Some people simply can’t function without their daily coffee intake. And if the ubiquitous Starbucks on every corner means anything, Americans are definitely in love with their java. But, aside from providing a quick pick-me-up, some may wonder if coffee is actually good or bad for you. According to thousands of studies, coffee actually has many hidden health benefits! So, drinking coffee is one habit you don’t have to feel bad about! Read on to see the 8 health benefits of drinking your favorite brew!
1. Decreased chance of Alzheimer’s or dementia
Coffee obviously helps you feel more mentally sharp once you’ve had your first cup in the morning. But a recent study discovered that people who had 3-5 cups of coffee per day were about 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia in their later years. Although that many cups a day may sound like a lot to some, it could end up helping you keep your mental faculties in your old age!
2. Can help with weight loss
Because coffee is filled with caffeine, it can actually help speed up your metabolism and quicken your body’s fat-burning abilities - both of which can aid in weight loss. Plus, if you drink plain black coffee (and not those fancy lattes), you’ll be consuming one of the lowest calorie beverages out there - a 6 ounce cup of black coffee is only 7 calories!
3. Stave off diabetes
As long as you don’t put a ton of sugar in your coffee, drinking it will probably lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers realized that serious coffee drinkers had a lower likelihood of getting diabetes (and the risk was even lower the more they drank!). What coffee nutrition facts indicate the prevention of diabetes? Turns out, the drink is filled with magnesium and chromium, which both help the body better process insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body can’t use insulin or regulate blood sugar, so coffee can help the body more effectively manage the insulin. However, you might want to stick to decaf if you’re worried about developing diabetes, since caffeine might interfere with the insulin!
4. Feel less pain
Have back or neck pain throughout your work day? Drinking coffee could help you notice a reduction in your pain levels. One study showed that people who didn’t drink coffee had a pain level of about 55, while those that drank it reported lower scores of around 41. So, consider drinking coffee throughout the day if you’re experiencing pain.
5. Protects your heart
Another proven benefit of coffee? Your cardiovascular system could be better off if you drink up some java. A Japanese study showed that men and women who had 1-2 cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease (like a heart attack) by about 38%. (Side note: the study showed the same effects if the participants drank green, black, or oolong tea as well!)
6. Reduces risk of stroke
Several studies have shown that another health benefit of coffee is the reduction in risk of having a stroke. Individuals who drank 2 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% less risk of having a stroke (compared to those who drank less coffee or never drank any at all). The risk of stroke didn’t go any higher even if the participants in the study experienced other dangerous factors, like high blood pressure or cholesterol. Why would coffee have this effect on stroke risk? It’s most likely that the antioxidants found in the coffee that works to stop inflammation of the arteries (which leads to a stroke).
7. Create a healthier liver
Want to make sure your liver is in tip-top shape? Drink more coffee! Some medical professionals feel that coffee helps reduce the risk of cirrhosis or other liver diseases. One study noted that a 2-cup increase in daily coffee drinking was linked to a 43% lower risk of liver cancer as well. It could be because caffeine and the antioxidant chlorogenic and caffeic acids prevent inflammation in the liver and therefore reduce the development of cancerous cells.
8. Can make you happier
A study done by the National Institute of Health discovered that people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee were around 10% less likely to experience symptoms of depression (than those who never have a cup). Turns out, aside from the lift in spirits that caffeine can sometimes create, those wonderful antioxidants can also affect your mood! In the same vein, another study said that drinking between 2 and 4 cups of joe can even reduce the risk of suicide in both men and women by almost 50%! It could be because the coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by helping to produce more serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline - which means drinking coffee could even mean you might not need to refill that Prozac prescription!
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