The Meal Matters Most

What Makes Healthy Food Healthy: From a Stress Perspective

Do you drink espresso at the end of a meal?

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Do you drink coffee or espresso at the end of a meal? You may be glad you do (and stuck to it when others may have told you not to!)

Recent research out of Jerusalem by researchers Sirota and Harris find that the polyphenols in roasted coffee have a protective effect from the byproducts our bodies produce when ingesting meat.

Roasted-ground coffee polyphenols that were found to inhibit lipid peroxidation in stomach medium are 2- to 5-fold more efficient antioxidant than those found in instant coffee.The results obtained in vitro simulated stomach model on MDA accumulation were predictive for the amount of MDA absorbed into circulating human plasma, in vivo. Timing the consumption of coffee during the meals may make it a very active functional food.

Researchers in the past have noticed these same attenuating or buffering aspects from a variety of foods that are the smaller players in the meal from chocolate or classic desserts, the cheese plate after dinner, from salad dressings or from a red wine. There’s a continuity and a beauty to the deliciousness of the pairings in our meals.

Do you like an after-dinner espresso?  Then be confident in your choice and just say YES!


  • Coffee polyphenols protect human plasma from postprandial carbonyl modifications. Sirota R, Gorelik S, Harris R, Kohen R, Kanner j.  Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Jan 16. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200557.
  • Protection by polyphenols of postprandial human plasma and low-density lipoprotein modification: the stomach as a bioreactor. Kanner J, Gorelik S, Roman S, Kohen R. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 12;60(36):8790-6. doi: 10.1021/jf300193g. Epub 2012 May 3.
  • Cocoa, hazelnuts, sterols and soluble fiber cream reduces lipids and inflammation biomarkers in hypertensive patients: a randomized controlled trial. Solà R, Valls RM, Godàs G, Perez-Busquets G. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2010;56(6):421-7.
  • Inhibitory effects of balsamic vinegar on LDL oxidation and lipid accumulation in THP-1 macrophages.Iizuka M, Tani M, Kishimoto Y, Saita E, Toyozaki M, Kondo K. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031103. Epub 2012 Feb 27.
  • From balsamic to healthy: traditional balsamic vinegar melanoidins inhibit lipid peroxidation during simulated gastric digestion of meat. Verzelloni E, Tagliazucchi D, Conte A. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2097-102. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.05.010.
  • Does cheese intake blunt the association between soft drink intake and risk of the metabolic syndrome? Results from the cross-sectional Oslo Health Study. Høstmark AT, Haug A. BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 19;2(6). pii: e001476. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001476. Print 2012. LINK

Author: Lori Hogenkamp

Lori's passion is for food, the brain, science and stress shifting perspectives .

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