Arabica beans produce the most common type of coffee in the world. In fact, the Coffee Research Institute estimates that up to 80 percent of the world’s coffee is produced from Arabica coffee plants. Arabic coffee is one type of beverage made from these coffee beans, which offer numerous nutritional benefits. The key is to moderate your overall coffee intake and to limit fattening additives.
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
Like other types of coffee, Arabic coffee offers more than a pick-me-up. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics praises black coffee for its potential anti-inflammatory effects, thanks to antioxidants in the beans. Over time, antioxidants from plant-based foods may reduce your risk for chronic diseases. Phytochemicals -- plant compounds -- found in coffee beans include chlorogenic acid and quinic acid. These phytonutrients have antioxidant effects on the body and may also promote the destruction of abnormal cells for potential cancer prevention.
Vitamins and Minerals
Coffee also offers a number of vitamins and minerals in small amounts. An 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee offers approximately 7 milligrams of magnesium, 0.6 milligram of manganese plus 0.5 milligram of niacin and 0.2 milligram of riboflavin -- both of which are B vitamins. While not significant in terms of quantity, these nutrients are added bonuses if you enjoy coffee.
Electrolytes and Hydration
Brewed coffee is 95 percent water and may contribute to your daily hydration needs. However, one common concern with coffee is that it can lead to dehydration. While Arabic coffee does have diuretic properties, CoffeeandHealth.org estimates it takes more than 5 cups to make you dehydrated. Also, Arabic coffee has only a trace of sodium, as well as the added benefit of 116 milligrams of potassium per 8 ounces. Diets low in sodium and high in potassium not only regulate blood pressure, but they also help maintain hydration and fluid balance.
Caffeine and Recommended Intake
Like other coffee plants, Arabica beans naturally contain caffeine. While not considered harmful in moderate amounts, too much caffeine can pose health concerns. Caffeine helps wake you up, but too much can lead to insomnia and anxiety. People with hypertension might be sensitive to Arabic coffee because caffeine can temporarily raise your blood pressure. For these reasons, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day -- this is equivalent to about three 8-ounce cups of coffee. Pregnant and nursing women should not exceed 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Other Nutritional Considerations
Unless you take your coffee black, there are other nutritional considerations aside from the types of coffee beans used in your daily cup. Cream and sugar add a significant amount of calories and fat to Arabic coffee, which can easily make this otherwise nutritional beverage a dietary nightmare. Instead, focus on the naturally rich taste of the Arabica beans and lighten with low-fat milk. Fat-free lattes are also great alternatives to loaded coffee because they have the added benefit of the calcium and vitamin D from milk.