15 Health Benefits of Coffee

Whether it is an early morning flight that you are rushing for or an urgent presentation that you are preparing late-night, coffee is invariably the most common drink that you would wish for in moments when you need that extra boost of energy. You would be surprised to know that you are not alone.

One of the reasons why coffee is called a popular beverage globally is because experts have estimated the total number of cups of coffee consumed in a single day worldwide as 2.25 billion. Though coffee, when consumed black, is claimed to have the maximum benefits, you will never run out of ideas of making it more interesting.

Being rich in antioxidants and a few essential nutrients, coffee is definitely a healthy choice of drink. There is increasing evidence that supports the fact that coffee can offer several health benefits by lowering the risk of various diseases.

Discussed below are the top 15 health benefits of coffee.

Coffee Boosts Energy Levels

Boosts Energy Levels

It is a well-known fact that coffee shakes off all tiredness and energizes a person. A study conducted revealed that coffee increased the level of alertness of individuals and enhanced their performance levels at various tasks.

Caffeine, the stimulant present within the coffee, is primarily responsible for heightening energy levels and is considered as the ‘most popular psychoactive substance’ worldwide.

When you drink coffee, the caffeine absorbed from it enters into the blood circulation and reaches the brain. Here the caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that signals the body to relax. When adenosine receptors are blocked, there is a spike in the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine resulting in an increase in neuron firing.

Summary: Caffeine, the active ingredient of coffee stimulates the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This aids in boosting energy levels.

Coffee Aids in Fat Burning

Burn Belly Fat

Many brands of fat-burning supplements add caffeine as one of their most important ingredients as it helps in the burning of fats.

A study showed that 100 mg of caffeine could increase the metabolic rate by 3 to 4% and significantly help in fat burning by promoting thermogenesis (production of heat by the body).

Another study done to understand the metabolic effects of caffeine on humans revealed that there was a hike of 10% in fat burning in obese people whereas a drastic 29% increase was observed in lean people.

Nevertheless, there is a possibility that long-term consumption of coffee can result in lowering the fat-burning effects. 

Summary: Research showed that coffee can promote fat burning and increase the metabolCoffee is Rich in Essential Nutrients

Coffee is Rich in Essential Nutrients

Even after processing the coffee beans into brewed coffee, there are a number of essential nutrients that are retained. 

Each cup of coffee has-

  • 0.6mg of Vitamin B5/Pantothenic acid which is equivalent to 6% of reference daily intake (RDI)
  • 0.2mg of Vitamin B2/Riboflavin which amounts to 11% of recommended daily intake
  • Vitamin B3/Niacin and folate equal to 2% and 1% of RDI respectively
  • Minerals like manganese and potassium equivalent to 3% of RDI whereas magnesium at 2% of RDI

Having several cups on a daily basis helps in adding up the quantity of these nutrients, thereby, providing respective health benefits.

Summary: Every cup of coffee can enrich your body with various essential nutrients like niacin, riboflavin, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Coffee Enhances Physical Performance

Physical Performance

Studies have reported that caffeine has proven anti-obesity effects and promotes the breakdown of body fats. The breakdown ends up in the release of free fatty acids that can be utilized by the body as an energy source.

It also causes a rise in adrenaline levels in our blood. Adrenaline is the hormone responsible for the fight-or-flight response during which the body prepares itself for an emergency situation or merely an intense physical workout. 

Due to the above-mentioned effects, it is clear that caffeine can increase the endurance levels thereby, improving physical performance by a minimum of 11% to 12%. So, next time you hit the gym, do not forget to have a cup of coffee around  30 minutes before you start your workout.

Another study discusses the pain-relieving effect of caffeine on skeletal muscles after undergoing unaccustomed exercises.

Summary: Caffeine has shown to increase adrenaline levels and promote the release of fatty acids. Hence, it enhances exercise performance and stamina.

Coffee May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that causes the wasting and death of brain cells, is considered as the most common cause of dementia and affects individuals above 65 years of age. The saddest part is that no cure has been discovered yet.

Strict adherence to preventive measures is the only way of keeping Alzheimer’s disease at bay. Routine recommendations are maintenance of a healthy diet and inclusion of aerobic exercises or any other fitness-related physical activity.

Apart from that, consuming coffee can be extremely beneficial also. Research shows that those who are chronic coffee drinkers are about 65% less susceptible to have Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2017, a study was carried out by Indiana University researchers in which they could identify 24 compounds present within the coffee, caffeine being one of them, that had the potential to boost an enzyme called NMNAT2 inside the brain. This enzyme has a protective action on the brain as it prevents dementia from happening.

Summary: Those who drink coffee frequently are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Coffee Lowers the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes 

Diabetes

A vast population throughout the world is suffering from Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) in which the body’s ability to produce insulin is decreased.  This causes blood sugar levels to rise up and cause several associated adverse effects.

