Coffee has become a huge part of our early morning ritual that we hardly stop to think what coffee does exactly for the body aside from keeping us up all day. Recent studies show that coffee does more than just keep us perky throughout the day. The anti-oxidants in coffee provide enormous benefits in warding off certain illnesses and promote well being.
This is not to say that you should fill up on coffee as much as you want though. Anything that is taken in excess will be harmful to the body. But taken in moderation, studies show that coffee can have favorable effects on the body.
To increase the awareness of the health benefits of coffee and take away misconceptions, we have compiled the results of various studies here.
1. Armor Against Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, more commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes, has become a great health risk in this era, not only among adults but also among kids. Recent studies in Japan and in Germany, the results of which were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, have shown that coffee consumption can ward off Type 2 diabetes because it creates a protective barrier against the illness. Coffee also reduces blood sugar level which adds a further boost to the fight against Type 2 diabetes. One caveat, though: this works only for non-diabetic people. For diabetics, high levels of coffee consumption can just worsen it, especially when taken with sugar.
2. Food for the Brain
Coffee has also been discovered to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that older adults aged at least 65 years old who consumed three cups of coffee per day showed a later development of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who drank less or did not drink at all.
3. Food For the Brain – more!
Apart from reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s’ Disease, coffee also shows that it can improve short-term recall and thought processes. A study showed that coffee protects brain cells from death induced by hydrogen peroxide, so that in cognitive test involving incidental verbal memory and visio-spatial reasoning, among others, participants who drank coffee regularly throughout their lifetime gained higher test scores, and the higher the consumption, the higher the test scores went.
4. Love Your Heart
Coffee has normally been related with cardiovascular diseases in a negative way. But in early 2012, a statistical study showed that moderate coffee intake of one to three cups a day can lower the incidence of heart failure. People who drank at least four cups a day also showed greatly lowered risks of heart ailments.
5. Cancer Warrior
Coffee contains many antioxidants that have anti-carcinogenic properties. One of these is methylpyridinium which rarely occurs in significant amounts in food, but is developed in coffee during the roasting process. This antioxidant is present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Cancer types that are known to be held off by coffee include those of the liver, kidney, esophageal, pharyngeal, and prostate.
6. Live Longer
Because coffee helps the body resist many illnesses, it can be concluded that it extends the life span of a person. Analyses showed that moderate coffee consumption reduced the incidence of death caused by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and many others. More than this though, the total mortality rate not caused by any specific illness was also greatly reduced among coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers.
7. Gone is Gout
A study that was published in 2007 on Arthritis Rheumatism journal reported that coffee drinkers who consumed at least four cups daily had lower levels of uric acid. In the same way, another study published in Arthritis Rheumatology showed that men who are at least forty years old and drink coffee on a regular basis have lower tendency to develop gout.
8. Bye-Bye Blues
In late 2011, researchers announced that coffee has the ability to fend off depression, particularly in women. The study which was focused primarily on women within a period of 10 years showed that women who drank more than four cups of coffee a day were 20% less likely to get depressed.
9. Coffee Cleanses Colon
Many people notice that as soon as they drink coffee they feel the need to go to the toilet. That is because coffee is a form of laxative. Coffee has the ability to stimulate the colon, whether it is decaffeinated or not. The danger here though is that excessive coffee intake may also lead to diarrhea and so moderate consumption is strongly recommended.
10. Weight Loss
The weight loss benefit of coffee is still much debated. Some experts say that the weight loss effect of coffee is very negligible. But this may also be because of the sugar intake accompanying it, especially when you have it with a doughnut or a cake. Coffee by itself though, especially black coffee, does help in weight loss by suppressing appetite and by increasing metabolic rate by up to 20 percent.
Despite all these benefits of coffee, there are still many important things to remember before adding an extra cup to your daily intake. Remember that coffee has high levels of caffeine to which the body could react negatively like an increased heart rate. It is also important to note that these benefits can be gained by drinking black coffee without all the add-ons of cream and sugar, and always in moderation. So before gorging on your favorite hot beverage, check your diet and medical conditions first. Better yet, see your doctor and get proper clearance.