4 Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee seems to cop a bad rap in the health and wellness community. I myself used to bash coffee and discourage others from partaking in the soul nourishing beverage, choosing teas instead. However, through reading and research into the benefits of coffee, my mind has changed. So, make yourself a cup and continue reading for some of the benefits of your morning brew!
While coffee seems to be portrayed as the Devil’s elixir, coffee is definitely not evil black water. Coffee is high in a particular group of antioxidants known as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to exhibit strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-allergic actions in the body. Coffee contains caffeic acid, caffeine, chlorogenic acids, eugenol, gamma-tocopherol, isoeugenol, p-couramic acid, scopoletin and tannic acid – just to name a few goodies. Studies have shown that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, contributing more antioxidants that both fruits and vegetables combined. See this link for more nutrient facts.
A Japanese study found that men consuming one to two cups of coffee daily decrease their risk of heart disease by at least 38%. Coffee intake is highly protective for the heart and has been found, in various studies, to decrease risk of heart disease and death from heart attack. The caffeine found in coffee has been shown to improve the health of blood vessels within the body as it improves the vascular muscle tone of the blood vessel. It does this by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the thin layer of cells that line the inside surface of the blood vessels, or the endothelium.
Caffeine has a number of neurotransmitter effects. This study found that depression risk decreases as caffeine consumption is increased. A Harvard University study found that women who consumed 2-3 cups of coffee per day had a 15% decrease in depression risk than non-coffee drinkers, while those who drank 4 or more cups had a 20% lower risk.
REDUCED RISK OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is characterised by high blood glucose levels as a result of insulin resistance. A review article, looking at eighteen different studies on the effects of coffee intake on incidence of diabetes, found that each additional cup of coffee consumed per day decreased the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 7%.
Along with this, regular coffee intake has been linked to a decrease in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Studies have shown that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life by 65%.
But what about the caffeine?
Caffeine would have to be the most widely used drug in the world. Yes, caffeine is a drug. It can be helpful or detrimental depending on how it is used and who by. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, and does this by blocking the normal action of the nucleoside adenosine – adenosine is responsible for slowing down the brain and inducing sleepiness. Caffeine levels in coffee vary greatly, depending on the roast, grind, method of brewing and the type of bean itself.
As with any substance, there are times at which caffeine should be avoided. Some of these times include decreased adrenal function; electrolyte imbalance; insomnia; anxiety; pregnancy.
~Remember, consult a medical professional before changing your regular diet in anyway. This article is not intended to treat illnesses of any kind. Reading and/or using any of the information from this post is done so at your own risk~
*this post was originally published on rachelmarieyoga.wordpress.com