Whether you drink coffee for that uplifting energy boost or for the aroma of freshly brewed beans, knowing how beneficial it is for you can be very comforting. According to a USA Today survey, 83 percent of American adults are in love with their daily cup of joe.
Coffee has been a very controversial topic among researchers when it comes to how beneficial or harmful it is. So if you’re not among those 83 percent already, it’s time to reconsider, because latest researches have proven that coffee’s benefits actually outweigh its harmful effects.
The way you consume coffee is what decides how beneficial or harmful it can get for you. The best way to maximize benefits is to drink it as black as possible because sugar and cream can tone down the good things in it and make it unhealthy. Also, watch your caffeine intake, if you’re consuming other sources of caffeine like sodas, you might want to reduce coffee intake or opt for decaf.
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Here are a few good things about your favorite shot of espresso that might make you want to drink it even more.
Improves Brain Function
Cognitive Functions: Coffee has a remarkable effect on your brain. Several experiments have shown that coffee can make you smarter because it boosts dopamine production thereby improving brain functions like reaction time, mood, vigilance, energy levels, and general cognitive functioning.
Memory: Caffeine can improve your memory because it has shown to affect brain areas responsible for memory and concentration. Michael Yassa, a Neuroscientists at the University of California conducted a research on coffee and its effects on memory. He found that just two cups of espresso can boost memory connections and allow you to hold on to a memory longer than otherwise.
Parkinson’s Disease: Numerous studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A study revealed that the increased intake of coffee is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease whereas further studies have shown that these benefits might be limited to men only. Some researches have also shown that coffee can also benefit people who have developed Parkinson’s disease as it can manage their uncontrollable movements.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s disease affects people of old age usually above 65 and it is the leading cause of dementia. Medical science has yet to find a cure for this disease but many studies have proven that precautionary measures like eating healthy, exercising and drinking coffee everyday can lower its risk. The European journal of Neurology claims that caffeine can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease while several other studies have shown that coffee consumers have 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
Depression: Did you know that coffee can also be the answer to your sad mood and low feelings? Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and boosts the production of rewarding hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, all of which lighten up the mood. A Harvard research conducted on 50,000 women revealed that women who had 4 or more cups of coffee everyday at 20% lower risk to have depression than others. Another study claimed that people who drank 2 to 4 cups of caffeinated coffee were about half as likely to commit suicide than decaf or non-coffee drinkers. One thing to keep in mind is that coffee may not be beneficial if you have anxiety problems along with depression.
Decreases the Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes affects a vast majority of people and puts them at risk for several other diseases. Drinking espresso shots daily have shown to lower the risk of diabetes. Coffee can also help in regulating sugar levels in diabetics as it elevates insulin levels. Whether it’s decaf or not, coffee affects blood sugar in the same way.
Research reveals that people who drink more coffee, have a decreased risk of developing type II diabetes than people who drink it less, or none at all.
Another study shows that people who have 6 or more cups every day have a 22% lower risk of developing diabetes. This study also suggested that the risk of type II diabetes lowered by 9% for every cup of coffee while decaf also reduced the risk by 6% for each cup.
Obviously, increasing coffee intake is just one of the many things that need to change to influence diabetes risk.
Boosts Workout Performance
Ever wondered why your trainer asks you to drink a cup of black coffee or espresso before a workout? Caffeine in coffee is a CNS stimulant that releases adrenaline in your body, to prepare for strenuous physical exertion. Adrenaline also makes your body breaks down stored body fat and releases energy to be used as fuel for intense physical activities.
Research shows that coffee can improve physical performance by up to 12%. Drinking coffee before a workout increases your exercise time as well as boosts your strength during it. It is also said to lower perceived pain during and post workout along with preventing muscular soreness. According to a study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports Journal, caffeine can make your workout less strenuous, by decreasing the perceived level of exertion by more than 5%. Another study showed that coffee can also decrease perceived muscle pain post exercise.
Helps in Weight Loss
Espresso is the most low-calorie beverage, setting it apart from other drinks at a coffee shop. It contains only three calories per ounce, if you’re not adding any cream or sugar. This can be your best drink for a weight loss journey.
Studies have shown that black coffee improves your metabolism by almost 50 percent. Coffee also burns belly fat by stimulating the nervous system to break down fat cells into energy. Many studies have revealed that caffeine can extend fat burning by 10% in obese people and upto 29% in lean individuals.
Having a cup of black coffee just 30 minutes before exercising can boost physical performance in the gym, which means you workout more than usual, indirectly assisting you in weight loss.
Antioxidants Decrease the Risk of Cancer
If you’re someone who eats all things inspired from the western lifestyle, then coffee might be the healthiest in it. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and it contains more antioxidants than green tea and cocoa. Almost a thousand antioxidants are present in unprocessed coffee beans that increase as coffee is roasted. Several studies have shown that people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and veggies altogether.
Antioxidants like cafestol, caffeine, hydrocinnamic acids, trigonelline, melanoidins, quinines and polyphenols that are present in coffee can help improve arthritis, atherosclerosis and other inflammatory disorders. These antioxidants can also help prevent several other kinds of cancers such as:
Colorectal Cancer: A research conducted by the University of Southern California showed that moderate coffee consumption can decrease your chances of getting colorectal cancer by 26%. As consumption increases, so does the effect.
Liver cancer: A Harvard Medical School study has shown that coffee can reduce chances of liver cancer by 50%. More research showed that two substances, kahweol, and cafestol, provide this protective effect.
Prostate/Endometrial Cancer: Prostate cancer affects one in every six men in America, infact it comes second among cancer deaths in men. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that men who drink coffee could be at a decreased risk of getting prostate cancer. Another study showed that consuming two or more cups of coffee daily can lower the risk of endometrial cancer upto 25 percent in women as compared to those who drink less than a cup per day.