Do you look forward to your morning coffee? If so, that may not be a bad thing! Coffee has been stigmatized in our society as something unhealthy or something that should be avoided. Though this may be true for the fancy and sugary coffee drinks like iced mocha lattes, plain coffee itself actually has numerous health benefits.
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks around the world. As such, researchers have dug deep to look at the components of coffee and how they can affect our health. Several research studies have actually suggested that coffee can very much be a part of a healthy lifestyle and can even help reduce your chances of developing certain health conditions and enhance your health. In this article, we’ll explore the many health benefits of coffee.
Nutrients in Coffee
Though coffee is often mislabeled as unhealthy, coffee actually contains several great nutrients. An average cup of coffee contains about 11% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, 6% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B5, 3% of the recommended value of manganese and potassium, and 2% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B3 and magnesium. While these may seem low or insignificant, many coffee drinkers tend to drink several cups throughout the day, which can be beneficial in obtaining good levels of these important nutrients.
This is one health benefit you can see within a short time frame of drinking coffee: more energy. The caffeine contents in coffee can wake you up, thereby increasing your mental clarity and encouraging more productivity. Coffee, when consumed in moderation, can safely be used for this purpose. The caffeine content in coffee quickly absorbs into your bloodstream, which then travels to your brain. In turn, you’re left with that feeling of an increased mood and clarity. Though caffeine can be a dangerous stimulant when overused and relied upon, consuming a moderate amount of coffee regularly can help increase your productivity levels.
The energy-consuming coffee gives your body is not limited to brain function, though. You may also benefit from increased physical performance after consuming coffee. Again, this is due to the caffeine content, which stimulates your nervous system to break down fat. This chemical reaction allows for fatty acids to be released, which your body can use for fuel in your physical activities. For this reason, many people use coffee or coffee-type beverages as a pre-workout before hitting the gym or performing physical activities. The “fight or flight” hormone that is activated during this process, known as adrenaline, helps you get pumped and increases your physical performance. When used in moderation, coffee can help you level up your workouts and get the most out of your physical activity.
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Everywhere we turn, it seems another health product is claiming to help reduce your risk of developing cancer. While it can be difficult to incorporate all of these superfoods into your health and wellness routine, you’re likely to already be consuming coffee anyway! Evidence that coffee can help decrease the likelihood of developing certain types of cancers is still weak, though some studies suggest encouraging correlations. Research has been conducted specifically on colorectal and liver cancers. We are hopeful to learn more about the connection between cancer prevention and coffee in the coming years.
Did you know coffee may help in decreasing your risk of developing common neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia or Alzheimers? This may be linked to the caffeine content contained in coffee. One study conducted in Finland in Sweden followed a group for about 20 years that were frequent coffee drinkers (3 to 5 cups daily) and determined that they were 65% less likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases, as opposed to people who did not drink coffee.
Though researchers are still determining the mechanisms, it seems that caffeine intake may also be linked to a decreased risk for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease that attacks the neurons in your brain. It is important to note that the caffeine in the coffee is thought to help reduce your risk, so be careful if you’re a frequent decaf coffee drinker. You may not be achieving the same health benefits. If you can enjoy your daily coffee, while also preventing these conditions, that’s surely a win in our book!
Protecting your Liver
Coffee may also help prevent your liver from damage. Your body’s liver is essential to good health. As such, protecting your liver is important as you age. Several studies have found that frequent coffee consumption may decrease the risk of developing liver conditions, such as cirrhosis.
The listed health benefits are only a few of the copious health benefits that moderate consumption of coffee can have. Be mindful of the amount of sugar and cream you consume when drinking coffee, as these can dampen the health effects within coffee itself.
Dr. Casey Sinclair, D.C. is a leading holistic healthcare doctor trained in functional medicine. He has extended his reach around the world by co-founding Family Health Advocacy, a health advocacy group lead by doctors and health professionals providing resources and education on global health matters. He has been fortunate to act as health a consultant to some of the largest companies in North America and as a professional speaker he’s had the privilege of speaking to thousands of people. Dr. Casey is an advocate for people suffering with chronic pain and fibromyalgia and has authored a book on the subject.