Health benefits of coffee have been a topic of debate since the 1500s. The studies on it also have been as dense as the debate has been. To be or not be a coffee consumer is the golden question. While there have been justifications that coffee isn’t good for health has met the reality. Those studies that proved that coffee is unhealthy beverage was tested in excess of caffeine consumption which kinda proves itself wrong. Anything in excess is poison, an even excessively pure form of oxygen (O3) kills human beings. People have been blaming the addiction of caffeine for the ill effects. Addiction of sleep is also bad for health. Continue reading and you’ll find a good number of reasons why you shouldn’t definitely quit taking coffee.
Before we get into the detailed health benefits of coffee, we better know more about the substance that has been in debate for quite a long time – Caffeine.
What is caffeine? Is it good or bad for your health
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It starts with stimulating the brain and the central nervous system that helps you stay alert and preventing the tiredness to take over. Coffee dates back it’s first consumption back by an Ethiopian shepherd who noticed extra energy in his goats after serving it to them. Caffeine got a debut in soft drinks in the late 1800s, and then in energy drinks.
Effects of caffeine. How does it impact your health?
Stomach quickly absorbs caffeine and sends it into bloodstreams. From there it reaches the liver where it turns into compounds that will further impact various organs of the body. While the main effect of caffeine is on the brain. Caffeine blocks the effects of the hormone called adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired. This is the reason why having coffee makes you feel fresh and energetic. The nature of adenosine is so that it builds all day long and makes you feel tired at the end of the day. Having coffee will not only block the growth of adenosine but also remove the already existing stock.
Once the caffeine is inside your body, it connects adenosine receptors in the brain without activating them which helps you stay awake and feel less tired. Blood adrenaline level may also increase and hence increase your brain activities. A 12-year study has shown that coffee consumers have been 0.4-0.5 KG lighter than those who didn’t consume coffee.
Now that you know how caffeine(which is present the highest naturally in coffee) works let us break down its benefits one by one.
Health benefits of coffee
Not blaming the caffeine, it is the number of times one consumes coffee makes the difference. It is ideal to have 2-4 cups of coffee a day, if you are fond of using a large cup then 3 cups should do. For those who have no limits better take steps to gain command over this addiction.
Let’s see what are the health benefits of coffee.
- People who drink coffee daily are resistant to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is when pancreas secretes a hormone called Insulin. Which converts glucose from food into energy. The body doesn’t utilize the secretes insulin the way it ought to. Since the Insulin(a type of sugar) is not in use, it keeps accumulating in the body and eventually, it increases the sugar level in the blood.Consuming coffee helps control the insulin levels from being unutilized. Insulin absorbs glucose (that generates after a meal) from the bloodstreams and keeps it under permissible levels. Excess of both Insulin and Glucose is not good for health. Intake of caffeine makes the Insulin reactive enough so that it absorbs the glucose from your bloodstream.
A study by Archives of Internal Medicine says that with each cup of coffee, the risk of Type 2 diabetes reduces by ~7%. This doesn’t mean taking 10 cups of coffee a day would reduce the chances by 70%. Anything in excess is poison, remember?
- Coffee contains an unidentified substance that mixes with caffeine that increases GCFS levels and helps reduce chances of Alzheimer (a disease that destroys memory and important mental function) and Parkinson’s disease(disorder of central nervous system)
- Recent studies have shown that coffee definitely helps reduce the chances of heart stroke and heart disease. A 13-year-old study backs this theory that coffee helps reduce the heart disease at least by 45%. The study has reported that those who consume 2-4 cups of coffee are safest than those who consume more or less than that number.
- Coffee is a great antioxidant. Needless to say the usefulness of antioxidants for a human body. Anti-oxidants are present in many fruits (Oranges, blueberries), vegetables (spinach, sprouts), nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts), beans, red wine, and chocolate. Anti Oxidants oxidizes the free radicals inside the body. However, the free radicals outnumber the natural antioxidants. Hence, from the external source of antioxidants should be present in the body to keep the free radicals in check. If there is an excess of free radicals in the body it leads to degenerative illness, cancer, chronic diseases, autoimmune disorder, aging, cataracts, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
- For those gymoholics, 2-4 cups of coffee a day can help you with reducing post-workout muscle pain by 48%. Intake of caffeine helps utilize fat as fuel while working out. If your motive is to burn fats then a cup or two before work would do great for your goal. Caffeine also helps reducing muscle contractions and increase tolerance to fatigue. This further helps you workout more and efficiently. It also helps reduce perceived exertion which makes you feel working out a lot more easier.
- It also helps reduce suicide risk and depression. A study carried out by Archives of Internal Medicine for 10 years on 86,000 female nurses showed a reduced risk of suicides in those who drank coffee. Another study carried out by Harvard School of Public Health showed that women who drank 3 or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression.
- Coffee drinkers have a stronger DNA. A study published in European Journal of Nutrition showed that those who drank coffee have strong DNA and that too with stronger integrity. The white blood cells of coffee drinker have far less instance of spontaneous DNA strand breakage.
- Researchers from Brazil showed in their study that strong black coffee kills the bacteria in the tooth that causes cavities and tooth decay. Pure black coffee does this, adding sugar and milk would negate the benefit.
Indeed, for those health conscious people out there decaffeinated coffee is available but the above-mentioned benefits are found only in caffeinated coffee. Reason being the fact that most of the anti-oxidants no more exists after decaffeinating the coffee.
For centuries health benefits of coffee has been a topic of debate to many. But let me bring this straight, everything has advantage and disadvantages, the degree of adverse effect depends on the quantity of that substance and not the substance itself. If its advisable to have up to 4 cups of coffee a day then taking 7-8 cups would be inviting health issues up front. Blaming coffee for this is not fair. There should be a check on everything you consume, be it coffee or alcohol.
Coffee will not be beneficial for all. It is advised to better avoid coffee those suffering from certain heart disease. Pregnant women better avoid it completely, better opt for decaf or tea. Caffeine contains elements that increase cholesterol. Point to note here is that only espresso and latte has such elements. Using only paper filters to avoid kahweol and cafestol(which are responsible for the risk) from getting inside your body and causing damage.
Over to you, What you think caffeine has done to you? What are good.bad experiences with caffeine? Let us know in the comment section below. Do you know someone who’s looking for health benefits of coffee? Share this information with them. Also, share this in your network to help benefit others with this information.