Scientists have studied the health benefits of coffee, both caffeinated and decaf, for decades now. For a while, coffee had a bad rap because it appeared to have adverse effects on our health. Recently, however, scientists have found new evidence that suggests that we may be doing ourselves a favor by drinking coffee regularly—though in moderation.
Coffee is believed to help lower the risk of the following issues:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Colon cancer
- Liver cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Weight gain
- Stress hormone cortisol levels
Read on To Find Out More About Coffee With 6 of Its Most Essential Health Benefits
1. Reduces Disease-induced Inflammation
Caffeine blocks certain receptors on brain cells, which causes inflammation and many types of diseases and problems later on. It also has a unique influence on your immune system. People who drink more coffee have fewer inflammatory molecules.
Your nose knows a good thing when it smells it, and coffee is no exception. Just smelling the coffee is enough to help lower stress levels.
2. Sustains Brain Power
Ask anyone who’s had 1 or 2 cups of coffee as they’re studying for a big exam, or preparing for an important presentation, and they’ll tell you they were able to focus better after they’d drank their coffee.
This is because caffeine helps your brain to function more efficiently. Research shows that it also increases your attention span, your ability to reason logically, and dramatically improves your reaction time. Research has also discovered that those who drink 3-5 cups of coffee on a daily basis had a 65% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia, as they grow old.
3. Protect your Heart
By drinking 1-2 cups of coffee per day, you’re reducing your risk of heart disease. The antioxidants in your coffee help reduce LDL levels, which means less fatty substances on the walls of your arteries – the main cause of atherosclerosis.
Antioxidants, such as selenium, plus vitamins A and C, also lower your blood pressure and help keep your arteries healthy and free of inflammation.
4. Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
A recent Harvard study showed that your risk of type-2 diabetes decreases by 9% for every daily cup you consume, and by 6% for decaffeinated coffee. And what’s more amazing is that the risk decreased the more coffee you drink. Just remember not to overdo it with the caffeine or sugar.
5. Acts as a Pain Suppressant
You know that when you’re sluggish or tired, a cup of coffee will perk you up. However, the degree of rejuvenation you feel after a coffee break is undeniable. Caffeine acts as a pain suppressant and an anti-inflammatory, helping you to feel less pain and discomfort.
6. Promote Weight Loss
Another thing to make you fall in love with caffeine, even more, is that it helps break down fat in fat cells which then the body uses it for fuel when you’re working out. Many studies have been carried out on how caffeine promotes weight loss, and they’ve found out that those who drink 12 ounces of coffee before working out burned 15% more calories than those who didn’t.
And for up to 3 hours after exercising and when you’re not working out, drinking 1-2 cups of coffee daily boosts your metabolism 15 – 20%. The primary attribute that makes coffee so good for our health is that it’s rich in antioxidants. We’ve all heard about antioxidants and how good they are for us, but what exactly do they do?
This type of stress causes the formation of free radicals, which are molecules that scavenge the body looking for electrons. That’s where antioxidants come in. They help to neutralize free radicals, so they’re unable to harm healthy cells. The free radicals are then turned into harmless substances that are flushed out of the body.
Antioxidants benefit the body in the following ways:
- Decrease the risk of cancer
- Reduce oxidative stress that causes premature and accelerated aging
- Help alleviate the harmful effects of UV rays on skin cells
- Slow down the signs of premature aging
- Decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, as well as other types of dementia
6 Types of Antioxidants in Coffee
Coffee is especially delicious in one potent type of antioxidant called quinine, which is known for its ability to kill off diseases. The magical thing about the way quinine works in coffee is that the antioxidant becomes more potent after the coffee has been roasted.
When quinine combines with magnesium, another element found naturally in coffee; the two have a positive effect on blood sugar levels and athletic performance.
Cafestol is located in both caffeinated and decaf coffee. It acts as a modulator for bile acid in the intestines. It also acts an anti-inflammatory substance in the brain, which may mean that it slows down the mental and cognitive decline that results from aging.
3. Plant Phenols
Another type of antioxidant found in coffee is plant phenols. Plant phenols are similar to the antioxidants found in berries. They protect the body from the cellular damage that occurs in certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
They are also known for breaking down lipids and carbohydrates in the body, a process that helps with weight loss.
Trigonelline is the bitter alkaloid found in coffee.It is responsible for coffee’s unique aroma. It has antibacterial properties that can help reduce dental cavities.
5. Chlorogenic Acid
Chlorogenic acid plays an integral role in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities in the body. It can also enhance insulin function in the body, which means it’s able to fight diabetes.
Melanoidins are formed during the roasting process and are responsible for coffee’s enticing aroma. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
We can safely conclude that coffee has many health benefits we can take advantage of when we drink it in moderation—two to four cups a day is usually considered moderate.
More than seven cups of coffee per day is too much for the body and can lead to a slew of health problems, including increased LDL levels in the blood, diabetes, muscle tremors, and weight gain.
Also, beware that the caffeine in coffee is an addictive stimulant that your body will crave relentlessly when taken in such high doses.