Some of us can’t start our day without having a full breakfast or exercise. Others can’t start it without a bag of tea. However, there are others who can get through the day without having a cup – or cups — of coffee. Thankfully, having your daily cup of coffee may be doing more for you than providing that mind-boosting, wake-me-up feeling. Latest studies and researches have shown more positive health benefits of coffee. For example, just late March, scientists at Japan’s National Cancer Centre have concluded their decades-long study and have released some intriguing results that were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study concluded that “[t]he habitual intake of coffee is associated with lower risk of total mortality and three leading causes of death in Japan.”
The study further agreed with previous findings that the ideal number of cups of coffee consumed in a day is between two to five cups. Drinking this much coffee every day have significant effects in terms of reducing your risk of dying from a wide range of illnesses or diseases, including diabetes, melanoma, and Alzheimer’s.”
Another study conducted by the researchers from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) said that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of dying from heart disease.
Benefits of Coffee
Coffee is a good source of antioxidants as compared to green tea and cocoa – which are considered as two super antioxidants.
“Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Numerous studies have cited coffee as a major–and in some cases, the primary–dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.” It also contains chlorogenic acid – an important antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee. The said antioxidant is known to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Antioxidants are needed by the body as they help in fighting inflammation – a known underlying cause for some chronic conditions. Antioxidants are also known to neutralize free radicals that are usually part of the natural metabolic functions. However, too much of it can cause oxidative stress that can lead to chronic diseases. Simply put, these antioxidants help protect our cells from damage, thus keeping us healthy.
Another known benefit from drinking coffee is its ability to boost short-term memory.
“The researchers noted that the memory skills and reaction times…were also improved.” It is said that the caffeine has an effect in specific areas of a perosn’s brain, especially those responsible for memory and concentration. Thus, it helps boost short-term memory.
Coffee also helps protect cognitive decline which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. One working theory is this: “caffeine prevents the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque that may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Researchers also theorize that because coffee drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for dementia, it also lowers the risk of developing dementia.”
Coffee is healthy for the heart as it supports “heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.” It also helps curb cancers. The coffee contains polyphenol, an antioxidant phytochemical found in coffee that shows properties that are anticarcinogenic. It is also thought that this particular antioxidant helps reduce the inflammation that could be responsible for some tumors.
Other Health Benefits
Other health benefits of coffee include enhancing exercise performance, protecting the liver, curbing depression, and guarding against gout.
However, like most things, too much of something is not good or is no longer healthy. Drinking too much coffee that the suggested dose or more than what one is capable of could cause irritability, nervousness or anxiety in high doses, and it can also impact sleep quality and cause insomnia. Make sure that you drink according to your tolerance.