Lo bueno, lo malo y lo mejor de tomar una tacita de café

Hace frío, uno invernal. La joven está en la gran Ciudad Universitaria. Un bosque encontrado de repente en lo profundo de la Ciudad de México. La gente corre. Pellizas por todas partes. Una parada de pumabús. A las 17:00 horas desciende del camión. Se pone una chaqueta. Aprieta los dientes, y súbitamente, esboza una sonrisa.

Se acerca. Sus cejas viajan hasta lo alto de su cara y lanza una petición: un café, por favor. Ya sabe cómo me gusta. Se enorgullece de ello, ésta bebida le fascina. Su cafetería favorita está ubicada frente a la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (FFyL). No es mayor de un metro por un metro. Los chavos se amontonan, ahí venden el elixir de la vida.

La joven sabe distinguir y degustar correctamente un café puro y artesanal. Este pequeño —pero reconfortante espacio— ofrece a sus clientes granos de las principales regiones cafetaleras del país: Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, Hidalgo y Nayarit. También cuenta con diversos métodos de extracción artesanal, destacan el V60, Kalita, Aeropress, Chemex, y el Sifón Japonés. La chava eligió una bebida jarocha y el método Kalita. Da un sorbo. Lanza un suspiro. Se siente extasiada.

Recientemente se ha descubierto que cada uno de los métodos ofrece una taza de café distinta, aunque se utilice el mismo grano, y la misma cantidad de agua. Existen tres tipos de métodos de extracción: los descendentes –en los que el agua depende totalmente de la gravedad, se vierte en la parte superior y desciende-; los de inmersión completa –el café está completamente en contacto con el agua- y los que combinan ambos tipos de extracción.

Propiedades del café

A media mañana tomar café se asocia a ese descanso en el trabajo, reponer energía y seguir con la jornada. Las moléculas de cafeína bloquean una serie de receptores en el cerebro, disminuyendo así la sensación de somnolencia.

Estos efectos se inician con una relativa rapidez –10 ó 15 minutos después de la ingesta-, alcanzan su máxima expresión hacia los 45 minutos y tienen una duración variable -entre 3 y 9 horas- en función del hábito y la capacidad de metabolizar la cafeína.

La cafeína, ingrediente activo del café -aunque también está presente en otras bebidas naturales como el té o el chocolate-, es una sustancia estimulante del sistema nervioso central que actúa interfiriendo en la adenosina, sustancia que produce calma y tranquilidad, y eleva los niveles de adrenalina y noradrenalina.

Consumirlo de forma moderada (1-3 tazas diarias) puede tener efectos beneficiosos para nuestra salud, por ejemplo:

*Al estimular la actividad cerebral, genera mayor capacidad de concentración.

*Combate la fatiga.

*Solo, es un excelente digestivo.

*Inhibe el crecimiento de bacterias en la boca, reduciendo el mal aliento.

*Disminuye la depresión.

Algunos de los efectos nocivos de tomar café en exceso son:
*Problemas gástricos como diarrea, vómitos, nauseas, úlceras gástricas.
*Temblores
*Insomnio
*Aumento excesivo de la diuresis

*Taquicardias
*Actividad antioxidante

 

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