Most people enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Many coffee drinkers claim they are unable to start their day until they have had their first cup.
Coffee is considered one of the most popular beverages in the world. In the past, coffee had a mixed reputation, with many studies linking coffee drinking to high blood pressure and some forms of cancer. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), those claims are exaggerated — and coffee may actually be good for your health.
This is good news for the millions of global coffee addicts. Recent studies demonstrate that coffee can lower the risk of several serious health conditions. In can also improve brain function and provide a helpful boost of energy. The sections below provide more information on the benefits of drinking a daily cup of joe.
Coffee Provides Energy
As most coffee drinkers have noticed, coffee provides a burst of energy. If you want to wake yourself up, there is perhaps no better stimulant than coffee. Coffee increases energy levels because it contains caffeine, which is the world’s most commonly consumed psychoactive substance.
When you drink caffeine, your bloodstream absorbs it. The caffeine increases the presence of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which enhance the firing of neutrons. Not only does this process help to wake you up, it can also improve your:
- Reaction times.
- General mental functions.
However, coffee’s benefits are not limited to providing drinkers with energy. Drinking coffee also helps individuals burn fat. Studies show coffee can increase someone’s metabolic rate by up to 10 percent in people who are obese and up to 29 percent in people who are lean.
Because coffee stimulates the nervous system, it means the adrenaline levels in your blood are increased too. This can improve your physical performance by between 11 and 12 percent on average. If you are about to embark on a workout at the gym or a few hours of physical labor, it is a great idea to have a cup of coffee about 30 minutes prior to engaging in your activity.
Coffee Contains Essential Nutrients
There are many nutrients in coffee beans that your body needs. Most of these nutrients remain intact through the process of making a pot of coffee. Although a single serving contains a relatively small amount of nutrients, many coffee drinkers have multiple cups throughout the day. Just one cup of coffee contains:
- Magnesium and niacin. This is vitamin B3. One cup of coffee contains two percent of your Reference Daily Intake.
- Manganese and potassium. One cup contains three percent of your Reference Daily Intake.
- Pantothenic acid. This is vitamin B5. One cup contains six percent of your Reference Daily Intake.
- Riboflavin. This is vitamin B2. One cup contains 11 percent of your Reference Daily Intake.
Coffee May Prevent Type Two Diabetes
Research has shown coffee may help protect you against Type 2 diabetes. This is because coffee increases your levels of a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin. This protein controls testosterone and estrogen, which are your body’s sex hormones. These hormones play a part in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health showed participants who increased their intake of coffee by more than one cup per day over a period of four years had a decreased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.
Coffee May Protect Your Memory
Along with a morning burst of energy, drinking a daily cup of coffee provides some long-term benefits as you age. Thanks to the caffeine content, coffee may protect you against developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although there is no cure for the condition, there are several steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from occurring, including drinking coffee.
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Various studies have shown people who regularly drink coffee can lower their risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease by up to 65 percent. Scientists think this is due to a combination of a fatty acid called EHT and caffeine. Additionally, the presence of phenylindanes created during brewing may work with caffeine and EHT to prevent the growth of proteins associated with dementia.
Coffee Benefits Your Liver
Coffee is good for your liver too. Research shows coffee consumption can lower the risk of both liver cancer and liver disease. The Italian Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri found coffee can reduce the risk of liver cancer by approximately 40 percent.
Additionally, research conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in California found that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of the rare autoimmune disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis. The study showed coffee can reduce cirrhosis of the liver, which occurs from drinking excessive alcohol, by up to 22 percent.
Coffee Lowers Your Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
You may be at a lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease if you regularly drink coffee, according to researchers in the United States. The risk reduction ranges from 32 to 60 percent, depending on the study.
Studies conducted by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre showed people with Parkinson’s disease may have better control of their movement if they drink coffee. This may be due to the presence of the same compounds that reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Coffee may Reduce Depression
Studies show coffee can help with depression. A Harvard study concluded that women who drink at least four cups of coffee each day have a 20 percent lower chance of becoming depressed.
A different study showed men and women who drink at least four cups of coffee per day are 53 percent less likely to commit suicide. Scientists are not sure yet how coffee may help depression, and further research is needed to understand the link.
Coffee Can Help You Live Longer
A medical study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed drinking coffee regularly can lengthen your lifespan. The study followed nearly half a million people over 35 years of age in 10 European countries over a period of 16 years.
Scientists suggest that it is not just the caffeine that causes a longer lifespan, but the coffee itself. This is because the results included people who drank decaffeinated coffee. In other studies, coffee consumption was associated with a reduced risk of death in men by 20 percent and a reduced risk in women by 26 percent.
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