8 Ways Coffee Can Improve Your Health
Coffee, when consumed in moderation, can actually improve your health. The beverage is filled with powerful antioxidants and nutrients, which help your body fight a host of diseases. Here are eight of the top benefits of coffee:
- Coffee Burns Fat
We’ve all seen those infomercials for fat-burning dietary supplements. Well, guess what? Almost every single one of them contains caffeine. Caffeine has been repeatedly shown to improve the fat burning capabilities of your body, boosting your metabolic rate by 3-11%.
In one study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, caffeine increased fat burning by 10% in obese Americans, and 29% in lean Americans.
- Coffee Makes You Smarter and More Energized
Anyone who’s ever drunk coffee knows that it makes you less tired; that’s a no-brainer. But did you know that it also can improve your smarts?
Caffeine blocks an important neurotransmitter in the brain called Adenosine. When Adenosine is blocked, other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine increase, which causes your neurons to fire more rapidly.
Voilà. Because of the extra neurochemicals floating around, you experience a lift in mood, memory, vigilance, and overall cognition.
- Caffeine Improves Physical Performance
Remember how we said that caffeine makes your brain release neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine? Well, caffeine also stimulates epinephrine—adrenaline—production in your brain.
Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone in your brain and prepares your body for massive physical exertion in order to avoid danger. But, unlike our ancestors, you probably aren’t being chased by a lion, so all it will do is make your lifts a little stronger in the gym. Caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by, on average, 11-12%.
- Coffee Is Nutrient-Rich
Your coffee is more than just a cup of black water. Coffee beans are potent sources of many vitamins and minerals, many of which make it into the final beverage. Just to name a few:
- Riboflavin; 11% RDA
- Manganese; 3% RDA
- Potassium; 3% RDA
- Magnesium; 2% RDA
If you drink more than one cup a day, those numbers can really add up.
- Coffee Lowers the Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a massive health problem that afflicts around 300 million people worldwide. Sufferers of it experience elevated blood sugar levels or an inability to secrete insulin.
Studies show, however, that those who drink coffee have between a 23-50% lower chance of getting the disease. Based on an enormous review that analyzed data from 18 different studies involving 457, 922 people, each daily cup of coffee reduced the risk of Type II diabetes by 7%.
- Coffee Wards off Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of dementia and typically affects those 65 years of age or older. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are things you can do to prevent it.
One of those is drinking coffee. Multiple studies have shown that coffee drinkers experience a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
So eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and don’t forget to drink your coffee!
- Coffee Protects the Liver
The liver is one of your body’s most important organs and carries out a variety of duties. Liver diseases, like hepatitis, fatty liver disease, etc., can cause a condition called cirrhosis, in which the liver is replaced by scar tissue.
But, guess what? Coffee might protect against cirrhosis. Studies have demonstrated that those who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have an 80% lower risk of cirrhosis.
- Coffee Combats Depression
Depressions is a widespread mental disorder. Currently, about 4.1% of Americans qualify as being clinically depressed. But, in one Harvard study published in 2011, researchers found that women who drank four cups a day or more were 20% less likely to suffer from depression.
A second study found that individuals who drank four cups a day or more were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
You see? And they said caffeine was bad for you. Coffee offers great health benefits, as long you use it responsibly and don’t overdo it. So drink up, and don’t forget to thank your barista the next time you see them.