Rejoice, all you coffee lovers. Recent studies show that moderate consumption of coffee can do more than just energize your day. It can, in fact, be a healthy habit you should take up.
Why the sudden shift in Perspective?
A lot of research has been directed toward the health benefits of coffee drinking, debunking the old beliefs of coffee being harmful to our health. One can blame unrefined research methodologies in the past for all these false beliefs, like studies focusing on coffee drinkers who may have had other unhealthy habits that could have adversely affected the study greatly.
Recent researchers have now been more vigilant and have narrowed down their study to people who drank coffee but do not have any other unhealthy habits like smoking and too much alcohol intake. With the change in study samples, the results have become phenomenal.
What are the Health Benefits of Coffee?
Among the long list of benefits, the most notable is that it can help one avoid Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also helps defend against type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Other benefits include prevention of post-workout pain and improvement of memory and mood. Aside from all these, it is also known to improve and speed up metabolism. This is definitely good news to those who want to lose weight.
There has been plenty of evidence regarding coffee being able to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Collectively, the studies have found out that middle-aged individuals who consume three to five cups of coffee a day had very little chance of developing the said disease. This is because the caffeine found in coffee is said to reduce the production of a protein deposit called beta-amyloid, which is commonly found in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Parkinson’s is another disease that you can fight if you’re a coffee drinker. Studies show that the risks of such neurodegenerative disorders were cut in half for people who drink at least a cup of coffee a day. This is due to the caffeine in coffee that boosts dopamine levels in the brain.
Type 2 Diabetes
Studies also show that coffee drinkers, even those considered at high risk for the disease, were at least 60% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The benefits even include those who were former coffee drinkers. The said reason for this good news is coffee’s natural antioxidants, caffeine, and minerals that help improve glucose metabolism and the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Stroke & Heart Disease
Stroke is another thing that coffee helps prevent. Current studies show that women who take at least four cups of coffee a day have significantly reduced their risk of stroke. This is because of coffee’s antioxidants that improve blood vessel function. In connection to preventing stroke, coffee also helps prevent heart disease. Antioxidants in your cup of coffee have several heart-friendly effects like preventing what they call the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation.
For the more active coffee drinker, drinking a cup of joe before a vigorous workout can do wonders. This is because caffeine blocks adenosine activity in the body. Adenosine produces pain receptors in cells, so when coffee blocks adenosine activity, it prevents post-workout pain.
Memory & Mood
Memory is another aspect that drinking coffee improves. Three cups a day help prevent the degeneration of cognitive processes. This is credited to caffeine because this effect is also evident to tea drinkers. This effect is carried over to mood. Studies show caffeine’s ability to boost dopamine levels in the brain, helping alleviate anxiety and stress and improve mood.
So How Much Should We Drink?
As with everything else, coffee should be taken in moderation. It is suggested that a minimum of one cup per day to a maximum of four is ideal. Experts also suggest that black coffee is the best choice although other variations are considered satisfactory. Just make sure you don’t use too much sugar. Also, decaf may not be as effective, so it is better to stick to regular joe.