Is coffee healthy? If you’re one of millions of health conscious people out there you might be tempted to avoid caffeine due to myths associated with health risks and its consumption. To your surprise however, you may find that coffee can be very beneficial to your health, as long as it is consumed in moderation (and by our definition of "moderation" we mean multiple cups per day). It has been strongly indicated through various studies that your overall health may benefit if you include coffee as part of your daily routine.
If you’re not a coffee lover now, you may become one after reading this article, seeing how your favorite beverage has the potential to greatly improve your health. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
10 Health Benefits of Coffee That Are Backed by Studies
Here are a few health benefits of coffee that are evidenced by studies:
1. May Improve Your Gut Health
Your gut health is strongly associated with the state of your gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome refers to the population of good/beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract known as gut flora. If your gut microbiota isn’t healthy, you may suffer from several gastrointestinal (GI) issues that can affect other functions throughout your body and mind.
Coffee contains probiotics and soluble fiber that are considered extremely beneficial for maintaining and promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. So, your gut health may improve significantly if you start drinking coffee regularly. It is recommended that drinking between 3-5 cups of black coffee per day will help reap the benefits described above.
2. May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. There are several types of cancers that, believe it or not, a steady dose of coffee may help prevent. Although coffee can’t eliminate the risk completely, it may reduce the chance significantly, including very serious forms of cancer such as liver, colorectal, breast, prostate and endometrial cancer.
The ability of coffee to fight against cancer cells is thought to be due in part to the presence of compounds such as cafestol and kahweol. These compounds have been shown to help stop the growth and differentiation of abnormal cells that can grow and metastasize via genetic mutations.
Additionally, it is thought that the high antioxidant levels present in your daily cup of Joe may reduce the effects of free radical damage often associated with cancer as well. Coffee has many benefits and perhaps this may be its best one.
3. May Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Many studies also confirm coffee’s ability to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Coffee has shown the ability to regulate the functioning of beta cells, which are insulin-producing cells within your pancreas. Insulin controls your blood sugar levels and during type 2 diabetes, the levels of insulin fall as beta cells within the pancreas become negatively affected. When the functioning of beta cells is properly regulated, the risk of type 2 diabetes decreases and this is what coffee has shown it can do for you: help regulate beta cells.
Another way coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes is by increasing the amount of antioxidants in your body, which help control insulin metabolism, sensitivity and inflammation. All of these processes can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes if not regulated and taken seriously.
4. May Promote the Healing of Damaged Cells
Every day of our lives, countless cells are damaged and replaced by new and healthy cells via cellular turnover. This is a normal process and if this cellular turnover is negatively affected in any way, it may lead to an increased number of damaged cells in the body, often leading to various health problems. To avoid this, you should include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet and in our opinion coffee should certainly be one of them.
By drinking coffee regularly, you’ll consume a healthy amount of polyphenols, which are considered powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants fight against free radicals and other compounds in your body that can damage healthy cells. Thus, consuming coffee containing polyphenols may ultimately help promote the healing process of certain damaged cells.
5. May Help Avoid Parkinson’s Disease
Some studies have shown that you can lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 60% if you start drinking coffee, as it is known to possess neuroprotective properties. Neurodegenerative disorder is the second most common disease after Alzheimer’s and can cause serious issues if not treated promptly. While coffee is not the only factor in the prevention of Parkinson's disease, it may certainly help.
6. Boosts Energy Levels
Coffee contains the infamous compound caffeine which is known to stimulate your central nervous system to boost energy levels and fight fatigue. It helps improve these levels by blocking neurotransmitter receptors in your brain that are responsible for making you feel "lazy." People who drink 1-2 cups of coffee tend to have more energy when doing their daily chores as compared to those who don’t drink coffee at all.
7. May Help Aid in Weight Management
Besides improving your gut health, coffee may also affect fat storage to potentially help with weight management. When you’re consuming coffee regularly, your energy levels may increase. This energy increase often translates to more physical activity, therefore making it easier to manage weight by burning more calories (as long as your calorie intake is in check as well). Moreover, your body burns fat more quickly when you’re drinking coffee (without sugar, creamer, etc...). So, with a balanced diet, regular exercise and a few daily cups of Joe, those fat deposits that often increase our weight may ultimately decrease over time with regular coffee consumption as a part of a weightloss plan.
8. Reduces Inflammation Markers
Inflammation can be a natural reaction of the body when a pathogen attacks, disease or injury occurs. If the inflammation isn’t chronic, then it is generally safe for you and helps protect your body from further damage. However, chronic inflammation may do more harm than good, so it goes without saying it should be avoided if possible. If inflammation persists long term, it can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.
Luckily, coffee can potentially save you from chronic inflammation and related diseases due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Promotes Heart Health
In addition to all the listed benefits of daily coffee consumption above, your heart health may also improve with each cup of Joe (when consumed in safe limits), as evidenced by several studies. When you drink coffee, multiple studies show a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases that too often prove fatal. However, keep in mind you have to be a bit careful with your coffee intake if you’re not managing your blood pressure, or have other health ailments, as caffeine can alter certain conditions in some individuals. Always consult with your doctor to make sure caffeine intake is healthy and suitable for you.
10. May Help With Depression
In previous studies, depression was often strongly associated with a disturbance in serotonin levels, especially low levels of this neurotransmitter. But, a few recent studies have surprisingly revealed that depression may also occur, in part, due to inflammation in the brain resulting from dysfunctional immune reactions. Astonishingly, coffee may reduce this type of inflammation, as it contains anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, such as tannic acid, nicotinic acid, trigonelline, chlorogenic acid and pyrogallic acid. Due to an abundance of these antioxidants, regular coffee consumption may also help you deal with long-term, chronic depression as well.
If you’re already a coffee lover, you should be on cloud 9 right now. Even if you’re not, you can start drinking coffee today, not just for its potential health benefits, but for its great taste, aroma and the many positive memories it will bring.
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