want to improve your physical stamina and endurance, you may eat a few coffee beans a day. However, it is not advisable to consume too many coffee beans as the stimulatory effect it produces on the brain may cause side effects such as lack of sleep and restlessness.

References:

  1. Wei, Feifei, Kazuo Furihata, Fangyu Hu, Takuya Miyakawa, and Masaru Tanokura. “Complex Mixture Analysis of Organic Compounds in Green Coffee Bean Extract by Two‐Dimensional NMR Spectroscopy.” Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, September 5, 2010. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mrc.2678.
  2. Einöther, S.J.L. & Giesbrecht, T. Psychopharmacology (2013) 225: 251. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2917-4.
  3. Grosso, G., Micek, A., Godos, J. et al. Eur J Epidemiol (2016) 31: 1191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-016-0202-2.