The list of health benefits of coffee consumption grows every year. Besides tasting great and boosting energy levels, coffee lowers risks of several common diseases. Here’s a look at the latest coffee benefits to be uncovered by researchers.
1) Coffee increases fat loss
Among fat-burning substances, coffee is one of the best. Its key stimulating ingredient, caffeine, has been shown to speed fat burning in many studies. This happens because caffeine is thermogenic, which means that it boosts metabolism. Depending on how much coffee you drink, your metabolism may rise by as much as 11 percent. That translates to a consistent boost in fat loss whether you’re exercising or sitting at your computer. It’s no wonder, then, that you’ll find caffeine in many popular diet supplements.
2) Coffee is good for your liver
Coffee has repeatedly been shown to support liver health and reduce risks of liver diseases, including cirrhosis of the liver. This is thanks not only to the caffeine content of coffee but also to coffee’s many antioxidants. In heavy alcohol consumers, risks of liver cirrhosis have been found to fall as coffee consumption rises. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is very common in older adults, is less likely to progress to cirrhosis when coffee is consumed. Coffee even seems to reduce liver damage in people with hepatitis C.
3) Coffee protects the brain
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both less likely to occur in habitual coffee drinkers. Both diseases are quite common in older people and are incurable, which makes coffee’s protective effects even more exciting. One possible reason why regular coffee consumption protects against Alzheimer’s disease is that it improves insulin sensitivity. In fact, risks of Alzheimer’s disease are reduced by up to two-thirds in people who drink coffee. Coffee can reduce Parkinson’s risk by up to half, possibly because it protects dopamine neurons in the brain.
4) Coffee boosts exercise stamina
Everybody knows that exercise is good for you, but a lack of energy can keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Naturally, you may feel more inclined to work out or go for a run after a cup of coffee. Scientists have found that caffeine can increase endurance by more than 10 percent over baseline. This effect is partly because caffeine causes stimulation from adrenaline release, but it may also be because caffeine boosts the burning of body fat as fuel.
5) Coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in all age groups, and many more are at risk of developing the disease. Insulin resistance is behind this type of diabetes, and coffee helps prevent it. Researchers don’t know for sure how coffee does this, but they do know that heavy coffee drinkers have a risk of type 2 diabetes far lower than that of people who don’t drink coffee. Depending on the study, type 2 diabetes risk was cut by between 23 percent and 67 percent in coffee drinkers.
6) Coffee may reduce stroke risk
Studies have found that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of stroke. This may seem surprising in light of concerns about coffee raising blood pressure, but it’s true. How much coffee lowers stroke risk varies with the study, but some have shown a risk reduction of 20 percent. This may happen for a few reasons, including lower blood pressure with long-term coffee consumption and coffee’s rich blend of antioxidants.
7) Coffee helps prevent depression
The mood-elevating effects of coffee are legendary, and studies have confirmed that people who drink coffee regularly are less likely to develop depression. One study, which looked at risk of suicide in relation to heavy coffee consumption, found that coffee drinkers were less than half as likely as others to commit suicide. Researchers have long known that the caffeine in coffee boosts levels of brain chemicals involved in happiness. The mood-boosting effects of coffee might also involve its ability to boost stamina for exercise, which is also well known to fight depression.
8) Coffee reduces risks of several cancers
Studies have found that some cancers are less likely to strike long-term coffee drinkers. Breast cancer, including hormone-dependent and non-hormone-dependent types, is among these. In hormone-dependent breast cancer, coffee’s risk-reducing effects may be related to its ability to lower estrogen. Colon cancer risk, which is also reduced by coffee, has already been found to go down with higher consumption of phytic acid, which is abundant in coffee. Finally, kidney cancer and liver cancer are both rarer in coffee drinkers.
9) Coffee is full of antioxidants
Antioxidants have been shown to reduce disease risk and fight aging, and coffee is very rich in several antioxidants. In fact, coffee is by far the biggest source of antioxidants in the diets of most Americans. Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, two of the main antioxidants in coffee, can also be found in certain fruits, such as apples and berries. Oxidative stress, which antioxidants fight, can come from many sources, including air pollution, sugar consumption, and exercise. Antioxidant supplements may also offer these benefits, but why not savor a nice cup of coffee instead?
The health benefits of drinking coffee listed above show that it can help you stay healthy and happy. While coffee could be harmful in people with existing heart problems, the upsides of this drink will likely outweigh any downsides for most of us. Enjoy your next cup of coffee knowing that you are likely enriching your future as well as your present day!
NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider.