Ahh coffee. Dark, latte, cappuccino, iced, trim with a shot of vanilla - these are just a few versions of coffee that we know and love. A new version of coffee is taking the health world by storm, and while you may not find it on a cafe menu, you can find it throughout natural health blogs and research papers. We’re talking about green coffee beans.
Green coffee beans are rich in Green Coffee Antioxidant (GCA, scientifically known as ‘chlorogenic acid’), the key to green coffee's benefits. Green coffee beans are extracted in their raw, untreated form to preserve the GCA.
The extract from green coffee beans has been shown to help support weight loss. It is rich in beneficial antioxidants, which have a variety of health benefits.
In short: I wish! To make coffee as a drink, coffee beans are roasted to give us that delicious and aromatic coffee taste we all know and love. This roasting also causes coffee beans to lose some of their nutrients and active properties.
Bad news for dark roast connoisseurs: the amount of GCA breaks down steadily with darker roasts. While green coffee beans contain 7-8g of GCA per 100g, roasted coffee contains 0.4-2.9g of GCA per 100g, with the amount decreasing the longer the coffee beans are roasted.¹
A light roast can reduce the GCAs in the beans by around 45%-54%, whereas more than 99% of GCAs were lost in higher roasts.²
So yes, your hot mug of happiness does contain small amounts of chlorogenic acid, however you would need to consume an unhealthy amount to harness the same benefits of one green coffee bean extract supplement - especially if you love a dark roast!
It is easy to see the benefits of green coffee bean extract. What is less easy to see is which green coffee supplement to choose. There are hundreds of options on the market; here is how I waded through the options and chose VitaPostGreen Coffee Plus.
Green coffee beans can be purchased as raw beans or green coffee bean extract in a capsule form.
Can I eat green coffee beans?
While some people may top cakes with roasted coffee beans, you will probably never see green coffee beans used in the same way. Why? Green coffee beans are highly acidic, have a bitter, woody flavor and are solid to chew. Simply put, raw coffee beans aren’t nice to eat.
You can swallow raw beans whole, however if your digestive system is anything like the civet cat, it will just come out undigested, meaning no real nutrients would be absorbed. Eating green coffee beans would be both unenjoyable and nutritionally pointless.
Can I make green coffee brew?
I think the more appropriate question is should you make green coffee? My opinion is a firm no. Polite reviews compare green coffee’s taste to herbal tea; blunt reviews say it tastes more like grass. Coffee’s signature caramelized flavor comes from the roasting so don’t expect a green brew to taste remotely the same.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is the nutritional properties of green coffee come from its raw, unheated form. By pouring boiling water over green coffee beans and then discarding the beans, you are losing the beneficial properties of green coffee beans.
Capsules allow for a concentrated and potent form of GCA in a small and easy to swallow package. They require no preparation and no bad taste.
This is what led me to finding VitaPost Green Coffee Plus. The key ingredient in Green Coffee Plus is green coffee bean extract. This extract has 50% GCA, one of the most potent forms of green coffee extract on the market.
The two main touted benefits of Green Coffee Plus are weight loss and being rich in antioxidants. Below is a culmination of the research I have done into each benefit.
Green coffee’s weight loss benefits are perhaps the reason this supplement is so popular. Whatever reason you may have for wanting to lose weight, some studies have proven promising for green coffee bean extract’s weight loss support.
Most notable is a mid-2019 meta-analysis of all the green coffee supplement studies at the time. There are so many weight loss products available on the market. It’s important to choose one that is well-researched and not just hype. This study provides a critical review of eight green coffee bean extract trials.³
This study supported this extract’s use as a long-term weight loss support supplement. The best effects were seen for people who are heavier than normal-range weight.
Green coffee is a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial for fighting oxidation and free radicals. Antioxidants can be found in plant-based foods including fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and even cocoa.
Oxidants and free radicals can do some pretty nasty damage to the body. Free radicals are molecules that are produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to harmful chemicals including tobacco smoke or radiation.
So where does Green Coffee Plus come into it? One analysis of in vitro and in vivo studies found that GCAs can support the body’s fight against oxidants.
In all honesty, the reason why I chose VitaPost Green Coffee Plus over other green coffee supplements doesn’t have anything to do with the weight loss or antioxidant claims. Afterall, most green coffee supplements on the market make these claims. The real reason I chose Green Coffee Plus is to do with the ethics and quality of this product above competitors.
Green Coffee Plus is a vegan product, made with green coffee extract, a vegetable version of magnesium stearate and contained within a vegetable capsule. While you may not be a vegan, there are many benefits in plant-based supplements and food that are as close to nature as possible.
Another key advantage this supplement has,is the coffee beans are sourced from Texas. While many coffee-based products are sourced ethically, many also are not. If your green coffee supplement manufacturer cannot (or will not) share where their green beans are sourced from, I would stay away for both ethical and safety reasons.
What do good coffee and weight loss have in common? They both require a grind. If your main reason for taking green coffee supplements is to support weight loss, remember that it takes commitment and grind beyond just the supplement for sustained and strong weight loss.
Take an honest look at your diet. Take an honest look at your daily exercise. Eating well and working out are both described as a grind because they require hard work and grit.
The best way you can take Green Coffee Plus is with a healthy attitude towards exercise and diet. There are so many reasons to exercise regularly and eat healthily outside of weight loss.
Take one capsule twice a day with food or as directed by your healthcare professional. While you don’t necessarily need to change your lifestyle in order to use this product, it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a sensible diet and exercise program.
Green Coffee Plus does contain caffeine which is something to be aware of. The amount of naturally-occurring caffeine per serving is 20mg, less than ½ a cup of coffee. This amount of caffeine may help raise your energy levels to do the things you love.
While the formula doesn’t include any common allergens, it is manufactured and packaged in a facility which also processes milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, and crustacean shellfish.
VitaPost Green Coffee Plus is one weight loss supplement I am happy to stand behind. While many weight loss supplements don’t have the science to back up their claims, green coffee bean extract has a reassuring amount of studies behind the buzz.
Farah A & dePaula Lima J. Laboratório de Química e Bioatividade de Alimentos e Núcleo de Pesquisa em Café (NUPECAFÉ), December 2018;10.3390
Moon JK, Yoo HS, Shibamoto T J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24; 57(12):5365-9.)
Gorji Z, Varkaneh HK, Talaei S, et al. Phytomedicine. 2019 Oct;63:153018.
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