The most impressive health benefits of coffee include its ability to improve cognition, aid in weight loss, boost energy, reduce the chances of diabetes, maximize fitness efforts, and increase liver protection. It also helps optimize the metabolism, prevent certain types of cancer, and protect the cardiovascular system against damage.
What is Coffee?
Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from the roasted beans of its plant. This plant is native to Ethiopia and Sudan in Africa and also stretches its origin in regions like Madagascar, Mauritius, and Comoros.
Coffea arabica is the most commonly used bean, but there are different varieties depending on the region of the world you are drinking coffee in or the region you are importing the beans from.
Known around the world for its wide variety, taste, and stimulating nature, coffee is one of the most popular beverages on the planet, with 100 million daily drinkers in the United States alone. Billions of cups are consumed every day around the world; estimates put the total at 500 billion cups every year.
Historically, it was first recorded as a drink just over 500 years ago, beginning on the Arabian peninsula, but there is a speculation that its use as a stimulating beverage stretches back more than 1,000 years in various ancient and indigenous cultures. Now, it is consumed in nearly every country of the world, and almost daily, even 5-6 times a day. While offices have larger machines, at home people often have single serve coffee makers which work best for the small requirements.
Coffee Nutrition Facts
Coffee beans have important nutrients like the B-family vitamins, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as other nutrients like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Perhaps most importantly, they contain antioxidants and caffeine, which have a wide range of health benefits when consumed in moderation and at right times during the day.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has surprising benefits, many of which are due to its chemical composition and nutrients. Let’s discuss the commonly known benefits in detail.
Boosts Energy Levels
The caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant and instantly increases your energy levels. It blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, which is actually the reason behind this stimulant effect.
It is widely known that coffee helps sharpen your mental focus and increase attention by stimulating the brain with caffeine. While this can sometimes result in a mental crash if too much is consumed, a regular process of drinking coffee has been shown to protect the cognitive health and prevent mental degradation as we age.
Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Studies have shown that elderly people who consume coffee on a regular, moderate basis are 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping those synapses firing with some caffeine isn’t a bad idea!
An overlooked benefit of coffee is that it energizes people to move around, get active, and burn calories faster. The actual stimulant nature of caffeine speeds up the body’s metabolism briefly and increases calorie-burning when coffee is drunk. Furthermore, it acts as an appetite suppressant, so you can calm cravings and remain firm in your dieting goals with a cup of joe on your side!
Maximizes Fitness Goals
Many people who regularly work out or train in a gym use coffee as a final burst of energy so they can get the most of their workout. The burst of caffeine in it acts as an instant energy boost, allowing people to push themselves a bit longer and a bit harder to really begin seeing results from their exercise regimen.
Improves Heart Health
Research has revealed that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of having a stroke. In women, it seems to lower the risk of heart diseases. It may increase your blood pressure temporarily, but that does not mean a stroke or heart disease is inevitable. It can often work to clear out the system and keep your heart functioning at an optimal level.
This is a newly discovered benefit learned about coffee, but in recent years, studies have shown that people who regularly consume the drink have a 23-50% lower chance of developing diabetes. The study covered nearly half a million people and returned with some very interesting results. This could be due to the appetite suppressing effects of coffee, or the fact that it simply makes you more energized and active, helping reduce your risk factors for diabetes.
One of the essential roles of B vitamins in our body is to regulate and guide our metabolic activity. The significant levels of niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin mean that coffee helps us optimize our metabolic efficiency, maintain balanced hormone levels, and keep the body running smoothly.
Although this is still an area that is being heavily researched on, coffee consumption has been linked to an improved liver health, particularly in the prevention of cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease. One study showed that regular consumption resulted in an 80% reduced chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver.
Coffee is not traditionally thought of as anti-carcinogenic, but it has been linked specifically to the prevention of two types of cancer – liver and colorectal cancer, which are the 3rd and 4th deadliest forms of cancer, respectively.
The natural effects of coffee are to energize and activate the mind and body. This can do wonders for someone suffering from depression and has even been connected to a reduced occurrence of suicidal tendencies. However, it has been connected to anxiety and mood swings if consumed in excess, because the classic caffeine crash can be quite severe as the chemical’s effect runs out. Remember – everything in moderation!