Don’t believe all the hype about how bad coffee is for you. How you should reduce or eliminate how much you drink, for fear of increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, cancer, lethargy, etc. Coffee’s actually really good for most of us to consume on a daily basis, even multiple times per day.
Read the 10 health benefits of consuming coffee below, if you’re interested in the real scientific facts behind what a rich, earthy, aromatic cup of Joe has to offer:
1. Heart Disease: In days gone by coffee had been given a bad rap due to a myth that consuming more than one cup of the dark stuff per day somehow led to heart disease. The thinking being that caffeine is a nervous and endocrine system stimulant that makes your heart beat harder and/or faster. Not true, according to this study. The truth is that after drinking coffee for a few days in a row, blood pressure is rarely affected, perhaps raising 3 or 4 hg at most in seasoned java drinkers. Note: There are however, a few people who may have a genetic predisposition that doesn’t allow them to process caffeine the way everyone else does (source).
2. Stroke: A Swedish study concluded in 2011 that regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 20% over time. The study compiled and examined data over the course of nearly 50 years, starting with data from the 1960’s.
3. Cancer: Over the last decade, numerous studies have been performed proving conclusively that coffee can and does lower the incidence of two forms of devastating cancer: liver and colorectal; respectively the third and fourth causes of cancer-related deaths in North America (learn more). Nearly half a million individuals were monitored in this study, showing that drinking up to 5 cups of coffee a day can reduce colorectal cancer risk by as much as 15%.
4. Energy Levels: The 60 – 120mg of caffeine in a small, regular coffee or shot of espresso causes an adrenaline surge in the body, starting as few as 10 minutes after consumption. One of the most profound effects the drug has on energy levels comes from its ability to suppress adenosine, a neuro-modulator responsible for making us tired and suppressing arousal and nervous system function.
5. The Brain – Cognition, Focus, Mood: The caffeine in coffee causes a profound increase in norepinephrine production within our brains, which then signals the release of dopamine. Dopamine has several functions, making us feel good and mentally energized through enhanced neurotransmitter activity. More neurotransmitter activity equals improvements in the ability to process information, concentrate on tasks without letting distraction interfere, and a better overall mood.
6. Fat Burning: Caffeine causes a marked short-term increase in the amount of fat our bodies can burn. In fact, up to 15% in clinically obese individuals and even more (25%) for lean folks. Caffeine is used in many fat-burning supplements due to this fact. The only trouble with using caffeine as a fat burner is that you have to consume more and more of it as time goes on, to get the same calorie burning effects since the metabolism downgrades itself quickly, adjusting to the effects of the drug to preserve body fat stores.
7. B Vitamins: There are three B vitamins found in every cup of coffee consumed: B2, B3, and B5. Each plays a role in maintaining good health. One cup of coffee has 11% RDA of B2 (riboflavin), 2% B3 (Niacin), and 6% RDA of B% (pantothenic acid). These numbers really start to add up if you consume a few or more cups every day!
8. Antioxidants: Coffee is chocked full of antioxidant compounds that help your body to stave off damage from oxidation of its tissue cells – a continuous process that leads to aging and eventually death. Coffee is richer in antioxidants, pound for pound (or cup for cup), than most any other source found in nature, boasting a massive dose of a-carotene, b-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Coffee is richer in these particular antioxidants than fruits, vegetables, grains, wine, or tea (source).
9. Type II Diabetes: The caffeine found in coffee can be considered a double-edged sword for diabetics who consume it, depending on whether you subscribe to science – or speculation. It’s possible, though not yet entirely proven that caffeine may cause insulin resistance in human beings. This is often speculated about, but no conclusive proof exists (source). What we do know is that type II diabetics who regularly consume caffeine do live up to 20% longer (source). And that non-diabetics who consume two or more cups per day have up to a 67% less chance of ever contracting the disease in the first place (source).
10. Neurodegenerative Disease: Daily coffee consumption has been proven to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases. The three most studied diseases with regard to coffee benefits have been Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Several studies, including this Finnish study on Parkinson’s studied men and women between the ages of 25 – 75, later finding that those who drank coffee every day were 60% likely to develop Parkinson’s in their lifetime. Results from this and other studies indicate that 3 cups or more appear to offer the most protective benefits.