Coffee is the second most popular beverage in the world, behind only water. With hundreds of millions of people drinking it every day, it is surprising to hear that most of them still have not realized that it is a very healthy habit. In fact, many of them mistakenly think that it is unhealthy. Before moving forward, it is important to note that coffee can be harmful to some people. The caffeine can cause high blood pressure, jitters and even anxiety in some cases. For the vast majority of people, that simply is not a concern.
Over the past several decades, dozens of medical studies have been done on the effects of drinking coffee. Even many of those who already know that it is a healthy beverage might be surprised to learn about some of the significant health benefits that they are getting from drinking this.
Great for Heart Health
This is perhaps the most surprising of all the health benefits of coffee. When drinking unfiltered coffee, you are getting a lot of cafestol and kahweol, which are antioxidants. These compounds have been shown to help balance cholesterol in the body, which is vital for overall heart health. Possibly linked to the improved cholesterol balancing, coffee was shown to help reduce heart arrhythmias in people. Even those who report jittery feelings or raised heartbeats per minute will have reduced risks of heart failure and strokes when they drink coffee.
Reduce Risk of Diabetes
If you’re worried about getting type 2 diabetes, you may want to start drinking coffee on a daily basis. Studies have shown that drinking a significant amount of coffee (6+ cups per day) can dramatically reduce the risk of getting diabetes. Other studies being done to look at those who drink fewer cups per day, and so far those are looking quite positive as well. Of course, those who are worried about diabetes (and especially those who already have it) will want to make sure they are not adding any sugar to their coffee. Drinking it black or with natural cream only will get you the best benefits possible.
Protect Your Liver
A study that looked at the impact coffee has on the liver was published, and found that this drink is very beneficial. Specifically, the study looked at how coffee may protect people against liver damage caused by excessive drinking of alcohol. The study found that for every cup of coffee consumed per day on average, there is a 20% reduction in alcoholic liver syndrome. The study only looked at up to 4 cups of coffee per day, which provided those who were in the study with very significant benefits.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Coffee has been linked to reducing risks of a variety of types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The study tracked people for over 20 years and involved 1400 individuals, which makes this a very compelling study. In it, they found that those who were drinking an average of 3-5 cups of coffee each day had a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep Your Mind Sharp and Make You Smarter
Regular coffee contains a significant amount of caffeine, which travels into the bloodstream and quickly transferred into the brain. The caffeine has been shown to block the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as Adenosine. Restricting this inhibitory neurotransmitter allows your brain to have higher rates of neurons firing, which is responsible for positive brain activity. Drinking coffee before taking a test has been shown to help improve on scores, especially when the tests require significant memory recall.
On top of all of these benefits, additional studies have been done that look at people’s overall mood, memory, energy levels, reaction times and general brain function. All have shown improvement when drinking coffee (studies 1, 2, 3). What is best about these benefits is that you can get them any time they are needed by enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Cream & Coffee to Curb Hunger
If you’re looking to lose weight, try enjoying some natural cream in your coffee. Many people love the taste, and the dairy fat will help your body to feel much fuller for much longer. This type of fat is also slower to digest, which means you won’t need to consume other foods between meals. Of course, you don’t want to add any sugar or sugary products to your coffee as that could spike your blood glucose levels, which can lead to weight gain. For some people, the spike in glucose levels can also lead to feeling hungry more quickly after drinking the coffee.
Improved Physical Performance
Drinking coffee helps to stimulate your nervous system and give you that boost of energy you need to perform at peak levels. It boosts your epinephrine levels, which is ideal for helping to push you harder during a workout. Studies have shown that drinking coffee before physical activity can improve overall performance by 11-12% for the average person. Whether you’re going to the gym or engaging in some hard housework, coffee can give you that boost you need.
Enjoying the Health Benefits of Coffee
With hundreds of millions of people enjoying coffee every day, it’s good to know that it is giving them some incredible health benefits. One more health benefit, which all coffee drinkers are already aware of even without any studies, is that it is an excellent way to have moments of enjoyment. Whether you drink your coffee while relaxing in the morning, in the car on the way to work, or as a great after dinner beverage, there are few things more pleasurable than sipping on a hot mug of high-quality coffee. So, with all these benefits in mind, go ahead and pour yourself another cup and enjoy.