Research has estimated that the number of diabetes mellitus patients will reach 366 million by the year 2030. Those who consume coffee on a regular basis have been reported to be less prone to having type 2 diabetes.

A study conducted in October 2008 on Singaporean men and women revealed an astonishing fact that those who consumed 4 or more cups of coffee on a daily basis had a 30% lesser risk of having Type 2 diabetes. 

In another study, it was noted that those who consumed about 12 cups or more of coffee per day were at a 67% lesser risk of having diabetes mellitus.

Summary: Frequent coffee consumption per day lowers the risk of diabetes mellitus significantly.

Coffee Decreases the Chances of Parkinson’s Disease

The second most common degenerative disease of the brain after Alzheimer’s is Parkinson’s disease. It is characterized by the degeneration and death of the neurons that generate dopamine in the brain.

Similar to Alzheimer’s, this condition has no known treatment and cannot be completely cured. Hence, the prime focus should be on adopting methods of prevention.

It has been observed in a study that those who drink coffee regularly were at a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. The reduction of risk observed fell in the range of 32% to 60%.

In another study, the data collected from 8004 Japanese American men of ages between 45 to 68 years were analyzed to understand the association between coffee and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It was concluded that the caffeine present within coffee was responsible to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.

Summary: Drinking coffee daily can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease which is the second most common brain disorder associated with nerve cell damage.

Coffee Can Protect The Liver

Liver Health

Our liver is one of the most vital organs of our body and it carries out a huge number of essential functions. 

Hepatitis, fatty liver and many other liver diseases can impair its functions and cause permanent damage.  

Most of the liver diseases end up in cirrhosis, a condition characterized by the replacement of healthy liver tissue with scar tissue. 

In a study, it was observed that coffee can inhibit the liver from getting cirrhosed. About 80% of the reduction of risk of developing liver cirrhosis was seen in those who drank at least 4 cups of coffee in a day. 

Summary: Coffee drinkers are less prone to develop cirrhosis and, hence, have a protective effect on the liver. 

Coffee Can Make You Feel Happy and Ease off Depression

Depression

Depression is a common mental illness affecting about 4.1% of the US population and has a deleterious effect on the overall wellbeing and quality of life.

The persistent feeling of loss of interest or sadness affects the appetite, sleep pattern, and self-esteem of a depressed individual.

In the year 2011, a Harvard study on women revealed that those who consumed at least 4 cups of coffee daily were 20% less prone to depression.

As caffeine has been reported to elevate the mood and make oneself feel happy, a study conducted with this regard concluded that daily consumption of 4 or more cups of coffee could make a person 53% likely to die by committing suicide.

Another ten-year study was conducted on 86,626 registered nurses in the US, falling in the age group of 34 years to 59 years. It was concluded that the coffee consumption and risk of suicide are inversely proportional to each other.

Summary: Various studies show that coffee can decrease depression and also lower the risk of suicide.

Coffee May Protect from Cancer

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases that has claimed the lives of many globally. It can originate and affect different parts of the body and is characterized by the uncontrolled multiplication of cells in the body.

There is scientific evidence to prove that coffee can protect from liver cancer and colorectal cancer. The second cause of cancer death is colorectal cancer and the fourth being liver cancer.

During one of the studies aimed at understanding the relation between coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer, it was observed that an increase in the drinking of 2 cups of coffee on a daily basis was associated with around 43% of reduction in risk of developing liver cancer.

Similarly, a study conducted to evaluate the relation between coffee intake and colon and rectal cancers, revealed that those who had around 4 or 5 cups of coffee daily were at a 15% lesser risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer in which there is the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells of the skin, can also be prevented through coffee consumption. A study on 104,080 Norwegian women concluded that filtered coffee, when consumed in moderation, can lower the risk of developing malignant melanoma.

A study conducted on breast cancer patients in the year 2015 was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. These patients were undergoing treatment through the administration of the medicine tamoxifen. The researchers observed that the patients who had 2 or more cups of coffee per day had a reduction of 50% in the risk of recurrence when compared to those who consumed less or did not consume coffee at all.

Summary: Liver and colorectal cancers come under the top five cancers that can lead to death. Scientific evidence points to the fact that coffee drinkers are at a relatively lower risk of developing cancers like liver cancer, colorectal cancer, skin cancer or breast cancer.

Coffee Reduces the Risk of Stroke 

Coffee can cause a rise in blood pressure. Even though it is a fact, we must understand that the hike is only limited to 3 to 4mm/Hg. Drinking coffee on a regular basis, the rise in blood pressure resolves on its own.

Nevertheless, individuals having hypertension should certainly watch their coffee consumption as a small variation can also be quite significant. However, there is no study that supports the belief that coffee consumption can increase your risk of developing heart problems.

