It is estimated that around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Having this in mind, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that coffee is definitely one of the most popular beverages in the world. With so many varieties, everyone has a favourite without which it’s hard to imagine their day.
However, there are also people that tell us that coffee is bad for us and that we should drink it less. Is this true? While there are some cons to consuming coffee on a regular basis, such as tooth decay and staining, there are actually way more benefits of this beverage.
If you intend to keep on drinking it (in moderation, of course), read on to find out more about why a steaming cup of joe is good for you.
It gives you more energy
This is probably the first benefit that comes to mind when discussing coffee. It’s no wonder since many people drink it as soon as they wake up in order to feel more awake and be able to get through their day. Moreover, we also drink it when we need to pull an all-nighter for work or studying. But why is that so? Coffee contains caffeine – a natural stimulant that is also found in cacao plants and tea. While caffeine is often connected to anxiety and sleep deprivation, studies found plenty of health benefits as well. Once consumed and absorbed into the bloodstream, it blocks the effects of adenosine and promotes alertness and focus.
It can boost both your mind and body
Seeing as how we are more focused after drinking a cup of java, it’s only logical that we will experience an increase in mental performance. It works great when you are trying to learn new things or figure out something that’s been bothering you for a while. Another benefit it provides us with is decreasing mental fatigue after an exhausting day by perking up our bodies. Plus, a study from the Radiological Society of North America found that coffee can also give our short-term memory a boost. Furthermore, caffeine can also improve an individual’s physical performance, by around 12%. This is because caffeine can also affect our adrenaline levels, which triggers a fight-or-flight response and prepares our bodies for exertion. Also, coffee can help reduce post-workout muscle pain thanks to caffeine’s ability to lower pain sensitivity. Therefore, consider having a cup before leaving for the gym.
It can help burn fat
While more studies should be done on this topic, there is some research that concluded that caffeine can boost your metabolism by 3-11%. Other studies show that caffeine increases fat burning by 29% in lean individuals and up to 10% in obese people. All of this is for a good reason – caffeine is one of only a few natural substances that have been proven to aid in fat burning and is, therefore, used in almost all fat-burning supplements. Furthermore, because it increases energy use, it is thought that it also stimulates thermogenesis. However, at the end of a 12-year study about weight gain and caffeine, it was concluded that the participants who drank coffee where only about a kilogram lighter.
It can fight depression
A 2013 study concluded that coffee acts as a mild antidepressant as it boosts the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Seeing as how depression is a serious issue that affects more and more people and can significantly reduce the quality of one’s life, knowing that coffee can be of help is a big deal. For instance, a 2011 Harvard study showed that women that drink four cups of coffee a day have a 20% lower risk of developing depression, and another research found that people who consume the same amount of coffee are 53% less likely to commit suicide. Furthermore, this beverage can also help prevent mood swings and make you overall happier because it releases dopamine and serotonin.
It may protect you from type 2 diabetes
A major health condition that affects millions of people all over the world is type 2 diabetes. Individuals that have it experience elevated blood sugar levels which are caused by a reduced ability of the body to secrete insulin. Several studies observed that people who regularly drink coffee are at a significantly reduced risk of having type 2 diabetes. The reduction results vary from 23 to 50 per cent, while one study saw a reduction of 67%. A review of 18 studies showed that one cup of coffee a day can result in a 7% reduced risk of this condition.
It may lower the risk of certain types of cancer
Another illness that affects a lot of people is definitely cancer, seeing as how it is one of the leading causes of death in the world. However, there are studies which show that coffee can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer due to caffeine’s ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. One of those types is liver cancer – its most common form, hepatocellular cancer usually occurs among people dealing with chronic liver disease. A 2017 study showed that one cup of joe a day can help reduce the risk of developing it by 20%. Similarly, drinking four or five cups a day had a 15% lower risk when it comes to colorectal cancer, according to research. What is more, when we take into account the ability of coffee compounds to reduce inflammation and regulate insulin, regularly drinking it can potentially lower the risk of developing prostate cancer as well. Plus, decaffeinated coffee also helps! Furthermore, in 2015, a study involving breast cancer patients that have been treated with tamoxifen was conducted. The researchers found that the risk of reoccurrence among individuals who drank at least two cups a day had been cut in half, compared to those that drink less or not at all. Finally, coffee consumption is even linked with reducing the risk of melanoma and basal-cell carcinoma.
It may protect against stroke risk
It is estimated that every year almost 6 million people die and 5 million are permanently disabled due to suffering a stroke. Several studies have been conducted and the research shows that drinking coffee moderately may reduce the risk of having a stroke and limit its consequences. Combined with a high intake of fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, nuts and tea, it has proved to have a protective effect against the risk of stroke.
It can protect against heart disease
While there is research that found a higher level of cholesterol and blood lipids in individuals who consume more coffee, some studies have concluded that moderate coffee consumption can actually protect against heart failure. What is more, there are also claims that coffee raises the risk of heart disease but the studies do not support this idea. With that in mind, one or two cups a day can decrease the risk of heart failure by 11% – going over five, though, is not recommended.
It could reduce chances of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Parkinson’s disease develops slowly over the years and causes tremors, mobility issues and speech problems among other health issues. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia mostly affecting people over the age of 65. Seeing as how there is no known cure for these two diseases, we should try to focus on prevention as much as possible. In addition to exercising and healthy eating, drinking coffee might also be very effective here as well. Studies show that there is a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s among coffee drinkers, while for Parkinson’s, it ranges from 32 to 60%. However, there is not enough proof that decaf coffee would also work.
It has numerous varieties
What is also great about coffee is that it comes in endless varieties. If you happen to get bored of a certain kind, you can always try something else and see if it suits your taste. From Ethiopian to Brazilian, the options truly abound. By having a Lavazza BluePod capsule coffee machine nearby, you can easily make this beverage in whichever flavour you want whenever you want it. Browse through the various sorts of coffee until you find those that you truly enjoy.
It can have positive effects on your hair
While not a benefit of drinking coffee per se, why not still make the most of it? There are many ways how coffee can be good for your hair. For instance, pouring cold coffee on your hair when you wash it can give your hair a shiny look straight out of a shampoo commercial. Another great perk of coffee is that it could potentially stimulate hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia – when treated with caffeine, the growth of hair follicles increased by 46%. Then, by mixing coffee grounds with water and working the paste into your hair, you can give your brunette hair a boost. Finally, rubbing in a mixture of coffee grounds and coconut oil into your hair can help you get rid of dandruff.
It’s good for your skin
Just like the mix of coffee and coconut oil can help your scalp be free of any flaky skin, it can also work on your whole body. If you’ve been struggling with dry skin and trying all sorts of moisturizers, try this method and you won’t regret it. Scrub while in the shower, rinse it off and your skin will feel silky smooth. Plus, it can also soothe cracked feet. This rough mixture can rid you of all the dryness and give you super soft feet.
It simply allows you to take a break
If nothing else, getting a cup of coffee will let you take a break from work or studying. Going to your favourite coffee shop will get you out of the house and into the fresh air. Even just standing up from your desk and going to the kitchen is good for stretching your legs. Plus, sometimes a break is necessary in order to finally figure out the problem you’ve been having. Also, if you work in an office, this is a great way to socialize a bit.
These thirteen benefits should be enough to convince you that coffee is actually good for you and that you should not stop drinking it, regardless of what the people around you say. Find the sorts you like, drink it whenever you feel like it (in moderation, of course) and enjoy all the perks.