For some of us, our day cannot commence without a simple, steaming cup of regular ol’ joe. But for others, it’s an indulgence that comes complete with steamed milk, all the fixins’, and topped off with whipped cream.
But regardless of whether you are a three cup a day person or once in a while type of coffee drinker, there are several health benefits associated with drinking coffee.
Coffee Reduces Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study compared non-coffee drinkers to coffee drinkers and found that those who consumed three or more cups a coffee a day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The study concluded that the high levels of magnesium and chromium help the body metabolize insulin, which is integral to controlling blood sugar. You can read the details of that study here.
And for those of us who enjoy our coffee with a little less jolt, decaffeinated coffee has the same effect, leading researchers to believe that it is likely not due to caffeine. And because coffee lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes, it also contributes to lower instances of heart disease and stroke.
Coffee Lowers Risk for Age-Related Cognitive Decline
High consumption of this hot brew is linked to lower risk of Parkinson disease and dementia.
Another study found that those who consumed three to five cups of coffee daily had a 65% reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is said to be because coffee boosts levels of granulocyte colony (the growth factor responsible for staving off brain deterioration). You can check out that study here.
Several other studies have shown that depression can accelerate the deteriorative effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s on the brain, but that women who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing depression than women who don’t.
According to that study, two cups daily amounts to a 15% lower risk and four or more cups daily raises that number to 20%. The reason being is that caffeine affects the brain and modulates the release of mood transmitters.
Coffee is a Cancer Preventative
With instances of cancer on the rise, it’s important for people to know that consumption of coffee can help the body defend itself against this predatory illness. Here’s what a few studies on the subject found:
- High intake levels of coffee are linked with decreased chances of developing liver cirrhosis (which can lead to liver cancer).
- Men who drink six cups daily lower their risk of developing dangerous forms of prostate cancer by a whopping 60%; they can also lower their chances for other types of prostate cancer by 20%.
- One to three cups daily cuts prostate cancer risk by 30%. With instances of prostate cancer on the rise in men, this discovery is huge for our husbands, fathers, brothers, and friends.
The most common cancer in the world is skin cancer, and coffee consumption helps ward off that too!
- Women who consume one or more cups daily lower their risk by 20%, while that same consumption level lowers the risk in men by 9%. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer, decaffeinated coffee did not display the same positive effects.
Coffee Increases Regularity
Coffee may help you “go” for a great many reasons, including the fact that drinking warm liquids gets things moving. The fact that it’s a liquid helps as well, since staying hydrated is one way to prevent constipation. And since coffee is a powerful stimulant, it encourages muscle contractions within the digestive tract.
Coffee Can Help You Lose Weight
With the New Year readily upon us, many people find themselves resolving to lose weight, and coffee is the perfect weight loss drink.
Here’s what some studies on the link between coffee and weight loss have found:
- Coffee boosts metabolism and is naturally low in calories, assuming there isn’t the aforementioned whip cream and the like, because those will quickly take this low calorie drink into the caloric stratosphere.
- For those undertaking a new exercise regime, coffee boosts energy levels, which in turn will help maximize exercise efforts. But be sure to stay hydrated as coffee is a diuretic and flushes excess from our systems.
Coffee Aids in Exercise Recovery
Whether you’re a seasoned coffee drinker or simply a dabbler, drinking coffee before a workout has been proven to prevent post-workout soreness. This is due to the fact that caffeine works on a system in the brain and spinal cord (the adenosine neuromodulatory system) that is heavily involved in pain processing.
And since caffeine blocks adenosine, the biochemical that plays an important role in energy transfer, it is speculated that it could also reduce pain.
Coffee Has Anti-Aging Antioxidants
These days the world is consumed with stopping the clock. Coffee is brimming with antioxidants, which work to remove free radicals throughout the body.
Free radicals are responsible for premature aging such as:
- age spot
- fine lines
- sagging skin
Consuming as little as two cups of coffee daily can have significant effects in how our body ages.
No matter how you look at it, coffee is essential for maintaining and improving the health of our bodies, due in large part to the antioxidants and the caffeine. Both of these substances have health and anti-aging benefits that help repair damage to cells caused by free radicals (which are produced as a byproduct of cells just doing their daily thing).
Coffee can also help in fighting diseases ranging from Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, depression to obesity. Both the antioxidants and the caffeine, each with different potential benefits for improving health and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses, are essential for any healthy living endeavor.