Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee is a popular caffeinated beverage drank daily by millions of Americans. Some drink it for its taste or stimulating, energy-boosting effect, especially in the mornings as they prepare for the daily grind. Others drink coffee for the nutritional benefits it provides. If you don’t already know it, coffee has these surprising health benefits that could make you appreciate your morning “cup of Joe’ more than ever before!

Rich in nutrients and antioxidants

You can fill up on antioxidants and essential nutrients just by drinking a few cups of coffee per day. In addition to caffeine which is itself an antioxidant, coffee also contains the antioxidants quinine, polyphenols, cafestol, melanoidin, trigonelline, and chlorogenic acid. Therefore, many coffee-drinking Americans probably get most of their antioxidants from coffee than any other food. This beverage also contains vitamins B2, B3, and B5, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Helps in weight management

Coffee can be a great tool in your weight management arsenal. An 8-ounce cup contains caffeine and just about 2 calories. This is without milk, cream or sugar added. So, drinking 2-3 cups a day instead of soda, milk, or sweetened fruit juices can help reduce or keep weight off. Furthermore, caffeine helps break down fat in the body making more available for energy instead of keeping it stored. 

It can reduce diabetes

Studies show that drinking a cup of Joe every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. The body does not produce enough of or cannot sufficiently use the hormone insulin in people with type 2 diabetes. This results in elevated blood glucose which causes various uncomfortable symptoms. However, a substance in coffee called cafestol may help boost the production and use of insulin by the body. 

Protects against Alzheimer and dementia

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia caused by the degeneration of brain cells. This results in progressive loss of memory and reduced cognitive functions. Polyphenols in coffee have an antioxidant effect that can protect against inflammation in the brain as you age. Coffee antioxidants may also reduce the build-up of beta-amyloid—a protein said to be the main cause of Alzheimer’s. 

Can lower the risk of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder caused by problems with the nervous system. Scientific researchers believe that regular coffee drinkers may lower their risk of this degenerative disease by 32-60 percent in a way similar to how it prevents plaque formation on brain cells caused by a build-up of beta-amyloid. 

May reduce cancer risk

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled division and growth of cells which leads to benign or malignant tumors. Currently, there is no cure for cancer. However, drinking coffee regularly may protect against certain types of cancers. For example, liver, colon, mouth, throat, uterine, and prostate cancers. Polyphenol compounds found in coffee beans used to brew coffee may help inhibit metastasis or the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body.

In addition to boosting energy, physical performance, and reducing the risk of certain diseases, coffee-drinking is also linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, and liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. But, excessive coffee-drinking can raise blood pressure and heart rate, trigger migraines, or cause trouble sleeping.     

The takeaway

Whether you grab a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or you have your own little coffee maker to brew your coffee at home, rest assured that your cup is filled with nutrients to boost your health. But don’t overdo it. 2-3 cups of coffee are the suggested daily dose to keep you going without the negative effects.