There are many good reasons to be a coffee drinker in the twenty-first century. Coffee has becoming an integral part of working culture and a way to socialise and meet others. Coffee not only benefits our social skills, but has been proven scientifically to also have benefits to our mental and physical health.
Coffee’s Health Promoting Antioxidants
This popular beverage is rich in antioxidants including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols. Hydrocinnamic acids are effective at neutralising free radicals and preventing oxidative stress, while polyphenols may prevent a number of conditions such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
These naturally-occurring properties help to fight inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of disorders associated with it, like cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants can effectively disarm any free radicals that attack the body and protect you against other diseases caused by oxidative stress including cancer.
Most of us consumer about 1 – 2 grams of antioxidants per day when drinking coffee. Caffeine itself is an antioxidant, and can help ease headaches, lose weight and prevent diabetes. Coffee is the largest source of antioxidants, and even has more antioxidants in it than herbal teas, fruit and vegetables.
So what are the major health benefits associated with coffee? Here is a list of the top 10 health benefits of drinking coffee:
1. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat
Caffeine is one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning and is found in many commercial fat-burning supplements. It can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11 percent. Studies have indicated that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning as much as 10 percent in obese individuals and 29 percent in lean people.
This is provided however, you consume caffeine in moderation and adhere to a strict diet while also exercising. Drinking coffee all day long on its own will not help you lose weight. Coffee is a cognitive enhancer and helps battle fatigue enabling you to exercise for longer, reduces the perception of muscle pain and strengthens muscle contraction.
2. Coffee Can Improve Your Physical Performance
Coffee has been proven to stimulate the nervous system, with its natural caffeine antioxidants that help signal fat cells to break down body fat. It also increases levels of the fight-or-flight hormone which prepares the body for intense physical exertion, known as epinephrine.
Coffee works its magic when consumed about half and hour before heading to the gym for a workout, or in the morning before facing your work tasks head on.
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3. It Lowers The Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects millions of people worldwide. It is often caused by insulin resistance and associated with elevated blood sugar levels. In recent years, studies have observed that people who drink coffee have a 23-50 percent lower risk of getting this disease.
Scientists believe coffee is beneficial in keeping diabetes at bay by helping the body use insulin and protecting insulin-producing cells, enabling effective regulation of blood sugar, preventing tissue damage and battling inflammation. One component of coffee known as caffeic acid is particularly significant in reducing toxic accumulation of abnormal protein deposits found in people with type 2 diabetes.
4. It Can Protect You Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to several studies.
It helps protect against cognitive decline, associated with these diseases, when drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day. It does this by preventing the buildup of beta amyloid plaque that may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.
5. Lowers The Risk of Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death characterised by an uncontrolled cell growth in the body. Coffee however, appears to be protective against two types of cancer, liver and colorectal cancer.
Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth. Studies show coffee drinkers have up to 40 percent lower risk of liver cancer. Coffee helps protect against cirrhosis of the liver by lowering the level of liver enzymes which reflect damage and inflammation to the liver.
6. May Help You Live Longer
Coffee can help you live longer and have a lower risk of death. Drinking coffee in several studies have shown to reduce the risk of death in men by 20 percent and 26 percent in women.
Those who drink 1-5 cups of coffee a day avoid diseases linked to premature death and can help you live longer.
7. Coffee is Healthy for Your Heart
Moderate coffee drinkers have a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Coffee supports heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.
8. Coffee is a Great Source of Antioxidants and Essential Nutrients
Coffee has a lot of nutritional value and contains a number of essential nutrients including riboflavin (11 percent of the RDA), pantothenic acid (6 percent of RDA), manganese ( 3 percent of RDA), potassium (3 percent of RDA), magnesium (2 percent of RDA) and niacin (2 percent of RDA). As seen above, it is also a huge source of antioxidants that prevent or delay cell damage and control how fast you age by fighting free radicals.
9. Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disorder that involves the malfunction and death of certain nerve cells in the brain. It is a progressive disease and symptoms get worse over time. Nearly 7 million people are living with Parkinson’s disease. Studies however have shown that a higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
10. Coffee is an Effective Brain Function Enhancer
As well as improving your physical performance during exercise, coffee can also improve cognitive functions in the brain. When you drink coffee, caffeine travels to the brain where it is responsible for enhancing the firing of neurons and increasing energy metabolism throughout your brain. Coffee therefore, can give you that extra mental edge.
Drink at Least Two Cups of Coffee a Day
To get the maximum advantages from coffee requires you to drink 1-2 cups a day. Brew a cup of fresh coffee early morning to start off your day. The healthiest way of optimising the health benefits is to grind fresh coffee beans immediately before starting preparation with an espresso or bean-to-cup machine. Then brew and drink your coffee quickly. Refrain from drinking coffee late in the day and try drinking coffee before a workout session in the gym to reap those added physical health benefits.