It’s no question; most people enjoy their delicious cup of brew in the morning. Just the smell and taste of the freshly brewed cup of coffee is enough to wake them up. But what happens to the main byproduct of the brewing process—the coffee grounds? If you’re like most people, dumping what seems like valued grounds seems like wastage.
So, you may be curious to know: Are coffee grounds eaten? What happens if you eat coffee grounds? Is it safe to eat coffee grounds?
Stay tuned as we explore this hot topic in detail.
What are Coffee Grounds?
First, it’s vital to understand what we mean when we talk of coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds are the leftovers of the brewing process. They are the small grain-like remains of the brewed coffee bean.
Are Coffee Grounds Edible?
Absolutely! The leftovers of your brew can be eaten. They’re loaded with benefits, even if they’ve been soaked. However, they contain smaller amounts of these elements than non-brewed coffee.
Why Eat Coffee Grounds?
Perhaps, you’ve never given a thought to these used particles and possibly throw them away immediately. They may even be usually in your way when it comes to cleaning, so you don’t necessarily consider them useful.
Coffee grounds have many benefits, which explains why some people eat them:
- Coffee Grounds are Packed with Antioxidants
The best reason why coffee grounds are eaten is they are high in antioxidants—substances that protect your body and cells from damage.
- Coffee Grounds are Rich in Fiber
Fiber is an essential element to your digestive health, and it’s essential to ensure your diet is full of it. While brewed coffee has no fiber, coffee grounds are rich in it. 30 coffee beans can get you ten percent of your daily recommended fiber intake.
- Coffee Ground’s Caffeine Boost
Most people love coffee because of the caffeine boost it offers to wake them up. As coffee is brewed, a ton of caffeine is transferred from the ground. But a lot of it remains on the grounds. If you’re looking to add that caffeine concentration to enhance your energy boost, try the coffee grounds. While this is great, you want to do it in moderation as it can amplify the effects, especially if too much coffee itself makes you jittery.
- Coffee Grounds Contain Higher Levels of Dietary Phenolic Compounds Than Brewed Coffee
These polyphenols are known to help fight harmful UV rays and pathogens. On top of that, they protect against illnesses such as diabetes and cancer and boost cardiovascular strength, which protects against heart-related diseases.
- Coffee Grounds are Useful in Everyday Treats
Coffee grounds are a perfect meat tenderizer and add a bittersweet addition to marinades. They’re used to infuse chocolate flavor in baked foods and treats. Plus, if you need a caffeinated energy bar, a caffeinated coffee bar is a close grab.
Sounds good, right? But just before you scuttle to grab any of the above treats, let’s see if there’s anything to cause you any worry.
Is it Safe to Eat Coffee Grounds?
Safety is a major concern for anything that goes through your mouth to your body. It’s no exception when it comes to coffee grounds. Since drinking coffee yields numerous benefits, you may automatically assume this is so for coffee grounds. Unfortunately, many doctors and researchers caution against consuming coffee grounds.
Coffee beans contain cafestol and kahweol, components that can potentially increase blood cholesterol. The good thing is these compounds aren’t passed to the coffee. Instead, they’re filtered by the paper filters when brewing. That means one thing; they remain on the grounds.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a three-week study to evaluate the effects of consuming 7 grams (0.25 ounces) of coffee grounds every day. The results showed an increase in blood cholesterol for the participants by about 26 points. Over time, high cholesterol can lead to heart attack, chest pain, stroke, and even low blood flow to the legs.
The risk is even higher for people who suffer from high cholesterol. Coffee grounds will amplify the effects by raising blood cholesterol even higher.
Given the risk associated with coffee grounds, it’s best to eat them in moderation. You may use them for sauces, baked foods, meat rubs, and other recipes; just don’t consume them in excess and often.
What Happens if You Eat Coffee Beans?
Coffee beans have been consumed for the longest time since coffee was founded in Ethiopia. The coffee beans are rich in nutrients and health benefits. Brewing dilutes these nutrients, so what you drink in coffee is not the full benefit of coffee. Same with harmful elements such as mycotoxins. As such, you get the best of both worlds when eating coffee beans—the negative and the positive.
