There are lots of people in this world who can’t start their days without a cup of coffee! Coffee has a very distinctive aroma and an earthy, roasty, acidic taste. It can be enjoyed in many different ways from hot and black, to cold brew with sweet cream, to a dessert-like fluffy drink with flavored syrups and whipped cream. (Please note that when we’re talking about coffee health benefits here, we’re talking about the coffee, not the chocolate syrup or heavy creams.)
Substances that make Coffee a healthy beverage
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins (riboflavin/B2, pantothenic acid/B5, and niacin/B3). Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the blood and prevent cell damage. Magnesium and potassium help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. B vitamins can help regulate mood, among other benefits.
Pretty much everyone knows that coffee is high in caffeine (some coffees more than others), but not everyone knows how healthy caffeine actually is for people. Caffeine can:
● Improve energy levels
● Increase brain activity
● Burn fat
● Increase physical performance
● Protect against Alzheimer’s and similar neurodegenerative diseases
● Improve sex life (for men)
How Coffee Can Boost the Immune System
As stated above, coffee is rich in antioxidants (coffee comes from fruit, after all); at least one study shows that most Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. The polyphenols and other antioxidants in coffee reduce inflammation and help protect against chronic disease.
In addition, other coffee health benefits include a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of certain cancers, reduced risk of stroke, and protection for the liver. There are certainly a lot of ways that coffee helps protect against chronic diseases!
Coffee’s Impact on Weight Loss
Obesity is one of the most common chronic diseases in this country, and one of the more promising coffee health benefits is how it helps increase metabolism and help people lose weight. The caffeine in coffee can boost the metabolic rate between 3% and 11%. In addition, it can increase fat burning by between 10% and 29%.
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps boost physical performance as well, so in addition to burning fat, it can help people get the most out of their workouts. This also contributes to increased metabolism and weight loss.
How Many Cups of Coffee Should Be Okay to Consume Daily?
It is generally considered safe for healthy adults to consume in the range of 400 milligrams of coffee per day, spread out over several hours and not all at once. This is the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee; if you regularly consume other caffeinated beverages, such as sodas, you will want to adjust accordingly.
This refers to the caffeine in coffee. If you add a lot of sugar and cream to your coffee, that may be unhealthy in itself: two teaspoons of sugar per cup, for four cups a day, equals 33.5 grams of sugar. That alone is above what the AHA recommends for women and just under what is recommended for men.
What Is the Healthiest Kind of Coffee?
There has been one small study showing that dark-roast coffee decreases breakage in DNA strands. Breakage occurs naturally, but if it is not repaired by the cells, it can lead to cancerous or benign tumors.
For the most part, all types of coffee are healthy for you; again, this is the coffee and not the sugar, cream, or flavored syrups that people sometimes add to their coffee. We think of coffee as a beverage, but it’s really a dried fruit and therefore it’s full of antioxidants and other nutrients. Coffee is a healthy brew, but the additives are not always healthy.
There are almost too many coffee health benefits to name, but the bottom line is that there are a few studies that demonstrate that people who drink coffee live longer. Coffee has been associated with a 20% reduced risk of death in men and a 26% reduced risk of death in women. Since coffee is also linked to a lower risk of depression and a lower risk of suicide (it boosts brain production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline), we’re talking about quality as well as quantity.