Turkish coffee is unfiltered, meaning it contains a higher amount of caffeine and other ingredients that can have multiple health benefits. The difference between regular coffee and Turkish coffee is its making method and taste. Other substances such as cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla powder, and cinnamon are the key ingredients in Turkish coffee. Traditionally, Turkish coffee brewed in a pot called a cezve. Cezve is a little long-handled pot with a pouring lip that is designed for making Turkish coffee. They make the pot of brass or copper, although it can also be made of silver or gold.
The preparation method of this coffee comes from turkey and Iran but it is popular in many countries including Middle East and Europe. The best part about Turkish coffee is that you can make it in your own kitchen by mixing ground arabica coffee beans with water and sugar and bringing the liquid to a foamy, boiling point. Ingredients such as cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla powder, and cinnamon are optional. In this article, we will walk you through the health benefits of Turkish coffee and its effects on physical performance.
The main substance in Turkish coffee is caffeine, which is a well-studied natural stimulant capable of boosting mental and physical performance. Therefore, Turkish coffee provides a hefty dose of caffeine, which can benefit athletes in particular. A study discovered that athletes who consumed Turkish coffee had significant performance improvements. Meaning Turkish coffee can provide benefits by increasing stamina and energy during a robust exercise. (1)
Summary: Turkish coffee is a well-researched stimulant that can boost mental and physical performance. Athletes that drank Turkish coffee significantly improved performance during workout.
Protects the Liver
The liver plays an important role by filtering the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. It controls hormone like cortisone, thyroid, and other adrenal hormones. Liver problems such as hepatitis and fatty liver disease produce hormonal imbalances. According to some studies, the caffeine in Turkish coffee can provide potential liver benefits by lowering the risk of liver diseases. When you drink Turkish coffee, the caffeine produces a molecule called paraxanthine, which can slow the process of scar tissue in fibrosis. This may also prevent liver cancer, cirrhosis caused by alcohol, non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease, and hepatitis C. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Summary: When you ingest coffee, the caffeine in coffee can produce a chemical in the body called paraxanthine, which is believed to be beneficial in preventing chronic liver diseases.
Protects the Brain
The caffeine in Turkish coffee is a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and can provide various mental health benefits. Alzheimer’s disease is a widespread neurological disease and one of the primary causes of dementia. Cognitive decline, short-term memory loss, and forgetting key life events are symptoms of this condition. According to the study, coffee can help regulate brain chemicals and may lower the risk of mental disease in people who have been consuming coffee. Another study found that people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee per day had a 65% lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). They concluded that drinking coffee may also lower risk of mental health problems in old age. The antioxidants in caffeine can cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes it beneficial for brain health and may also prevent depression. (7, 8, 9)
Summary: The caffeine in Turkish coffee can regulate brain chemistry and may reduce the occurrence of a mental disorder in people who drink it regularly.
Contains Essential Compounds
Turkish coffee is unfiltered, which means it contains a greater amount of useful bioactive compounds such as chlorogenic acids, which are the antioxidants beneficial to health. For instance, chlorogenic acids can fight inflammation, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. Some studies suggest that these ingredients in Turkish coffee can favor the human body in various ways. Coffee also comprise other strong compounds, which can also decrease inflammation, fight infection, and promote heart health. (10, 11, 12)
Summary: Turkish coffee contains many beneficial bioactive components, such as chlorogenic acids. Chlorogenic acids can benefit the human body and overall health.
Protects Against Diseases
Drinking Turkish coffee may decrease the risk of certain diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. A study shows that consuming one cup of coffee a day can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 7%. Another study discovers that three to five cups of coffee per day can decrease the risk of heart diseases by 15%. However, regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of depression, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, and liver cirrhosis. (13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Summary: Regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis.
The Cardamom in Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is often prepared using cardamom, a delicious spice related to several health benefits. Cardamom includes strong antioxidants that can reduce inflammation in the body. One animal study shows that cardamom extract can block substances such as TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor) and IL-6 (interleukin 6). These substances can increase inflammation, which can lead to chronic health problems. (18)
Summary: Cardamom extract effectively inhibits chemicals such as TNF- and IL-6 (interleukin 6), which can cause chronic health problems.
The main substance in Turkish coffee is caffeine, which is a drug that can increase your mood, mental and physical performance. Consuming caffeine at low-to-moderate levels is Ok for most people. However, consuming too much coffee may have some potential side effects. Because of the sugar content, which can have a negative health effects. Drinking a sweetened coffee will not damage your health, frequent consumption of any sugar beverage may boost your risk of several health problems, such as obesity, elevated concentrations of triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes.
To reap the health benefits of coffee, always drink it without adding sugar to prevent downsides. The high content of caffeine is another potential downside in Turkish coffee. Some individuals who are susceptible to caffeine may experience sleep disruption, anxiety, heart palpitations, and increased blood pressure. (19, 20, 21, 22)
Turkish coffee is unfiltered, meaning it has a greater amount of caffeine and other compounds, which can provide several health benefits. However, individuals susceptible to caffeine may want to prevent this coffee. The best part of Turkish coffee is that you can make it in your own kitchen. To reap the health benefits of Turkish coffee, make sure you drink it without sugar. Last but not the least, avoid drinking coffee in the evening as it may disturb your sleeping routine.
- The effect of an acute ingestion of Turkish coffee on reaction time and time trial performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015.
- Coffee, cirrhosis, and transaminase enzymes. Arch Intern Med. 2006.
- Habitual coffee consumption and risk of cognitive decline/dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutrition. 2016.
- Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2009.
- Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease: A Condensed Review of Epidemiological Evidence and Mechanisms. J Agric Food Chem. 2018.
- Coffee Decreases the Risk of Endometrial Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Nutrients. 2017.
- Coffee and caffeine consumption and depression: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2016.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects of Cardamom (Elettaria repens (Sonn.) Baill) and its phytochemical analysis by 4D GCXGC TOF-MS. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017.
- Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Consumption Positively Associated with the Risks of Obesity and Hypertriglyceridemia Among Children Aged 7-18 Years in South China. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2018.
- Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes incidence in Thai adults: results from an 8-year prospective study. Nutr Diabetes. 2017.
- The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review. Front Psychiatry. 2017.