Surprising health benefits of coffee in fighting COVID-19

The health benefits of coffee may now include COVID-19
The health benefits of coffee may now include COVID-19

While vaccines are the only sure-fire way to tackle Coronavirus, there is an increasing focus on the effects of lifestyle.

Good sleep and exercise have been shown to help prime the immune system against the virus, and now coffee is the latest weapon in the arsenal.

A new study from Northwestern University School of Medicine finds that coffee and eating vegetables may confer a “modest degree of protection”.

The study included 38,000 participants who had a COVID-19 test, of whom 17% tested positive.

Experts warn that consuming coffee in conjunction with a good diet will “never be a substitute for the vaccine” but should be used for their general protective benefits.

Dr Karen Studer, from the preventive medicine residency program at Loma Linda University in California, agrees.

“The benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet — which is mostly fruits and vegetables and grains — will protect you from a lot of diseases,” she says. “This is exciting because it looks like it’s true for infectious disease such as COVID-19, too.”

The experience of Chez Mademoiselle in Melbourne’s Prahran suggests Aussies are looking forward to their morning Java more than ever.

Chez Mademoiselle Manager Kevin Tribet, who is now selling 1500 to 1800 coffees a week, says the café has doubled its weekly turnover since February 2020.

“We’re seeing a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s who may have travelled to work before but are now working from home. After the first lockdown, they just kept coming back.

“Our prices are also typically about 10% lower than standard, $3.80 for a regular coffee (that is not in a tiny cup) and $4.30 for a large.

“The price of some coffee in Melbourne can range from $4.50 (small) to $6 (large) and more for special milks and extras. So I think in tough times people really appreciate value for money and customer service. And of course the French food doesn’t hurt either.”

He says already there is evidence showing caffeine may boost mood and alertness, and may have  many other health benefits.

Chez Mademoiselle owner David Brandi, who also has 15 other businesses including the Melbourne Swimming Club and Australian Pipe & Tube, says that survival in COVID is all about customer loyalty and innovations – and that pivoting to takeaway was a no-brainer in COVID-19.

“We already had an extensive customer base who love anything French with our fine-dining restaurant Chez Olivier. So it was an easy ‘pivot’ for us to extend to takeaway and produce good coffee and affordable tasty French breakfast food like croque monsieur.

“Our next plan is to be a purveyor of French foods with a retail section in the café, selling French deli items.”

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