coffee with grains for health

by brutawit gebre

Ethiopia has a long tradition of drinking coffee for socializing, welcoming guests, inviting
neighbors to each other’s home for coffee to gossip about people and life. People accept
the invitations and drink excessive coffee to be polite to others in spite of the health
problems. The high consumption of coffee intake causes high blood pressure, heart
weakness and other health issues. Ethiopians mix coffee with fenugreek or chickpeas or
barley to reduce the caffeine and protect their health. In Ethiopia, there has been a
tradition of believing that these grains benefit one's health. They believe that mixing one or
two of these grains with coffee helps to lower the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, blood
pressure, and prevents heart disease.

People use fenugreek for cold and sore throat. Ethiopian people, especially women, use f
enugreek to have a beautiful skin treatment. They soak the fenugreek powder with water for
about 24 hours and keep changing the water about four to five times to lower the bitterness
and drink one glass in the morning in empty stomach. Some people mix it with sugar or honey
and some drink it by itself. Both fenugreek and barley benefit women during breastfeeding
by increasing breast milk. However, women prefer barley because fenugreek gives an
unpleasant smell to the body and has a bitter taste. Also some people who could not stand
the bitter taste of fenugreek mix the coffee with chickpeas or barley to lessen the caffeine for
the sake of their health and mainly they love to drink coffee with their neighbors and friends.

Ethiopian people did not know the depth of the nutrition of fenugreek---that it is a good
source of iron, which prevents anemia and contains protein, vitamins, copper, magnesium
and dietary fiber that also helps digestion. Chickpeas and barley are very rich in fiber
and that helps prevent constipation and colon cancer. They are also loaded with iron that helps
restore iron and increase energy, especially for women who loose iron during
menstruation. Chickpeas are a great source of protein that can substitute for red meat (good
for vegetarians). In addition, they contains folate, which helps to lower heart disease by
reducing the level of homocysteine. Again Ethiopians did not know about minerals,
vitamins and their functions but they believed in the tradition that passed on from
generation to generation that these grains are promoting health.

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