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Functional coffee: Beyond the trend, health benefits and wellness

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Feb 22, 2024 05:44 PM IST

Functional coffee is more than just trendy beverage, transcending the buzz of regular coffee to offer myriad of health benefits contributing to overall wellness

Functional coffee has emerged as a dynamic and transformative trend within the ever-evolving landscape of wellness beverages, transcending the conventional boundaries of a mere caffeine fix. Inspired by the evolving trends that go beyond the traditional espresso and cappuccino offerings, it is more than just a trendy beverage, transcending the buzz of regular coffee to offer a myriad of health benefits and contributes to overall wellness.

Functional coffee: Beyond the trend, health benefits and wellness (Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash)
Functional coffee: Beyond the trend, health benefits and wellness (Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ekta Singhwal, M Sc Dietician at Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, shared, “This innovative blend combines the invigorating properties of coffee with carefully selected functional ingredients, creating a beverage that goes beyond a simple energy boost. One key element in functional coffee is adaptogens, natural substances known for their ability to help the body adapt to stress and promote balance. Incorporating adaptogens like ashwagandha or Rhodiola rosea into coffee not only enhances its flavor profile but also supports the body's resilience to stress, fostering a sense of calm and well-being.”

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She revealed, “Moreover, functional coffee often includes ingredients like MCT oil or collagen peptides, which can aid in promoting cognitive function, supporting weight management, and contributing to healthy skin. These additions elevate coffee from a mere stimulant to a holistic elixir that nurtures both mind and body. In the realm of wellness, functional coffee extends its reach by offering a convenient way to incorporate health-promoting ingredients into daily routines. With a cup of functional coffee, individuals can enjoy the ritual of savoring their favorite brew while also reaping the benefits of carefully curated components designed to enhance vitality and balance.”

Dr Ekta Singhwal quipped, “As the demand for wellness-centric products continues to rise, functional coffee stands out as a delightful and accessible means of fostering a healthier lifestyle. Beyond the caffeine jolt, it has become a wellness ally, blending pleasure with purpose in every cup.”

Chef Supreet Ghai, Director of Culinary for ibis & ibis Styles India, echoed, “Beyond the familiar buzz associated with traditional coffee, functional coffee introduces a harmonious blend of additional ingredients, each claiming to unlock unique health benefits and foster overall well-being. One of the key components of functional coffee is its infusion with adaptogens, herbs, and superfoods. Adaptogens like ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng are believed to help the body adapt to stress, enhance mental clarity, and improve energy levels without the jittery side effects often associated with caffeine consumption. These ingredients complement the stimulating effects of coffee, creating a balanced and sustainable energy boost. Moreover, functional coffee formulations often include ingredients known for their antioxidant properties, such as turmeric, matcha, and cacao. These antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support the body's immune system, contributing to long-term health and vitality.”

He added, “Furthermore, functional coffee may incorporate ingredients aimed at enhancing cognitive function and mood, such as L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea known for its calming effects or lion's mane mushroom, believed to support brain health and cognitive function. Additionally, functional coffee offers a convenient way to incorporate nutritional supplements into one's daily routine. Ingredients like collagen peptides or MCT oil may be added to support joint health, skin elasticity, and metabolism, respectively.”

He concluded, “In essence, functional coffee epitomizes a fusion of time-honored coffee culture with the contemporary wave of wellness trends, delivering to consumers a beverage that not only imparts a caffeine boost but also carries the promise of additional health benefits. However, it is paramount to acknowledge that while functional coffee holds potential health perks, individual responses may vary. Therefore, it is advisable to consider overall dietary habits and seek guidance from healthcare professionals before embarking on significant changes to one's routine.”

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