5 Ways Coffee Can Help You Be Healthier
Starting your day off with a cup of coffee is a ritual we all love (are you with us?). In fact, a fresh cup of coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. No surprise that 54 percent of Americans drink coffee daily.
Still, aside from the fact that it fuels us with energy until the end of the workday, coffee has a range of health benefits that are worth noting. We will outline them in today’s article!
1. Coffee Burns Fat
According to statistics, 70 percent of the US population is overweight, while 30 percent is obese. Obesity is linked to numerous illnesses and health problems.
In this respect, did you know that most fat burning supplements contain caffeine? That’s because caffeine is one of the natural substances that have been demonstrated to be efficient in fat burning.
In addition, studies highlight that caffeine can actually increase the metabolic rate by up to 11 percent. Caffeine boosts the burning of fat with up to 29 percent in lean people and 10 percent in obese individuals.
So, caffeine isn’t just a yummy beverage that keeps us awake. Caffeine has the role of stimulating the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells so that the fat breaks down.
Apart from that, caffeine aims at boosting the hormone levels of epinephrine, which is also referred to as adrenaline.
On that account, experts indicate that caffeine can also enhance athletic performance because it mobilizes the fatty acids within the fat tissues. Moreover, caffeine can also improve exercise performance by 12 percent.
2. Coffee is an Excellent Source of Antioxidants
Our bodies are continually attacked by reactive molecules referred to as free radicals. These radicals can harm vital cell structures such as DNA and proteins.
In this view, antioxidants aim at counteracting the effects of these free radicals, by disarming them.
Antioxidants play a crucial role in preserving our overall health, fighting against common diseases that occur as a result of oxidative stress – cancer included.
Coffee includes a wide range of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, hydrocinnamic acids, and many others.
Researchers analyzed the antioxidant content of different foods present in a typical western diet. Coffee doesn’t present as many antioxidants as berries, for instance. However, few people eat significant amounts of berries on a regular basis. On the other hand, drinking several cups of coffee per day is common.
On that note, the amount of antioxidants originating from coffee outnumbers the one coming from berries, although the later contain more antioxidants per serving.
Are coffee antioxidants similar to those found in veggies and fruits?
Although coffee is an excellent source of dietary antioxidants, those found in vegetables and fruits differ. That’s why we advise you to promote a balanced diet. This way, you ensure that your body gets everything it needs to function optimally.
Apart from the high antioxidant intake, coffee features a combination of crucial nutrients. According to research, a cup of coffee presents the following:
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B5
- Manganese and Potassium
- Magnesium and Niacin
3. Coffee Might Prevent Diabetes
Another significant health benefits related to coffee consumption is that it reduces the probability of suffering from diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a widespread health problem worldwide. 9 percent of US adults had this condition in 2012.
There is consistent evidence showing that drinking coffee could dramatically lower the risk for type two diabetes. Based on study, coffee could also diminish gallstone formation.
Scientists assume that chlorogenic acid could minimize the absorption of glucose from high-carbohydrate and sugary foods. This aims at slowing down the release of sugar into the bloodstream after eating. Not to mention that it could be beneficial as it deters insulin resistance.
Nonetheless, one should note that the caffeine intake could prevent some of the blood-sugar-lowering effects.
So, if you’re concerned about high blood sugar or diabetes, you could choose decaf coffee instead.
Even so, according to some short-term studies, people who are accustomed to drinking a lot of coffee don’t experience high insulin levels and blood sugar afterward.
In fact, some study participants noticed improvements in the liver function. This benefit could be linked to long-term coffee consumption.
The bottom-line is this:
Habitual coffee drinkers aren’t affected by high insulin levels and blood sugar. In fact, over time, coffee drinking could decrease blood sugar level, based on studies.
There is an apparent paradox here: coffee could prevent type 2 diabetes in the long term while it could increase your blood sugar in the short-term. In other words, it is featured by both anti-diabetic and pro-diabetic effects.
Still, based on studies, for most people, the benefits outweigh the cons.
4. Coffee is Good for Preserving the Brain Function
There is considerable evidence showing that the presence of beneficial antioxidants in coffee could prevent Parkinson’s disease. This is an incurable neurological disorder that affects more and more people.
That isn’t all, though. Coffee also has a contribution in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In some people, coffee could actually counteract the effects of depression.
Researchers assume that the cognitive benefits related to coffee drinking are given by the caffeine itself. This could make decaf coffee less beneficial.
Caffeine delivers a range of actions on the brain functions. That equals lower inflammation and oxidative stress, which is crucial for maximizing the health of the nervous system.
5. It Maximizes Physical Endurance and Performance
Research indicates that coffee maximizes one’s physical endurance and performance. The minimal increase in blood sugar is beneficial for athletes. This triggers their muscles before engaging in physical activities.
Based on the study, caffeine doesn’t aim at enhancing the oxygen capacity directly. However, it could help athletes to train at a higher power output. Or, it could aid one to train for an extended timeframe.
Caffeine is a popular ergogenic aid commonly used in the case of prolonged exercise. That’s one of the reasons why athletes enjoy having a cup of coffee before hitting the gym or exercising. It enhances athletic performance while maximizing stamina and concentration.
Based on a 2013 report, adult men who consumed caffeinated drinks or coffee were dramatically faster than the ones who didn’t.
When the researchers analyzed the respiratory, metabolic and post-exercise effects, they established that three hours after their workouts, the caffeine intake didn’t influence their blood sugar, heart rate, and fatty acids.
In spite of that, caffeine consumption did increase post-exercise energy expenditure by 15 percent, in comparison with other groups.
As you can see, coffee is more than just a beverage that tastes good. It is a fantastic source of antioxidants and nutrients that fight against free radicals. Scientific references indicate that the active ingredients in coffee could contribute to preventing chronic diseases, as well.
Although there are mixed views regarding coffee consumption, drinking coffee moderately isn’t harmful. Still, it’s always best to analyze your health status and determine if it’s the right beverage for you.
So, next time you enjoy your daily cup of coffee, you’ll know that you’re actually doing your health a favor!
Rudy Caretti has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and brought him to found Gimoka Coffee UK with a group of friends, who share the same passion.
Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many different distinctive flavors we all love.