It’s really hard to imagine a day without coffee. The caffeine perks you up, and there’s something incredibly calming about sipping coffee – steaming hot or ice blended. My daily hot cup of coffee in the morning is a must. It jump-starts my entire system and the serotonin and dopamine I get from the caffeine reaction puts me in a very good mood.
From Zero To Hero
Past studies hinted that coffee might have a dark side and was even included in a list of possible carcinogens by the World Health Organization. However, newer research suggests that coffee may actually have health benefits. These newer studies found a possible association between coffee and decreased mortality. Coffee can be pretty amazing for your brain, your skin, and your body.
From being labelled as a baddie, coffee has been exonerated and now exalted to the rank of ‘superfood’.
Why the reversal? That’s because early research on coffee didn’t always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to use tobacco and were sedentary.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Besides having the ability to enhance one’s mood, coffee may offer some protection against:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease, including liver cancer
- Heart attack and stroke
- Alzheimer’s disease
Caffeine also increases your resting metabolic rate, which means it increases the number of calories you burn at rest. Good news for coffee lovers as plain black coffee can help with weight loss!
Consumed in moderation, coffee seems to be beneficial for most people — that’s 3 to 5 cups daily or up to 400 milligrams of java.
Health Benefits Backed by Studies
A study done by 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. The proposed reason is because coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
A meta-analysis of 127 studies on the effects of coffee on human health, conducted at the University of Catania in Italy and without funding from beverage companies, ranked random trials and observational studies according to their methodology and reliability and then collated the results into a “super study.”
The meta-analysis found probable evidence that drinking coffee is associated with:
- A decreased risk of many common cancers–including breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial and prostate–with a 2 to 20 percent reduction in risk, depending on the cancer type.
- A reduction in risk of 5 percent for cardiovascular disease and around 30 percent for both Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
- A lower death rate.
A large 2017 review on coffee consumption and human health in the British Medical Journal also found that most of the time, coffee was associated with a benefit, rather than harm. In examining more than 200 reviews of previous studies, the authors observed that moderate coffee drinkers had less cardiovascular disease, and premature death from all causes, including heart attacks and stroke, than those skipping the beverage.
Drinking coffee can help keep your brain healthier for longer! Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine. The neuroscientist at the USF firmly believed that moderate coffee consumption can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.
Coffee addicts who need their cup of joe fix in the morning, afternoon, and evening – this is brilliant news! This gives you a valid reason to guzzle more coffee without guilt, but without the extra sugar and cream.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
- Plant chemicals: polyphenols including chlorogenic acid and quinic acid, and diterpenes including cafestol and kahweol
Spilling the Beans – How Much Is Too Much?
The FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day or about four or five cups of coffee as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects to healthy adults. However, there is a wide variation in both how sensitive people are to the effects of caffeine and how fast they metabolize it. Over-consumption of caffeine can cause the following side-effects:
- Increased anxiety levels
- Muscle tremors (feeling shaky)
- Insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
- Pounding heart or missed beats
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Who Should Avoid Coffee?
Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:
- People with arrhythmias (e.g. irregular heartbeat)
- People who often feel anxious
- People who have trouble sleeping
- Pregnant women
- Young children
It is important to be mindful of how to enjoy your coffee. Try to avoid the extra calories from sugar, whipped cream, and flavored syrup added into your coffee as this may offset any health benefits found in a basic black coffee.
If you have concerns on caffeine or are sensitive to caffeine, decaffeinated coffee is a good option. According to research, decaffeinated coffee offers similar health benefits as caffeinated coffee.
Health Freak Mommy is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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