What does dark chocolate, red wine, sunshine and sex have in common? They’re all good for you! And if you want more good news – add coffee to the list
Italians love their cappuccino and espresso, and those of us who are coffee drinkers no matter what your nationality get added benefits to our enjoyment. There are still many people who are under the assumption that coffee is bad for you. We’ve been told for years that coffee drinking is a terrible habit. The simple truth of the matter is while an excess of anything is never good, in moderation, coffee can actually be good for you.
Here are ten health benefits from your coffee drinking pleasure.
1. Coffee may protect against heart disease.
Coffee isn’t just your liquid wake-up call in the morning. It is actually full of powerful antioxidants called flavonoids, which help to prevent LDL cholesterol (the kind that’s bad for your heart) from oxidizing and causing heart disease.
For individuals with certain chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, a large 2012 study found that the more coffee consumed (three or more cups a day), lower the early risk of death regardless of whether participants drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.
2. Coffee may lower the risk of stroke.
Probably related to the lower risk of heart disease, is a lower risk of stroke associated with drinking coffee. This is especially important for women, who have a higher risk of having a stroke. According to studies, women who drink a couple cups of coffee a day reduce their risk by about 20 percent.
3. Coffee reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Coffee drinkers who consume a lot of coffee – about six or more cups every day – are more than a third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to its own insulin. In addition to the antioxidants in coffee which help prevent tissue damage to the body, coffee also contains minerals that help the body to use insulin effectively. The 2012 study found that a compound in coffee actually helped to block a substance in the body called human islet amyloid polypeptide that may play a role in the development of diabetes.
4. Coffee protects the brain against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Coffee has also been shown to have a positive effect on the brain, and can improve short-term memory. According to studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, caffeine is a cognitive stimulant that actually boosts brain functioning. Moderate to heavy coffee drinkers reduce their risks of developing dementia by about 65 percent!
5. Coffee reduces risk of symptomatic gallstone disease
Studies by the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that moderate coffee drinking can reduce lower risk of symptomatic gallstones in woman, and protect against symptomatic gallbladder disease in men. The Harvard researchers suggested that the caffeine in coffee is responsible for the gallstone effect, perhaps because it triggers gallbladder contractions that may discourage stone formation.
6. Coffee promotes regular digestion.
Have you ever noticed that you often make a trip to the restroom in the morning, soon after drinking your cup or two (or three or four) of coffee? That’s no coincidence. Coffee actually clears you out!
7. Coffee reduces the risk of some cancers.
Although studies on coffee consumption and decreased risk of cancer are limited, a large study found that individuals who drank four or more cups of coffee a day, had a 50 percent lower risk of death from oral cancers in a 25-year time frame.
Also, drinking coffee may help you to ward off the most diagnosed form of skin cancer. A study in the journal Cancer Research that looked specifically at the caffeine in coffee, demonstrated that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
Other studies have shown that drinking coffee regularly actually reduces your risk of getting colon cancer by about a quarter. In addition, it also makes you less likely to develop liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
8. Coffee helps you burn fat.
Because coffee is a diuretic, many people avoid it before they work out. You might want to rethink that approach. Coffee has been shown to help your body burn fat while you exercise aiding in weight loss. It also enhances performance by minimizing the effects of fatigue.
9. Coffee is actually good for your teeth
Everyone knows that one of the cons of drinking coffee is a stained smile, but coffee can also have a positive effect on teeth. According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal, people who drink coffee are less likely to have cavities. Roasted coffee beans have antibacterial effects against microorganisms like Streptococcus, which play a hand in causing tooth decay.
10. Coffee can help prevent/stop headaches
Have you ever wondered why caffeine is one of the main ingredients in migraine medication like Excedrin Migraine? WebMD explains that blood vessels increase in size during a migraine — caffeine works to decrease the size of blood vessels before they can affect nerves in the brain. So, drinking coffee in the early stages of a headache can help minimize the severity later on.
Bonus Benefit #11
At the very least it simply brings more enjoyment and satisfaction to your life! There is an endless number of ways to drink your java, as any menu at your local coffee house will prove. Not to mention the benefit to your social life as an alternative to hanging out at a bar… who isn’t close to some sort of coffee cafe?
Be careful and smart though with your coffee enjoyment… while that Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha might taste great – consider it more of a splurging dessert cancelling out any “health benefits” of coffee.
While the benefits and joys of coffee drinking are many… large consumption of coffee is not recommended for everyone. Be sure to check with your doctor. For starters, if you are pregnant or going through IVF treatments, you should avoid consumption of coffee. Additionally, those struggling with insomnia or depression should also limit their coffee intake.