It is common knowledge that coffee is the choice beverage of a huge percentage of the population worldwide. Many decry caffeine, and coffee by extension, as harmful; however, there are many known and proven benefits of drinking coffee.
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
So, is coffee good for you? Here are the top ten reasons to answer in the affirmative.
#1 –Antioxidant-Rich and Necessary Nutrients
One 8-oz. cup of coffee contains several B vitamins including Pantothenic Acid (B5), Niacin (B3), and Riboflavin (B2). In addition, you receive Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, and Chromium. Coffee also contains a high dose of antioxidants.
Nevertheless, to glean the maximum benefit, your coffee should be freshly brewed, high-quality, and, preferably, organic.
#2 – Wake Up Happier and Smarter
That first sip of coffee is the beginning of a happier, more alert, and quick thinking day for you as caffeine enters the bloodstream, then travels to the brain where it blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that inhibits alertness and energy. In addition, caffeine has been proven to increase memory and mental function.
#3 – Weight Loss
It is no coincidence that many weight-loss supplements contain caffeine since caffeine has been shown to increase your metabolism by as much as 20 percent. Caffeine also increases the oxidation of fatty acids, causing the body to burn fat stores for energy as opposed to other sources of energy production.
#4 – Decreased Risk of Dementia
Dementia slowly robs the brain of its mental abilities and there is currently no cure or proven preventatives; however, compounds known as xanthenes have been effective in treating Alzheimer’s, a similar condition. One of these xanthenes is Propentofylline which blocks adenosine, as does coffee, and is being studied for use in treating dementia.
The study of coffee use in Alzheimer’s patients in the 20 years prior to their diagnosis showed that their caffeine consumption in those years was minimal and decreased as the disease progressed. The same study suggests that coffee drinkers may enjoy as much as a 60 percent lower risk of developing dementia.
#5 – Liver Health Boost
Your liver is responsible for filtering your blood and removing toxins. A condition known as cirrhosis is where healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue causing the liver to die and liver function to decrease. One finding with cirrhosis is an elevation of liver enzymes in the blood; however, coffee drinkers have been found to have less of an elevation of liver enzymes, and in studies, only coffee, as opposed to other caffeine-containing beverages, has been found to have this effect.
#6 – Healthy Heart
Studies show that coffee drinkers have improved arterial muscle tone which promotes blood flow and drinking up to five cups of coffee daily can help prevent plaque from building up in the arteries and blocking blood flow which can lead to heart attacks.
#7 – Reduction in Parkinson’s
Although it is unknown why multiple studies have concluded that there may be a correlation between coffee consumption and an up to 60 percent reduction in Parkinson’s risk; although at least one study concluded this pertained only to men and not women.
#8 – Long-Term Memory Boost
In addition to boosting mental alertness and cognitive function and perhaps reducing the risk of dementia, a John Hopkins study found that coffee can also boost long-term memory function for up to 24 hours, making it a good study companion.
#9 – Decrease Depression
According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that women who drank four or more cups of coffee daily experienced a 20 percent lower incidence of depression than those who consumed little or no caffeine. A previous study also showed a link between men between coffee use and a reduction in depression.
#10 – Increased Blood Flow
In the first of its kind, a small double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed improved blood flow in the smallest blood vessels in the fingers of participants who consumed caffeinated, versus un-caffeinated, coffee.
The researchers concluded that the amount of caffeine in a single cup of coffee enhanced blood flow in the smallest vessels of healthy subjects by approximately 30 percent; however, more research is needed to validate these findings.
These are just a few examples of the dozens available that affirmatively answers the question, is coffee good for you?
So, for those coffee aficionados, drink on, friends. Coffee is good for you!