Society has argued over the potential benefits and drawbacks of coffee for more than 500 years. Until just recently, the World Health Organization even listed coffee as a possible carcinogen.
Thanks to recent studies, however, scientists and researchers from around the globe are now touting coffee as one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
So what’s so great about coffee and why should you drink it?
1. Boosts Energy
As you probably already know, coffee contains caffeine, a natural stimulant that boosts energy levels. When you drink coffee, the substance absorbs into your bloodstream and makes its way to your brain, increasing dopamine and enhancing functions. As a result, coffee makes you more alert and increases loco-motor activities, allowing you to get more done in shorter periods of time. While this may be beneficial during the day, drinking coffee at night may cause unhealthy effects like sleep deprivation and anxiety.
2. Burns Fat
Before you run to the store and buy 10 bags of coffee, it’s important to note that caffeine alone won’t help you lose weight. However, if you pair a few cups of black coffee per day with a healthy, balanced diet, you may actually lose a few pounds. Some studies show that caffeine intake can boost your metabolism by three to 11%, helping you shed fat. However, long-term coffee drinkers may only see mild effects in comparison.
3. Accelerates Post-Surgery Recovery
After surgery, many doctors advise patients to avoid lifting anything heavier than a cup of coffee for the first month or so. Luckily, cups of coffee are exactly what patients should be drinking post-op. Recent studies show that drinking a cup of joe the morning after an operation may accelerate patient recovery and improve happiness. Plus, this beverage can help the digestive system begin functioning properly again after surgery, allowing hospitals to discharge patients sooner.
4. Contains Important Nutrients
Coffee packs in the nutrients, many of which you likely don’t get through your daily diet. Beverages generally provide more antioxidants to the Western diet than food. Therefore, even though some foods — like berries — have higher concentrations, most people still receive more antioxidants from their daily coffee beverages. Additionally, this drink contains riboflavin, manganese, potassium, niacin, magnesium and pantothenic acid, all of which promote a healthy body.
5. May Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Does caffeine play a role in preventing diabetes? Scientists aren’t sure. One such study revealed that taking a caffeine capsule before eating increased post-meal blood glucose and insulin resistance.
6. Could Protect Against Memory Loss
One in 20 people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s, the most frequent cause of dementia. However, scientists believe coffee may reduce the number of dementia patients in the future. A 2010 study suggested that three to five cups of coffee per day during middle age decreased the risk of dementia by 65%. However, a 2018 meta-analysis of studies concluded there was no association between coffee and dementia. Researches must conduct more studies before fully understanding the potential connection between the two.
7. Might Protect Your Liver
A few years ago, Italian researchers discovered that coffee consumption lowered the risk of developing liver cancer by 40%. More recently, a review of findings concluded that drinking coffee did have the potential to protect against liver cancer as well. Additionally, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cirrhosis, a result of diseases that affect the liver, and a lower risk of gallstone disease. In the future, researches will look to determine which ingredients may act as protecting agents.
Moderation Is Key When It Comes to Coffee
With scientists linking so many benefits to coffee consumption, you may feel the urge to up your intake or begin drinking the beverage if you don’t already. However, excessive amounts of coffee may induce negative side effects, including anxiety and restlessness. Therefore, it may be best to limit your consumption to one or two cups per day.
If you’re considering beginning to drink coffee, there’s no reason not to try it unless you have pre-existing health conditions that may prevent you from doing so. However, if you hate the taste of coffee, there’s also no reason to force yourself to drink it. You can still reap the health benefits of coffee in other ways, like healthy eating and exercise.
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Author Bio: Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about food and similar topics on his site. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates.