What is Cascara?
You may have heard the word floating around. Cascara is Spanish for “husk” and is essentially the dried skin of coffee cherries. This part of the coffee fruit has the potential to benefit your health. Allow me to explain.
Cascara Vs. Cascara Sagrada
Before we get too deep into what cascara can do for you, let’s look at the difference between cascara and cascara sagrada. You mustn’t confuse the two.
Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana) is a shrub that is found in North America. It’s also known as California buckthorn. It’s currently used as a dietary supplement to treat constipation.
That’s right when you can’t go poo, cascara sagrada might be for you! Cascara sagrada is intended for short-term use, so don’t go overdoing it.
We’re interested in the form that comes from the coffee fruit.
The coffee plant gives us the coffee beans we have grown to love. The first domesticated coffee plant apparently came from Harar, a city in Ethiopia.
For a very long time, coffee farmers would discard the coffee fruit during the coffee bean extraction process.
Due to recent demand in the United States and worldwide, the leftover dried coffee cherries are becoming more sought after. They’ve become known as a superfood.
Cascara is a fantastic addition to a coffee drink like Morning Fix from Strong Coffee Company; a tasty beverage you can enjoy hot or cold.
Coffee cherry tea is also another terrific way to take advantage of the health benefits. This herbal tea is made from the dried skins of the coffee fruit. Remember, don’t confuse coffee cherry tea with cascara sagrada tea!
The Health Benefits of Cascara
They are high in antioxidants, for starters, which help protect your body from free radicals that cause damage to your body’s cells. This is due to the insane amount of polyphenols (antioxidants), which helps provide that superfood status.
There is promising research that the dried fruit can help improve your brain health. 100mg of coffee fruit concentrate was shown to increase BDNF levels (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) by 143%!
BDNF is a protein that promotes the survival of your nerve cells in the brain. It is linked to our mental health.
Having that 143% increase is significant for your cognitive functions, especially as you get older.
There is also promising research indicating that coffee fruit extract can help promote fat loss. Coffee fruit has a fair amount of chlorogenic acid, which has been linked with weight loss and burning fat.
How to Consume Cascara
Coffee cherry tea (cascara tea) is one option for getting the supplement in your diet. It provides you with caffeine and a nice, fruity flavor if you’re looking for something along those lines.
It is also used in NeuroFactor®, an ingredient in some specialty coffee drinks, as you’d find with Strong Coffee Company products.
This superfood can also be obtained as a dietary supplement in tablet, capsule, or liquid extract forms.
Personally, if I had to choose, I’d prefer a specialty coffee drink that provided my body with the added benefits found in cascara.