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
This beverage 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 it 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!
Lowers risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Regular consumption of coffee helps lower your chances of getting affected by Parkinson’s disease. Research says that caffeine has a protective effect on the nervous system, which eventually helps in preventing the disease.
Coffee energizes people to move around, get active, and burn calories faster. The stimulant nature of caffeine speeds up the body’s metabolism almost by 11% and increases calorie-burning. Furthermore, it acts as an appetite suppressant, so you can calm your cravings and remain firm in your dieting goals with a cup of joe on your side!
Maximizes Fitness Goals
People who regularly workout drink coffee half an hour before for a burst of energy so they can get the most of their exercise. The burst of caffeine increases epinephrine levels in the blood, which makes the body ready for any physical exertion. This allows people to push themselves longer and harder to begin seeing immediate 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. A study also shows that coffee helps to cure arrhythmias, which is abnormal heart rhythms.
Studies have shown that people who regularly consume coffee have a 23-50% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The nutrients in it help lower the blood sugar levels, thereby keeping you healthy.
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. It has also shown good results in preventing the occurrence of melanoma in people who consume it regularly. Research says that coffee drinkers have 43% lesser risk of cancer than those who do not drink it.
The natural effects of coffee can do wonders for someone suffering from depression. It has even been connected to a reduced occurrence of suicidal tendencies. It lights up the mood and relieves stress, thereby making improving your quality of life.
Coffee is largely linked to longevity as it has a capability of reducing the risk of many coronary diseases. It protects against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and many serious problems.
Prevents Multiple Sclerosis
Regularly consuming coffee helps protect you against the development of multiple sclerosis. Studies say that it prevents or inhibits neural inflammation, which is a major cause of the occurrence of MS.
Prevents Retinal Damage
The chlorogenic acid (CLA) in coffee helps prevent retinal damage. It acts as an antioxidant and reduces the oxidative stress that affects the functioning of the eye.
How much Coffee is safe to consume?
An 8 ounce of coffee contains 100mg caffeine approximately. Studies suggest that an average adult can consume up to 400 mg caffeine, which means up to 4 cups of the beverage. Also, do not forget that there are other sources of caffeine like tea, energy drinks, chocolates, etc. So monitor your intake and stay healthy!
Side Effects of Coffee
There are some side effects of drinking it in excess amounts. They are as follows:
- Caffeine addiction: Too much of caffeine can be taxing as it burns out the adrenal glands and causes changes in your appetite. And in absence of the caffeine ‘fix’, people tend to face headaches, anxiety, fatigue and have trouble concentrating.
- Thyroid & Hormonal Issues: Drinking coffee while you are struggling with thyroid, adrenal or hormonal issues can actually exacerbate the problem.
- Pregnant Women: Coffee can increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight in the child.
- Daily Clock: Drinking it in the evening or late at night can keep you awake for hours and play with your sleep time.