If you are a big coffee lover but keep hearing from people that it is bad for you, we have great news. There are many health benefits of Coffee if consumed in moderate amounts, of course. Seeing as how billions of cups of joe are consumed daily worldwide, plenty of people have already come to this realization.
So, if you are already obsessed with coffee, keep reading to learn more about it. On the other hand, if you are a tea drinker that is resisting coffee because you heard it’s not healthy, it might be time to give it a try. Take a look below for some tips on the best ways to drink it as well.
What are the health benefits of coffee?
If you’re still debating whether you should choose tea over coffee, you need to know that they are similar in many ways and offer similar health benefits. The only difference is the taste, which means that the choice is entirely up to you. With that in mind, what are these health benefits you will get to enjoy if you drink coffee regularly?
Reduced risk of cancer
There is plenty of research that links drinking coffee with a reduced risk of developing several types of cancer, which people who advise against this activity are probably not aware of. This is due to caffeine’s ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. A study from 2017 suggests that one cup a day reduces the risk of hepatocellular cancer by 20%. Moreover, as it can regulate insulin and reduce inflammation, drinking coffee regularly can also lower prostate and colorectal cancer risk. Studies also show that chances of breast cancer reoccurring are smaller among people who consume at least two cups of joe per day. Finally, there is less possibility of developing melanoma and basal-cell carcinoma. Seeing as how cancer is the second leading cause of death on a global level, the fact that doing something as simple as drinking coffee regularly can prevent it means a lot.
Lower risk of stroke
Besides various types of cancer, moderate coffee intake can also help lower the possibility of suffering a stroke. Every year, over 11 million people worldwide are affected by stroke in one way or another. Sometimes they result in disability while sometimes the outcome is death, unfortunately. According to research, drinking coffee while having a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, fish, and dairy can reduce stroke risk.
Protection from heart disease
While there are studies that concluded that people who consume a lot of this beverage have higher levels of cholesterol and blood lipids, there are also those who have concluded that coffee in moderate amounts can protect from heart disease. What is more, even though some claim that the risk of heart failure is increased by drinking coffee, researchers have disproved them. However, moderation is key. One or two cups a day have their benefits, but more than five is not advised.
Decreased chances of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Cancer, stroke, and heart disease are not the only health issues that coffee can reduce the risk of. Many diseases that affect people on a large scale, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, still have no cure. Parkinson’s can cause tremors, mobility issues, and speech problems, while Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia. Seeing how medical professionals have still not found a way to cure these, prevention is essential. Regular exercise and a healthy diet combined with regular coffee intake can lower the risk of these issues. Studies found that coffee drinkers are up to 60% less likely to develop Parkinson’s and 65% less likely to have Alzheimer’s.
Reduced risk of type-2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is another major health condition that impacts millions of people’s lives all over the world. People with a reduced ability to secrete insulin that results in elevated levels of blood sugar can turn to coffee as researchers concluded that a single cup of this beverage a day could reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 7%. Naturally, drinking coffee with loads of sugar and cream reduces its beneficial effects. Studies have found that black coffee can reduce the risk of this condition by up to 67%.
Smaller chances of depression
The number of people struggling with depression keeps rising globally and this issue can seriously reduce the quality of one’s life. While therapy and medication are of great help, it’s also good to know that coffee can act as a mild antidepressant and boost the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. A Harvard study from 2011 showed that women that consume four cups a day are at a lower risk of developing depression by 20%. Another study concluded that people who drink that same amount are 53% less likely to try to commit suicide. As it releases serotonin and dopamine, it also helps prevent mood swings and makes people generally happier.
Energy and focus boost
Being energized is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about coffee’s benefits, right? That comes as no surprise. Many people drink it as soon as they get out of bed to get through the day. What is more, people who need to pull an all-nighter to study before an exam or work to get a task finished on time also rely on this beverage to help them. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that promotes focus and alertness once absorbed into the bloodstream. This is why people drink it to perk up when they start feeling fatigued or need to figure out a problem they’ve been struggling with. Plus, it also boosts short-term memory. In addition to increasing mental performance, a cup of java can improve physical performance and reduce post-workout pain in the muscles. While this substance is often associated with anxiety and sleep deprivation, research shows that it comes with an abundance of health benefits when consumed in appropriate amounts.
