April 19, 2024

Thought 2 Go

Fast Food for Thought

15 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Coffee

From Get Healthy

1. Full of Antioxidants

Coffee is chalk full of antioxidants. Some studies argue that coffee contains more antioxidants than fruits and veggies. Two major antioxidants found in coffee, called polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids, are particularly adept at combating free radicals, which can cause cellular damage that leads to disease. So drink up to keep your cells healthy and free radicals at bay!

2. Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition which occurs when your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or it resists insulin. Numerous studies point to a decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes with daily coffee consumption. One Harvard study even found that a person’s risk for Type 2 Diabetes decreased by 9% with every daily cup of coffee they consumed.

3. Helps You Burn More Fat

That morning cup of coffee may have added benefits for your waistline, too (as long as you’re skipping the whip!) Your metabolic rate is how many calories you burn at rest, and it’s an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Studies show that caffeine can increase your metabolic rate by 3-11%, helping you burn a little more fat on a daily basis.

4. Lowered Risk of Parkinson’s

Daily coffee consumption can also help reduce or delay the development of Parkinson’s Disease. It’s believed that the caffeine in coffee can help control movement or motor symptoms for those already suffering from PD as well.

5. Wards Off Depression

Numerous studies have shown that moderate coffee intake (1-3 cups per day) leads to a reduced risk of depression. Coffee’s mood-enhancing effects can be particularly beneficial for women. A 2011 study in Archives of Internal Medicine followed 50,000 women over several decades. They found that women who drank 2-3 cups of coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depression than their non-coffee drinking counterparts. Researchers believe coffee’s high antioxidant content plays a role in this mood-enhancing benefit.

6. Decreased Risk of Certain Cancers

Because of coffee’s extremely high antioxidant content, it’s also thought to prevent certain cancers. The World Health Organization declared that moderate coffee consumption has been specifically linked with a decreased risk of uterine and liver cancers.

7. Decreased Risk of MS

In a study from The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry, researchers found that at least 4 cups of coffee per day may lower your risk for MS, and even prevent the reoccurrence of MS. Researchers believe coffee helps calm the neural inflammation responsible for MS.

8. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s

Coffee consumption over many years has been linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. The substance trigonelline found in coffee contains neuro-protective properties, and consuming 2-3 cups of coffee per day can significantly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

9. Improves Your Workouts

Research suggests that caffeine intake prior to a workout helps improve your performance and train longer and harder. One study in particular, published in the British Journal of Sports Science, found that people who drank coffee before running on the treadmill ended up running 4.2 seconds faster than the control group.

10. Helps Protect your Liver

Another reason to feel good about your morning cup? Coffee drinkers have a decreased risk of cirrhosis of the liver, scarring of the liver which can lead to liver failure in some cases. Drinking just 2 cups per day has been shown to reduce the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 43%.

11. Reduced Stroke Risk

Did you know that up to 15 million people a year suffer a stroke? Or that it’s the leading cause of disability after dementia? Reducing your risk of stroke includes taking several steps, one of them being to quit smoking if you currently do. But it also turns out that your daily cup of coffee can cut your risk of stroke. Data from several studies has suggested that drinking at least 2 cups of coffee a day can decrease your risk of stroke by up to 14% when compared to not drinking any coffee at all.

12. Prevents Retinal Damage

A study from the University of Cornell found that an antioxidant in coffee can help prevent retinal damage from aging or glaucoma. The antixodant is called chlorogenic acid, or CLA for short, and it helps reduce oxidative stress on the retinas, which occurs because it is a thin tissue layer that requires high levels of oxygen, but too much oxidative stress causes poor eyesight, retinal degeneration, and vision loss.

13. Helps You Stay Focused and Alert

The reason most of us reach for that morning coffee in the first place is probably to wake up! Caffeine significantly improves your mental alertness by stimulating the central nervous system. It specifically affects the areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration.

14. Treats Migraine Headaches

Caffeine is actually a main ingredient in many pain-relieving medications, so it isn’t surprising that for some people, treating their migraine with a strong cup of coffee does the trick. However, everyone’s body responds to caffeine differently, and different headaches respond to different treatments. Studies have shown that if you are not a regular coffee drinker, a strong cup of coffee can relieve a headache better than if you drink it everyday, potentially because your body is more used to its effects.

15. Increases Your Longevity

For all the controversy over coffee, the decreased risk of so many physical diseases and the mental benefits have us delighted that we can continue to enjoy our coffee addiction…er, we mean habit. Of course, consuming coffee in moderation is different than attempting to clean Starbucks out every day—and as we’ve discussed, excess sugar or artificial flavoring in your coffee won’t keep you healthy. But good old fashioned coffee—black or with some natural creamer or almond milk—can help you live longer. Several studies suggest that you can decrease your risk of dying from disease by up to 24% with a regular coffee habit. So drink up (in moderation) and have a cup or two to your health.

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