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Oftentimes, our delightful coffee is given a bit of a bad rap…insomnia, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and feelings of anxiety, but the latest wave of scientific evidence brings a wealth of good news for coffee lovers. Here are 10 reasons why drinking coffee may just be a healthier choice.
- Coffee is a powerful antioxidant
Scientists have identified approximately 1 000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and even more are produced during the roasting process. This gives coffee a higher antioxidant activity than the celebrity antioxidants, green tea and cocoa!Antioxidants keep us free from inflammation and disease by protecting our cells from damage. By controlling inflammation in the body, we can prevent diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer.
- Caffeine keeps you heart-healthy
Modest coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of heart disease than those that drink too much coffee, or do not drink coffee at all (say whaaat!) The anti-inflammatory response of the antioxidants support heart health.
- Coffee provides a short-term memory boost
Those of us that “cannot function” before that morning cuppa will understand this one! Caffeine provides a temporary boost to brain activity, memory, and concentration. The duration of this so-called memory boost may vary from person to person.
- Coffee may protect against mental decline
Research has found the drinking 3-4 cups of coffee during one’s midlife led to a significant decrease in the risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life.
- Coffee may lower your risk of developing certain cancers
Researchers have found that regular coffee drinkers have a smaller incidence of prostate, endometrial, liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers. Antioxidant polyphenols found in coffee are thought to help reduce the inflammation responsible for some tumours.
- Coffee can enhance your workout
Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer and helps to fight fatigue and strengthen muscle contraction.
- Coffee lowers liver enzyme levels in the blood
Elevated liver enzyme levels in the blood reflect inflammation and liver damage. Increased coffee consumption (4 cups) leads to decreased risk of Cirrhosis of the liver.
- Coffee may lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
This is achieved by helping the body use insulin and protecting insulin-producing cells, thus enabling effective regulation of blood sugar. Also, caffeine is anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee lowers your risk of developing gout
The antioxidants in coffee lower insulin levels, which in turn lower uric acid levels which, in high concentrations, can cause gout.
- Coffee makes you happy!
Caffeine activates neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin. Researchers have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression and moodiness.
While 10 good reasons to drink coffee is fantastic news for us, it is important to interpret this research with caution. Some coffee drinkers are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and too much caffeine can lead to some nasty side-effects. A moderate coffee-drinker has 2-3 cups of coffee per day, while a heavy coffee drinker consumes 4 plus cups of coffee per day. Most of these findings are based on an average of 2-4 cups of coffee per day, which indicates that the research is aimed at a “less is more” approach.
So, don’t try to suddenly force 6 cups of coffee in …… Enjoy your beloved coffee in moderation, and enjoy it’s healthy benefits.