Health Benefits of Coffee
If you are anything like me, you would have grown up with parents who told you that coffee was not good for you, but continued to drink loads of it themselves. This, of course, meant that for many years, while liking my coffee, I had a vague sense that I was not doing myself any good.
Popular wisdom was that coffee was very much for grown ups – and was unofficially down there with smoking in terms of health. But that’s not true at all. A growing number of studies points to the fact that coffee is in fact good for us.
The coffee bean is, after all, a fruit. And since when was fruit bad! And coffee is a lot more than just a bitter drink loaded up with caffeine. It has plenty of other elements. I’ve done some research around the web of my own, and picked up some of the health benefits that coffee can bring us. So here goes…
Depression: Studies show that people who drink four or more cups of coffee are 10% less likely to suffer from depression. Other caffeine drinks do not have this effect (National Institutes of Health). This may be down to the large quantities of sugar in colas etc.
Liver: Numerous studies show that coffee is good for your liver, helping it regulate itself. Just think how a cup of coffee helps in the morning after boozing. On that note, yes, coffee does help us rehydrate. It is appears to be simply not true that coffee hinders our attempts to get water into our systems. When you think about it – how can it? It’s mainly water anyhow! Common sense prevails…
General Health: There is some evidence that coffee may help reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes. However, this is not proven – the evidence is more a link, than actual focused studies. Worth considering, though. The same applies to some types of cancers – there is a link, but nobody can actually understand why. However, given the frightening statistics of how may of us get cancer at some point in our lives, if there is a chance that coffee will help to reduce the risks…
Performance Booster: Coffee is seen as a legal way to “wake up” and boost performance. Yes, it can really make a difference, albeit temporary, to performance.
Keep your mind sharp: Studies show that coffee can slow down neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Coffee may not actually stop these from affecting us, but if there’s a chance that it will slow down the onset, then I’m all for it.
Helps you focus even when tired: Has been shown to give a temporary boost, even when your sleep deprived. This is because caffeine is very effective in blocking something called Adenosine – which is an inhibiting neurotransmitter. In simple terms, the brain works faster, improving our performance, and our mood!
Weight Loss: Caffeine can help you burn fat by raising your metabolism. Coffee is rich in antioxidants, and can therefore increases the oxidation of some fatty acids. Of course, this does not make coffee a magic diet solution – so don’t go off and take on a mad coffee diet!
The bottom line? Well, anything in moderation is always a wise piece of advice. Don’t overdo it, but don’t feel guilty about your coffee habit. A couple of cups of the good stuff each day is more likely to help you, than to harm you. But try to make sure that you have the good stuff. Shop around, spend a little bit more if you have to. At the very least, decent coffee is going to taste better!