Green Coffee 101: Everything You Need to Know

Green coffee


Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and whether you prefer a cup of black coffee or a glass of iced cappuccino, the coffee industry has you covered. While some coffees already have an established niche audience, others, such as green coffee, have just started to gain traction – particularly in the health and fitness community. With its increasing popularity, green coffee is steadily finding its way to the table of many consumers around the world. But, is green coffee really healthy? Let’s find out. 

What is Green Coffee? Overview

‘Green coffee’ beans are coffee seeds of Coffea fruits that have not yet been roasted. The roasting process of coffee beans reduces the amount of the chemical chlorogenic acid; therefore, green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to regular, roasted coffee beans. 

The chlorogenic acid in green coffee is purported to have health benefits. Green coffee tastes quite different from regular, roasted coffee as it has a milder, more ‘herbal’ flavor. Green coffee extract is typically used as a dietary supplement, but it can also be used as whole beans to make a delicious cup of coffee.

Health Benefits of Green Coffee

Green coffee contains chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant that typically breaks down when coffee beans are roasted. Some research suggests that the retention of chlorogenic acid in green coffee is responsible for its health benefitsBelow, we list down some of the health benefits of coffee.

  1. Green Coffee and Weight Loss
    Green coffee is perhaps best known for its weight loss benefits. Research suggests that the chlorogenic acid in green coffee helps the body to burn glucose and stored body fat, reduces carbohydrate absorption, and improves cholesterol. In one study, a group of 30 overweight individuals were divided into 2 groups: one group consumed green coffee bean extract, while the other drank regular instant coffee.

    At the end of the 12-week study, the group that consumed green coffee bean extract lost an average of 5.4kg (11.9lbs.) and dropped 3.6% body fat. On the other hand, the group that consumed plain instant coffee lost an average of 1.7kg (3.7lbs) and dropped just 0.7% body fat.

    Several studies have also shown that caffeine consumption helps boost metabolism anywhere from 3% to 11% which helps the body to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. In one study, researchers found that people who drank caffeinated coffee had a 16% increase in metabolism over those who consumed decaffeinated coffee.

  2. Green Coffee and Diabetes
    Chlorogenic acid is one of the most abundant polyphenols (plant-based chemicals with antioxidant properties) in the foods that we eat. They not only fight free radicals that damage cells, but they are also believed to help regular blood glucose levels.

    In one study, daily consumption of 3 to 4 cups of decaffeinated coffee containing high concentrations of chlorogenic acid reduced the risk for type 2 diabetes by 30%. Green coffee bean extract has also been shown to lower inflammation, which has positive effects on blood glucose levels.

    In fact, green coffee bean has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and fat accumulation[5], and may even reduce the absorption of glucose among obese individuals. The ability of green coffee to help reduce or normalize high blood glucose levels can, in turn, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  3. Green Coffee and Anti-Aging
    Green bean coffee extract contains many antioxidant properties, the majority of which have been shown to have anti-aging benefits. The high concentration of chlorogenic acid present in the green coffee reduces redness associated with excessive sunlight exposure. Further, caffeine also contains anti-aging properties – it limits photodamage, decreases wrinkle formation and skin roughness, and reduces the appearance of crow’s feet.

    In one study, the chlorogenic acid present green coffee beans was found to improve skin properties and microcirculatory function in humans. Green coffee bean consumption has also resulted in improved skin surface pH levels and decreased skin dryness. Consuming chlorogenic acid for 8 weeks has also been shown to improve skin hydration.

  4. Green Coffee and High Blood Pressure
    There is evidence suggesting that green coffee consumption can lower blood pressure levels. According to one study, green coffee extract prescribed at 140mg per day for 12 weeks reduced the diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg and the systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg among mildly hypertensive adults.

    Despite the promising results of the abovementioned study, it doesn’t mean that green coffee is beneficial for everyone with high blood pressure. This is particularly true among people with caffeine sensitivity in whom green coffee may trigger the same symptoms as regular coffee, including increased blood pressure levels. 


Possible Side Effects of Green Coffee

Green coffee extracts and green coffee are generally considered safe for adults. Green coffee extracts taken in doses up to 480mg daily have been used safely for up to 12 weeksAs with regular coffee, green coffee may cause unwanted side effects, especially for those with caffeine sensitivity. These side effects may include: 

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Headache 
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach Upset
  • Increased Heart Rate

Special Precautions and Warnings.
There isn’t sufficient information about the safety of consuming green coffee if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. As a precaution, avoid green coffee consumption. There is also some concern that long-term or excessive green coffee consumption may increase the risk of homocysteinemia – excessive buildup of the amino acid homocysteine which has been linked to heart disease and miscarriage. Consult your doctor before consuming green coffee, green coffee extracts, or supplements. 

The Takeaway

‘Green coffee’ beans are coffee seeds of Coffea fruits that have not yet been roasted. Green coffee was popularized as a weight loss supplement, and it may promote diabetes prevention, healthy blood glucose and blood pressure levels, and anti-aging benefits. However, research on its benefits is still limited. Green coffee also contains caffeine, and while there’s much less caffeine in green coffee than in regular coffee, it can still cause unwanted side effects. 

People who drink green coffee may experience caffeine-related side effects like nausea, vomiting, insomnia, nervousness, stomach upset, and agitation, among others. If you’re thinking about adding green coffee to your routine, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.

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