The most impressive health benefits of coffee include its ability to improve cognitive health, aid in weight loss efforts, boost energy levels, reduce the chances of developing diabetes, maximize fitness efforts, and increase liver protection. It also helps to optimize the metabolism, prevent certain types of cancer, and protect the cardiovascular system against damage.
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What is Coffee?
Coffee is a beverage prepared from the beans of its plant. Coffea arabica is the most commonly used bean, but there are many different varieties depending on the region of the world you are drinking coffee in, or in 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 drunk every day around the world; estimates put the total at 500 billion cups every year.
Coffee represents the top agricultural export for 12 countries of the world, and despite its slightly acidic and addictive nature, it continues to be in demand from Japan to New Jersey in massive quantities. 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 drunk 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 organic compounds and nutrients, including a range of B-family vitamins, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Perhaps most importantly, they contain caffeine, which has a wide range of health benefits when consumed in moderation and at right times during the day.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has some surprising benefits, many of which are due to its chemical composition and nutrients. Let’s discuss the commonly known benefits in detail.
Improves Cognitive Function
It is widely known that coffee helps to 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, the regular process of drinking coffee has been shown to protect the cognitive health and prevent mental degradation as we age. In fact, studies have shown that elderly people who consume it on a regular, moderate basis are 60% 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
Although too much caffeine can put a strain on your cardiovascular system, research has revealed that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of having a stroke. In women, coffee 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 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 to reduce your risk factors for diabetes.
Increases your Metabolism
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 generally keep your 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.
It seems that everyone is always looking for the magical anti-cancer cure, as the disease is one of the most deadly and widespread on the planet. 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!