That said, it’s best to drink coffee in moderation. Excessive intake of coffee will lead to adverse effects such as feeling anxious and jittery, higher blood pressure, acid reflux, and headaches. Plus, excessive coffee intake will affect your sleep cycle and overall body health.
What Will Happen If You Eat Coffee Grounds?
Like with coffee beans, coffee grounds will give you the best and worst effects. You will experience a better caffeine rush than when drinking your coffee. The absorption of caffeine will start in your mouth as you chew the ground particles giving you a quick caffeine boost.
While you’re not likely to experience the adverse effects we mentioned above in the short term, it’s best to consume used coffee grounds in moderation.
How Do You Drink Coffee Grounds?
For you who’d like to get the best out of your coffee bean, it’s possible to drink coffee grounds in your cup of coffee. Various brewing methods mix the coffee grounds with coffee to create a highly concentrated rich brew.
Turkish coffee is one of them. It involves mixing extremely fine coffee grounds with water in a coffee pot. The solution of them brewed through a hotbed of sand, boiled, and poured together with coffee. If this is what you desire, go for it.
How to Eat Coffee Grounds
There are tons of ways you can eat coffee grounds. The right coffee beans properly roasted coffee grounds will have no bitter taste. You can use it to add flavor to cookies, chocolates, cakes, meats, and more. Your coffee grounds will be hard to resist (and even unnoticeable) if used properly and sparingly in your foods.
Other Creative Uses of Coffee grounds
Now that you know that coffee grounds are not necessarily the best elements you can eat any time for whatever reason, you can consider putting them to work for you.
Here are some better uses of coffee grounds, so the next time you brew your favorite cup of joe, don’t throw them away.
- Have coffee grounds work in your garden (or flower garden): Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients. When added to the soil, these nutrients will benefit the plants. They add such nutrients as calcium, iron, phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium.
On top of that, coffee grounds are well known for their absorption abilities. In the soil, they absorb heavy metals, which would otherwise contaminate the soil. But that’s not all, they’ll attract essential soil insects such as earthworms to your garden or flower bed, improving its health. To use coffee grounds in your garden, simply sprinkle them on the soil around your plants.
- Coffee grounds for composting: Now, if you don’t intend to use the coffee grounds in your garden or flowerbed right away, you can try using them to make compost. To get started on it, just pile up your coffee grounds.
But to get the most out of it, add other items such as eggshells, herbs, remains of fruits and vegetables, and leaves. Avoid oils, grease, meats, and dairy products as they’ll interfere with the natural process. Compost will increase the overall health of your plants when used in the garden.
- Coffee grounds to repel pests in your yard: Pests and inspects loathe strong smells. Coffee grounds are not an exception since they have a strong smell. Insects such as mosquitoes, beetles, fruit flies, cockroaches, and bugs that threaten your (or your garden) health will be repelled at the smell. Use the coffee grounds to keep them away.
- Eliminate fleas from your pet: Like other insects, fleas don’t like the smell of coffee grounds. Try bathing your pet in used coffee grounds to keep fleas at bay.
- Grounds as natural cleaning scrub: If you’re looking to avoid chemicals for your cleaning, coffee grounds are a sure candidate. Their abrasive nature ensures they remove buildup, whether it’s on your skin or hard-to-clean surfaces. You want to avoid using them on any porous material as they’ll stain.
- For your skin, they work well as exfoliating agents removing dirt and dead skin. Of course, to reduce the abrasiveness, add a bit of water and coconut oil.
- Natural dye: Coffee grounds are a perfect dye for your hair, furniture, paper, and will dye just about anything.
- Get rid of odors: Coffee grounds neutralize odors quickly and safely. Use them as an alternative to soda in your fridge or any other place to defuse odors.
Final Words on What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds
If you’ve wondered what it is like to eat coffee grounds, likely, you’ve already experienced it. Sure, coffee grounds are edible, and they’ll not get you sick if eaten in moderation. But they also contain harmful compounds you need to be aware of before delving into them. Like coffee, they have their best and worse. That said, if you crave any benefits of coffee grounds once in a while, go for it.