Is coffee healthy to drink? There’s a lot of data to suggest it is healthy for most people although medical researchers are always testing and learning new things about coffee, caffeine, and related drinks such as teas.
Here on Top Off My Coffee I’ve blogged a bit on the health implications of coffee. I’ve answered some related questions and pondered the effects of drinking coffee in large or small amounts every day.
You can see the most important of those posts listed below.
French Press Coffee Can Increase Your Cholesterol – In this post I found out that french press coffee has a slight impact on cholesterol. This is most likely due to the filtration process in that all the oils stay in the cup rather than get filtered out through a paper filter.
Does Coffee Make You Dehydrated? – Coffee is well known to cause a diuretic effect but it’s no more significant than the volume of fluids ingested. In short drinking coffee may make you pee but it shouldn’t dehydrate you any more than you were dehydrated before having a cup.
Does Coffee Upset Your Stomach? – Some people may be sensitive to poorly processed coffee beans, others may be sensitive to higher acidity in coffee. Still others may find it difficult dealing with high caffeine contents of coffee. Each of these issues however can be managed if you care to.
Does Coffee Help You Burn Fat? – Description
Can Coffee Give You Better Workouts – Description
Coffee Can Help You Focus Better – Description
Coffee Can Help Improve Liver Function – Description
Coffee Contains Lots of Antioxidants – Description
Coffee Can Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Description
Coffee Helps To Manage Depression – Description
Long-Term Coffee Consumption May Lower Risk For Type-2 Diabetes – For those people studied who drank large quantities of coffee daily they saw significantly lower risk for developing type-2 diabetes later in line. This finding was associated with people who consistently drank caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee suggesting that the non-caffeine related aspects of coffee had something to do with the findings. (source)
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The Health Benefits Of Coffee Consumption
Coffee is healthy. No matter what others say, there are ample reasons, research and statistics that highlight the many health benefits of coffee consumption.
Here are 8 reasons why drinking coffee is beneficial for you.
Coffee can make you smarter.
Coffee is not a miracle drink that would make you a genius or something. However, it definitely helps in increasing your energy levels and stimulates your mind. This is due to the caffeine present in coffee drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that is easily absorbed in the bloodstream.
Caffeine works as a neurotransmitter inhibitor and blocks adenosine. As a result, other neurotransmitter like norepinephrine and dopamine actually increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons. Due to this, coffee consumption has been associated with improving cognitive functions.
Coffee can promote weight loss.
Drinking coffee can help burn more fat. In fact, several fat burning supplements contains caffeine. Caffeine has been observed to metabolic rate for up to 11 percent.
However, some research studies showed that the effect can diminish over time.
Coffee can improve physical performance.
As a stimulant, the caffeine in coffee stimulates the nervous system. It helps increase the Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood. This is also known as the “fight or flight” hormone. It prepares the body for intense physical activities.
Also, the caffeine helps boost the breakdown of body fat into fatty acids and get it ready for burning as fuel.
This is one of the reasons why a strong cup of coffee can be beneficial half an hour before workout.
Coffee is full off essential nutrients.
Did you know why coffee is black? The nutrients and minerals found in the coffee beans make the liquid dark and bittersweet.
A single cup of coffee contains:
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
- Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
Remember, these nutrients come in every cup. If you drink about 2-3 cups a day, you get thrice of these essential nutrients.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants.
Coffee is super-concentrated with antioxidants and is especially high in one group of antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. The flavonoids have garnered considerable scientific interest because of their beneficial effects on human health. In various journal studies they have been reported to possess antioxidant, antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities.
In report from Harvard Health, researchers explained that the chlorogenic acid found in coffee is one of the leading antioxidants that help promote good health. Chlorogenic acid can lower rates of heart disease and diabetes. In an experiment, they found that this antioxidant has the ability to absorb glucose in the digestive system and even out insulin levels.
Caffeine in coffee helps you focus.
Experts pinpoint that caffeine is the strongest contributor to the energy-providing characteristic in every cup of coffee. According to a report by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, caffeine reaches its peak level in the blood within one hour and can stay in your system for four to six hours. If you consume caffeine every day, your body can build up a tolerance. Initially one cup of coffee may have kept you awake for one or two hours, but now it may take two cups to get the same effect. The more coffee you drink, the more you may need to stay awake.
Coffee can help in constipation.
According to the researchers, coffee has a compound called chlorogenic acid that triggers higher stomach acid levels and also higher production of gastric acid. It could be that the overall acidity bump makes the stomach dump its contents out more quickly than usual. Something in coffee may also trigger the release of hormones that aid digestion, which would speed up bowel movements.
According to Dr. Steven Chang of One Medical Group in San Francisco, coffee helps to stimulate the muscles in your colon, leading to peristalsis. When peristalsis occurs, the colon’s muscles contract and relax to push the digested food through your system. It’s possible for people to safely use coffee to help have regular bowel movements.
Coffee may help prevent development of Parkinson’s disease
Experimental studies were conducted to identify a mechanism of action for coffee’s positive effect in preventing the development of PD.
They found that low doses of caffeine blocked the adenosine A2A receptors which are located in the striatum, the area of the brain responsible for the control of locomotion and movement. Remember, most PD patients lose dopamine and locomotion skills and movement are impaired. With the blockade of the A2A receptors, the brain produces enough dopamine to support movement even if the person is within the critical age risk for PD.
The research findings indicated that higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of PD. Furthermore, the effect is mostly associated with caffeine and not with any other ingredient in coffee.
“People drink coffee for flavor and for caffeine and for many other reasons, and many people won’t even want to start their day without it. Most people don’t consider antioxidants or anti-inflammatory properties, but this study brings to light that the benefits of coffee—especially certain types of coffee—may be beyond what most people think.” -Sampath Parthasarathy, PhD, University of Central Florida School of Medicine and Journal of Medicinal Food editor-in-chief.