This topic needs more research, but some studies found that caffeine boosts metabolism by up to 11%. Other ones concluded that it increases fat burning by up to 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people. Caffeine is proven to be one of the few natural substances that aid in fat burning and is used in many supplements made for this purpose. Additionally, as it increases energy use, caffeine is thought to stimulate thermogenesis. Still, the 12-year study about caffeine and weight loss didn’t have the expected results as the participants who drank coffee were no more than a kilogram lighter.
Eye health can also benefit from drinking coffee, studies suggest. An antioxidant – chlorogenic acid (CGA) – found in raw coffee beans can protect the body from hypoxia, a condition that affects the retina due to a lack of oxygen. CGA can prevent the retina’s deterioration, but more research is required to prove whether drinking coffee has the same effect. Moreover, it was proven that caffeine could protect individuals from an eye condition called blepharospasm, leaving them functionally blind. Finally, there are suggestions that caffeine can prevent the formation of cataracts by protecting the lens from damage that can cause it.
How to drink coffee?
Now that you are aware of all the advantages of drinking coffee, you should also know how to prepare it properly. Some people don’t care about how their coffee tastes, and when they drink it as they are only looking for a way to wake up and be able to focus more. However, how and when you drink your coffee matters if you want to experience all the benefits of this beverage.
Don’t drink it as soon as you wake up
First things first, you have to understand that the time when you drink coffee is essential. Maybe you like a cup as soon as you wake up as you believe that it will wake you up instantly and make you more energized. However, the truth is that caffeine’s effect on your body can be diminished if you drink it at the wrong time.
Our body produces cortisol – a hormone that plays a role in waking us up. Its levels go up by 50% every time we wake up. If you consume caffeine, while your cortisol levels are spiking, you will not experience the benefits you are looking for. So, wait for the cortisol levels to drop and then use caffeine to get your energy back up. Experts suggest drinking coffee after 9 am and after 2 pm and avoiding it in the evening if you want a good night’s sleep. That being said, this practice means that you are usually at work when you need to be caffeinated, which is something employers are well aware of. That is why plenty of them equip the workplace with bean to cup coffee machines so that every employee can get a coffee when they need it.
Look for a quality brand
In addition to the timing, you also need to look for a quality brand of coffee. With so many kinds to choose from, it’s best to try experimenting a little until you find the one you like most. It’s recommended to go for organic brands that were not sprayed with various chemicals. While they might be a bit more expensive, you’ll be glad you’re avoiding harmful substances.
Make sure the coffee’s fresh
For the best cup of joe, you want your coffee to be fresh. Don’t buy too much at once but just enough so that you have a supply for a week. Keep it at room temperature in an air-tight container. If not stored properly, the coffee can go stale, and once you brew it, it will not taste pleasant. While it might not harm you, you will not like the flavor. You should also consider buying coffee beans and then grinding them yourself to make that nice coffee cup. Moreover, beans can last a bit longer than coffee that has already been ground.
Avoid lots of sugar and too many artificial sweeteners
Another crucial tip to keep in mind when making java is that it should not be loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Turning your coffee into a sugary treat will diminish its health benefits as sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, creamers are often highly processed, so opting for healthier alternatives is better. Go for stevia, full-fat cream, or make a syrup on your own. Alternatively, putting in some cocoa or cinnamon can add flavor to your cup of coffee.
Drink it in moderation
Even though we said that coffee has many health benefits, it’s important to remember to drink it in moderation. Drinking more than recommended will not increase the perks as it can come with adverse side effects. Therefore, learn more about your caffeine tolerance and stick to the amount you can take. Some people can handle up to 600 mg a day while others are okay with only two cups daily. You can even calculate how much coffee you should drink according to your weight – experts say that individuals should drink around 1.1 mg per pound, i.e. 2.5 mg per kilogram, of body weight a day. So, two cups are optimal for a person weighing 176 pounds or 80 kilograms.
If you prepare your coffee in the right way and drink it at the right time, you will experience all of these amazing health benefits that this beverage has to offer. From reducing the risk of cancer to boosting your mood and energy, the effects that coffee has on our bodies should not be overlooked.
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