In fact, a study showed that women who were regular consumers of coffee were at a lower risk of heart disease. Other studies reveal that the risk of stroke is reduced by 20% in regular coffee drinkers.

Summary: Coffee can lead to a small increase in blood pressure which resolves as time progresses. It does not cause heart disease and regular consumption can lower the risk of having a stroke.

Coffee May Give You a Longer Life

As you know now that coffee can potentially prevent several diseases it can help in helping you live a long life. 

There have been several studies in this direction and the outcome indicated that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of death.

In another study carried out to understand the association of coffee consumers and mortality risk, it was noticed that the risk of death was reduced by 20% in men and 26% in women who fell in the age range of 18 years to 24 years.

A similar study, with type 2 diabetes patients as subjects, was conducted for a period of 20 years and it was noted that patients who were chronic coffee drinkers had a 30% reduction in the mortality risk.

Summary: Those who drink coffee regularly have reported have a lesser risk of dying prematurely.

Coffee is Rich Source of Antioxidants 

Coffee is a blessing for those who are on a Western diet which typically consists of high concentrations of saturated fats and sugar along with low fiber content. Western diet includes red meat, processed and prepackaged foods, lots of fried food, butter, eggs, and high-fat milk products.

Coffee is one of those inclusions that can provide a good supply of antioxidants and is beneficial for those who follow a standard Western diet. Antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals that are released as a result of oxidation.

As free radicals cause cell damage, these can pose multiple health issues like heart diseases, premature aging, and cancer. Since coffee is rich in antioxidants, it can truly be considered as one of the healthiest beverages for consumption.

Summary: Having coffee can provide the body a good load of antioxidants, thereby, keeping diseases like heart issues and cancer at bay. 

Coffee May Lower the Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder, affects the brain and the spinal cord. In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath (fatty protective layer) of the nerve fibers. This results in a blockage in the communication of the brain with the rest of the body.

In research published in March 2016, the link between coffee consumption and the occurrence of multiple sclerosis was evaluated. It was found that people having around or more than 4 cups of coffee daily experienced a substantial reduction in the risk of developing MS or the recurrence of MS.

Caffeine, one of the ingredients of coffee, has neuroprotective properties that prevent the inflammation of the nervous system and hence, reduce the probability of MS.

Summary: Coffee drinkers have reported experiencing a reduction in the risk of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease.

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Gout

Gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis characterized by excruciating pain in the joints and is most commonly seen in men. Though it can affect any joint, the joint of the big toe is seen to be the most affected one. There is redness, swelling and tenderness in the joint and the pain attacks are often during nights.

Several studies have indicated that drinking coffee on a daily basis can reduce the risk of gout as it reduces the serum levels of uric acid.

In an observational study, conducted on 45,869 men over a 12year- period, it was noted that the consumption of coffee was inversely proportional to the risk of incidence of gout.

Summary: Coffee can reduce the risk of developing gout which is experienced as severe pain in the joints.

Other Benefits of Coffee

Drinking coffee has definitely many promising benefits. The topical application of coffee can also be a sure-shot remedy for problems such as:

  • Dry feet: If you are suffering from cracked or dry feet, prepare a quick home-made scrub by mixing coarsely ground coffee with coconut oil. Rub the paste for a few minutes so that the rough mixture removes all the dead cells from your feet and then wash it off.
  • Wrinkles or loose skin: A number of commercial brands of face packs include coffee as an ingredient owing to its property of reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation. A smooth paste of finely powdered coffee mixed with olive oil or coconut oil can be applied over the face. This is helpful in reducing the wrinkles and tightening the skin. 
  • Dandruff: One of the most embarrassing conditions of hair is dandruff as the white flakes all around you spoil your esthetic appeal. Make a mixture of coffee powder with almond oil and warm it mildly. A nice massage with mild scrubbing movements in areas of thick layers of dandruff can help you clean the scalp and add an extra shine to your hair.
  • Rough skin: Mostly experienced in dry and cold weather, rough skin is another pestering problem for which the cosmetic industry has come up with a wide range of skincare products. A coffee paste can be used as a scrub and gently rubbed all over the body before bath. You will be taken aback by the end result- soft, smooth, and glowing skin! 

The Final Note

Coffee is an extremely common beverage that is consumed in different forms globally. Most of the beneficial effects of coffee is due to its ingredient, caffeine. Apart from giving you a jolt of energy and altering your mood, a single cup of coffee can aid in burning fat and preventing several diseases like cancer, type2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If you are not a coffee lover, then the best way to enjoy the benefits of coffee is by taking caffeine supplements.

Coffee can increase exercise performance and provides a good supply of essential nutrients to the body. It is fascinating to understand that with each sip of your coffee your body is nourishing your body with multiple health benefits and can also help you live longer.

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