5 remarkable health benefits of drinking coffee
Drinking coffee is not just a delicious and energizing way to start your day, but also a healthy one. Besides being a source of caffeine, coffee is packed with numerous nutrients and antioxidants that have proven beneficial effects on your health. Recent studies suggest that coffee has multiple benefits, from reducing the risk of cancer and diabetes to protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the main five reasons coffee should have a place in your diet:
1. It improves athletic performance
The consumption of coffee has been shown to dramatically improve athletic performance, and this seems to be due to caffeine. Caffeine increases the production of epinephrine and stimulates the release of fatty acids, both of which lead to increased energy levels. Caffeine has also been shown to decrease muscle soreness after intense training sessions, and considerably speed up recovery.
2. It prevents diabetes
Coffee has been shown to prevent diabetes by reducing insulin resistance, preventing high blood sugar, and causing beneficial changes in the liver that are associated with a decreased risk of the disease. The effect occurs both for regular and decaffeinated coffee and is believed to be due to the compounds cafestol and caffeic acid.
3. It maintains a healthy liver
Multiple studies have shown that drinking decaffeinated or normal coffee is associated with lower serum levels of the liver enzymes aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT), which indicates good liver health. Coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.
4. It reduces the risk of breast cancer
A 2008 study has shown that consuming more than three cups of coffee a day can either reduce the risk of breast cancer or delay its onset, depending on which gene variant a woman has. Moreover, women who were treated for breast cancer were less likely to experience cancer recurrence if along with the drugs they drank two to three cups of coffee a day. The effect of coffee on breast cancer is attributed to certain compounds in coffee that can alter estrogen metabolism.
5. It protects against Alzheimer’s
Studies in both mice and humans strongly suggest that coffee can play an important role in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, coffee seems to be effective at minimizing cognitive decline even after the onset of the disease. Coffee protects from Alzheimer’s by reducing inflammation, increasing synapse formation, and maximizing blood flow to the brain. Similar tests using decaffeinated coffee or caffeine solution did not have the same effects, suggesting that caffeine interacts with other compounds in coffee to promote the brain-protective effect.
Coffee has been considered unhealthy for many years due to its caffeine content, but recent research has shown that caffeine, along with many other compounds in coffee, have numerous health benefits such as preventing diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and Alzheimer’s. However you choose to drink your coffee, dark, espresso, or latte, you should not feel guilty about having one, two, or even three cups a day, because it’s not just a delicious and energizing drink, but can improve your health and prolong your life.