Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

If you’ve been living on this planet long enough, it’s almost a guarantee that you have tried coffee. There could really only be a handful of people who haven’t tried coffee. It’s consumed everywhere, in different forms, prepared in different ways.

In the United States alone, there are over 10,000 Starbucks branches. That’s just Starbucks – there are plenty of other coffee chains so that says a lot for the demand for coffee.

Despite the cautions against the over-consumption of coffee, there are a lot of reasons why you should be drinking coffee. Researchers and studies have shown that coffee has a lot of health benefits. Read on to find out some of them.

It reduces the risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease and can help keep your brain healthier longer.

Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami discovered that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s up to four years later than those with lower caffeine intake. They are not claiming that coffee consumption eliminates the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease but it does appear to preserve the health of the brain longer.

Coffee has also been linked to lower risk of dementia. Huffington Post shared that in 2009, a study from Finland and Sweden showed that researchers followed about 1,400 people for approximately 20 years and those who were drinking three to five cups of coffee daily appeared 65 percent less likely to develop dementia compared with nondrinkers or occasional coffee drinkers.

It helps keep your mood positive.

The National Institute of Health did a study on coffee drinkers and it showed that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched coffee. And apparently it’s not because of the “caffeine high” — Coke can also give you a caffeine high but it’s linked to depression. Honglei Chen, MD, Ph.D., the author of the study told Prevention.com that he proposes the antioxidants in coffee makes people feel good.

It helps athletes and people who do physical labor with their performance.

“Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling,” New York Times reported.

Caffeine found in coffee increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream. These fatty acids allow the athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel, saving the body’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later on during the exercise.

It helps keep your energy up.

Caffeine in coffee increases energy metabolism throughout the brain. It also improves lung function and oxygen intake, resulting in better metabolic efficiency. The energy you experience from drinking coffee comes from the mild stimulant effect of caffeine on your brain.

The smell of coffee reduces stress.

The Seoul National University did a research and examined the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation. Results displayed that those who were exposed to coffee aromas changes in brain proteins that are tied to stress. This study doesn’t relate the aroma to stress on its own but to stress as a result of sleep deprivation.

For women, coffee could reduce the risk of getting cancer.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed 112,897 men and women over a 20-year period and they found that women who drink three or more cups a day are much less likely to develop skin cancer than those who do not.

Consuming coffee has been linked to lower levels of suicide.

The Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent. They propose that coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by helping in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.

Drinking coffee has been linked to better brain efficiency.

CNN reports that coffee allows your brain to work in a much more efficient and smarter way. Michael Lemonick from TIME said, “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence.”

Coffee could counter the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Coffee has been linked to lower risks for heart rhythm disturbances in men and women.

In a study of about 130,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members, people who reported drinking one to three cups of coffee per day were 20 percent less likely to be hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythms than nondrinkers.

Huffington Post shared that a study done in 2009 involving 83,700 nurses enrolled in the long-term Nurses’ Health Study showed that a 20 percent lower risk of stroke in those who reported drinking two or more cups of coffee daily compared to women who drank less coffee or none at all. This was regardless of the women’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels or sugar levels.

It lowers the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.

The American Chemical Society did a study on the link between coffee and type 2 diabetes. The study’s results found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 50 percent.

Coffee increases fiber intake.

Coffee contains high levels of fiber. Based on the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, coffee showed higher amounts of soluble dietary fiber in coffee than in other beverages. Having fiber in dietary nutrition helps maintain good bowel health, reduces blood cholesterol, and helps maintain healthy sugar levels.