Jan 31, 2019
Guest article by Raj Jana
Coffee hasn't always had the best reputation with the media or the public. Today, it seems that we frequently assume anything that tastes good has to be bad for us. However, scientific study is increasingly demonstrating the valuable side of coffee. Now that we consume an average of around 400 billion cups of coffee per year, it helps to know that the Java you're drinking might be doing great things for your mental and physical health. If you need another excuse to set your coffee maker brewing or grab your grinder and start crunching through a fresh lot of beans, here are just some of the biggest benefits of regularly drinking coffee.
1. Coffee Contains Both Essential Nutrients and Antioxidants
One of the best things about fresh coffee beans is that they're packed full of antioxidants. In fact, coffee contains more antioxidants than any other source, including fruits and vegetables. However, it's not just antioxidants that coffee has to bring to your daily diet, but a range of fantastic vitamins and minerals too. According to research, a single cup of coffee includes:
- 11% of the RDA of Vitamin B2
- 5% of the RDA of Vitamin B5
- 3% of the RDA of Potassium
- 2% of the RDA of Niacin and Magnesium
While those percentages might not seem like much at first glance, they quickly add up when you're drinking two or three cups of coffee per day. Of course, if you want to get the maximum benefit, you'll need to commit to freshly ground and brewed coffee. Coffee from degraded beans on your supermarket shelves has already begun to lose much of its vitamin and mineral content.
2. Coffee Boosts Your Brain Power
Coffee naturally makes you feel more energetic by providing you with a healthy dose of caffeine. However, this boost isn't just a great way to get you started first thing in a morning, coffee's energy-improving capabilities can also help you to concentrate and perform tasks better too. The same substance that causes you to wake up when you drink a cup of coffee also helps to improve brain performance. When you absorb caffeine into your bloodstream, it blocks neurotransmitters that can leave you feeling tired and foggy. Studies show that a quick cup of coffee can do wonders for many different components of brain function, including mood, memory, energy levels, cognitive function and reaction times.
Enhanced focus and a sharper mind also benefit your daily meditation. A cup of coffee before practice can contribute to a significantly improved meditation experience. (Ed.)
3. Coffee Helps You Work Out and Burn Fat
There are plenty of people throughout the world today who would love a drink that could help them to perform better at the gym and shed pounds faster too. Fortunately, coffee could give you just the fat-burning support you need. In fact, caffeine is a substance found in practically every fat burning supplement on the market. That's because studies show that caffeine improves your metabolic rate by anywhere up to 11%. Not only does coffee set you up for a more successful day at the gym, but it can also stimulate your central nervous system so that you can endure longer and more significant workouts. Caffeine increases your adrenaline levels to make your body ready for intense exertion. This means that you can work harder for longer when you're exercising, without suffering from too many adverse side effects. Some studies indicate that a simple cup of coffee can be enough to boost your physical performance by up to 12% on average.
4. Coffee Improves Heart Health
I don't know about you, but the very thought of a fresh cup of coffee can be enough to get my heart beating faster. The good news is that drinking coffee can support the health and longevity of your heart muscle too. According to researchers from the Beth Israel Medical Centre and Harvard School of Health, coffee can even protect you against heart failure. People who drink around four eight-ounce cups of coffee on a daily basis were able to achieve an 11% lower chance of suffering from heart failure compared to people who don't drink coffee at all. Of course, different people respond to coffee in different ways, so the researchers in this study suggest caution.
5. Coffee Reduces Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
If you're interested in all the ways that coffee can help you to live a happier and healthier life, then it will help to know that your daily brew could protect you against type 2 diabetes. One set of researchers at UCLA found that drinking coffee increases the levels of a specific protein in the blood that controls the body's sex hormone production. Better levels of the substance "SHBG" reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To support that study, another piece of research from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at three separate pieces of research to find that people who drink coffee have an 11% lower chance of suffering from type 2 diabetes. This result came from people drinking an average of around 1.69 cups per day.
6. Coffee Could Protect you from Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Your brain is one of the most important muscles in your body. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to take care of our minds regularly. Alzheimer's disease is currently one of the most common conditions responsible for causing neurogenerative side effects worldwide. While there is presently no known cure for Alzheimer's, researchers are beginning to believe that drinking coffee is one of the many things you can do to prevent the disease in the first place. Although you'll need to take other measures to minimise your risk of Alzheimer's even further, several studies indicate that coffee drinkers can enjoy an up to 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer's disease - that's a significant reason to start drinking more coffee!
7. Coffee Supports Your Liver
Another great way that your coffee habit can support a healthier body is by protecting you against various forms of liver disease. Regular coffee consumption is often linked to limited risk of suffering from a condition called "Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis](https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260742.php)." At the same time, a regular dose of coffee can also reduce your chances of suffering from cirrhosis of the liver - particularly if you're the kind of person who enjoys a regular alcoholic drink. One study from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program found that alcohol drinkers could reduce their risk by 22% with a regular cup of coffee. Like with coffee's impact on neurodegenerative diseases, it's important to speak to your doctor and create a solid strategy for fighting against liver disease if you know you may be pre-disposed, or at a higher risk level.
8. Coffee Makes You Happier
A great cup of coffee can be a great way to get you smiling. After all, there's nothing like the taste of freshly ground beans when you're just waking up in the morning. However, research suggests that coffee can also make you happier from a scientific perspective too, by reducing your risk of suffering from depression and anxiety. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, and approximately 4.1% of the people in America are likely to suffer from depression. However, according to a study conducted by Harvard in 2011, women drinking four or more cups of coffee per day can have a 20% lower chance of becoming depressed. A different study into depression and coffee found that people drinking four or more cups of coffee each day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
9. Coffee Can Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers
Cancer is one of the most terrifying diseases in the world, and also one of the leading causes of premature death. Although it's difficult to know when cancer might strike, some research indicates that coffee might be able to help protect the body against two specific forms of cancer - specifically colorectal and liver cancer. People drinking coffee on a regular basis can reduce their risk of liver cancer by as much as 40% according to some studies. Additionally, another study found that people drinking up to 5 cups of coffee per day could have a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.
10. Coffee Could Make You Live Longer
Finally, when it comes to discussing all the benefits that coffee can bring to your health routine, it's hard not to comment on the fact that this simple drink could expand your lifespan. Because coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from a whole range of diseases, it's safe to say that coffee could be a great way to improve your longevity. There are plenty of studies out there that indicate that drinking coffee could lead to a lower risk of premature death. The effect of coffee on giving you a longer life appears to be particularly strong in people with type 2 diabetes. One study found that diabetic coffee drinkers had a 30% reduced risk of death over a 20-year research period.