It’s not just the bean — coffee fruit is totally delish and worth loving, too!
When we think of coffee, immediately our minds flash to that dark brown liquid gold that we simply can’t live without. Our mouths start to water as we imagine sipping a rich, flavorful brew, with the gorgeous aromas that make our hearts sing. Most people equate coffee with the drink, but did you know that coffee is actually a fruit? The dark brown coffee beans are actually the bright green center of a beautiful red fruit. Most of us never give a second thought to coffee fruit, but that’s a big mistake!
Coffee fruit is actually one of the most neglected and ignored of the superfoods. If you want a new type of fruit that can do wonders for your body, you’d do well to look beyond the coffee bean.
What makes coffee fruit so awesome?
- It’s packed with antioxidants — The same polyphenols that give coffee its magical flavor are also concentrated in the flesh of the coffee fruit. The high concentration of polyphenols in the flesh of the fruit makes coffee fruit one of the healthiest superfoods around. Not only can these antioxidants reduce free radical damage in your body, but they can prevent and reduce inflammation–protecting you from chronic disease.
- Boosts your brain –– One group of researchers found that coffee fruit helps to increase the production of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor, a protein that plays a vital role in keeping your brain healthy and working well. By stimulating BDNF, you can increase cognitive function, regulate sleep, and balance your mood. All thanks to coffee fruit!
- Protect your skin — Coffee fruit is packed with Vitamin C, which your body needs to produce the collagen and elastin that keeps your skin fresh and healthy. It also contains Vitamin E, which acts as a protective layer to keep moisture in and prevent dryness and skin damage. It’s also rich in chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, and other acids that will improve the health of your skin and leave it healthy and beautiful.
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Of course, to obtain the full benefits of the coffee fruit, you have to ingest BOTH the flesh and the green seed itself. Only then can you get the wide range of phytonutrients and antioxidants that make coffee fruit such an amazing addition to your life.
Coffee fruit has a taste similar to cherries, with a tart tanginess you can’t help but love. The fact that so many coffee farmers are only using the coffee bean means that there is a massive amount of coffee fruit available, and many people are taking advantage of that availability.
KonaRed, for example, is a Hawaiian-based company that is producing juices using the coffee fruit. The company pays local farmers for their waste, and they turn the discarded fruit into juices and juice powders. The drinks and powders contain the caffeine you’d naturally find in the fruit and seed, making it a potent energy drink that’s much healthier than the taurine-infused Red Bull or Monster drinks. Best of all, the coffee cherry’s antioxidants help to enhance the energy boost by increasing mental clarity and cognitive function.
For those who prefer solid food to drinks, there’s always companies like CoffeeFlour that are producing flour products made from coffee cherries. The flour is not only sustainable (thanks to the incredibly high coffee production), but it’s also loaded with fiber–up to five times more than you’d get in a slice of whole grain bread. You can use the coffee cherries to make your own healthy cookies and get all the fiber you need!
If you’re more into the idea of using coffee fruit topically vs ingesting it, that’s a great idea too — there are a variety of companies offering coffee fruit infused beauty products like kona coffee face serums and coffee scrubs to help smooth and enhance skin. Either way, it’s time to look beyond the bean.