Coffee drinkers REJOICE!!! Today, September 29th, is NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!!
In honor of National Coffee Day, let’s review some of the health benefits of sipping your favorite cup of Joe.
7 Health Benefits of Coffee
- Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes– Solid data here suggests that those who drink more than six or seven cups daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank fewer than two cups daily. There was a smaller perk — a 28% lower risk — for people who drank 4-6 cups a day. The findings held regardless of sex, weight, or geographic location. There is good news in that decaffeinated coffee is as effective as caffeinated coffee.
- Lower risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, and Arrhythmias – There is a relationship between type 2 diabetes and heart disease and strokes, thus by lowering the risk of diabetes, you lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Call it a medical two for one special! Studies have also shown that people who reported drinking 1-3 cups of coffee per day were 20% less likely to be hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) than nondrinkers, regardless of other risk factors.
- Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease – Interestingly, the science is pointing to caffeine being the reason for a decrease risk of Parkinson’s, though science is unsure why.
- Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia– A Scandinavian study showed those who reported drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily were 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared with nondrinkers or occasional coffee drinkers.
- Prevention of Liver Cancer – Studies are showing a strong association between regular coffee consumption and a reduced risk of liver cancer.
- Improves Your Mood – Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, giving you a boost in energy. The caffeine in coffee enters the blood stream and travels to the brain where it blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. Once blocked, the brain produces other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, which in turn improves your mood, as well as other brain functions such as memory, alertness, and reaction times.
- Fight Depression – This is related to the point made above about coffee improving your mood. A Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed, and another study in 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to die by suicide.
Down sides to coffee?
This article is not intended to encourage you to swim in a vat of coffee. There are known issues with the over consumption of caffeine, and they include anxiety, fatigue, addiction, high blood pressure, insomnia, and digestive issues.
For most people, it will be the ingredients they add to their coffee that will take away from the benefits listed above. An enormous amount of sugar and saturated fats is found in specialty coffee drinks. These drinks eliminate any benefit of coffee and lead to a higher risk of diabetes, weight gain, higher blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. These specialty coffee drinks should always be avoided.
Bottomline, if you enjoy drinking coffee, continue to do so as there are tremendous for doing so. But if you add large amounts of sugar or fats to your coffee, you are likely negating all those benefits and potentially causing more harm. Consider replacing your sugar with a non-sugar solution such as plant-based stevia.
Kudos to the folks at Healthline and WebMD for the information I was able to collect for this article.
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