7 Health Benefits of Coffee

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.

another cup of Joe, please!

7 Health Benefits of Coffee

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Prevention of Liver Cancer – Studies are showing a strong association between regular coffee consumption and a reduced risk of liver cancer.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Whoa! Be careful with that pour!

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.



#health, #coffee, #heartdisease, #type2, #diabetes, #stroke, #parkinsons, #alzheimers, #dementia, #livercancer, #mentalwellbeing, #depression, #Healthline, #WebMD

Not Enough Sleep Can Lead To Type 2 Diabetes

Sleep and Diabetesgraphic by author

I know some of you guys out there are burning the candle at both ends. You feel like need to do this for your career, and so you look for ways to put more hours back into your day, and many times, that means you are skipping some much needed sleep.

I’m here to tell you that while burning the midnight oil is okay if you do it sometimes, consistently denying yourself sleep will ultimately hurt you in the long run, and likely denying you the goal you are trying to achieve.

The folks at WebMD have put together a concise set of reactions your body will have should you deny yourself sleep. And none of these reactions are something you want to happen to you.

Bad Sleep Can Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

Too little or poor sleep causes changes in some powerful hormones. Those hormonal adjustments can make it harder to keep your blood sugar and weight under control.

Insulin. This is a hormone that helps your body turn glucose (a type of sugar) into energy. When you’re low on sleep, your cells aren’t as sensitive to insulin. Doctors call this insulin resistance. Over time, glucose builds up in your blood and your odds of getting type 2 diabetes go up. Other things can cause insulin resistance too, like being overweight.

Cortisol. When you don’t get enough ZZZs, your body releases more of this stress hormone. But too much of it for too long can mess with your sleep even more and keep you up at night. High cortisol also makes it harder for glucose to get into your cells. That leaves more in your bloodstream.

Ghrelin. Skimp on sleep and you may put on a few pounds. Poor sleep raises levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. As a result, you’re always hungry. And being up all night means you’ve got more time to raid the fridge. Odds are you’ll reach for carbs and sugary snacks instead of carrot sticks. Extra weight and a poor diet are two big drivers of diabetes.

Also note that obstructed sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up several times a night, and leading to results like those listed above. If you or your spouse that you are waking up several times a night, or if you are tired, even after sleeping for a full night, talk with your doctor and explain to him/her what you are experiencing.

#health #diabetes #bloodsugar #sleepapnea #sleep #wide-body

Can Cinnamon Improve Your Health?

A few years ago, I wrote an article about a study that featured some promising news about cinnamon and its ability to control blood sugars. This news was expected to be a huge boon for diabetics, people struggling to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and those wishing to lose weight. As an update to this story, all I can report at this time is that subsequent studies have not shown cinnamon to help groups of people other than diabetics. In other health related research, studies have proven inconclusive as to whether cinnamon is useful in lowering cholesterol, treating yeast infections, and HIV.

This isn’t all bad news. It is known that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, is a power antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. That means cinnamon can still be used to help prevent and treat a host of ailments, including heart disease, stroke, and gastrointestinal ailments. So, don’t give up on cinnamon, because research is still being done and this powerful little spice will likely play a part in a healthier you.

Are you looking for some easy ways to add cinnamon into your diet? If you are a fan of Mediterranean cooking, you’ll recall that cinnamon is used in several North African savory dishes. Look for Moroccan recipes and you will likely find cinnamon as a featured spice.

  • Add a teaspoon to your coffee grounds before it is brewed.
  • Add a little to popcorn
  • Add a teaspoon to hearty vegetable soups and beefy stews
  • Try a sprinkle on roasted vegetables, such as hard winter squashes, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.
  • A little on fresh fruit, such as apples, peaches, and pineapple, will enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Add a little to you roasted meat seasoning and you’ll see that cinnamon is a versatile spice.

Let us all know if you have a favorite way to add cinnamon into your diet.