Coffee. Some people avoid it, others can’t get enough, but is it really bad for you? While there are some potentially negative effects, you may be surprised to learn that coffee actually has many health benefits, and may even add to your life! So let’s look at the positive and the negative aspects of coffee!
Nutrients & Antioxidants
Coffee contains a lot of nutrients, and it is the highest source of antioxidants in the typical western diet!
Included in its contents are vitamins B2, B5, B1, B3, manganese, potassium, magnesium and more!
Caffeine: Benefits & Drawbacks
Caffeine gets a lot of bad press, and is generally viewed in a negative light. There is some justification for said views- namely that it can be very addictive, and as time goes on the body becomes tolerant to it so larger doses are needed in order to have the desired effect.
Abstaining from caffeine once addicted can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, brain fog and exhaustion.
Having said all of that, caffeine actually also has some positive effects. It is a stimulant which blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter in our brain called adenosine.
This increases activity in your brain and makes you feel less tired and more alert, improving your mood, reaction time and the general functioning of your brain.
Caffeine also boots metabolism and has been shown to speed up fat-burning, as well as improving physical performance by about 12%!
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s – as much as a 65% less chance in fact!
We touched on the fact that caffeine sensitivity can cause anxiety to worsen, but interestingly coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of depression and suicide, according to studies.
Some studies have shown that people who drink at least 4 cups per day could decrease their chance of depression by 20%, and the risk of suicide is up to 55% lower.
Some observational studies have suggested that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, although it isn’t clear why this is the case.
Additionally, people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day may have up to an 80% lower chance of getting liver diseases that lead to cirrhosis, and up to a 40% less chance of developing liver cancer.
Long-term research has also shown that coffee drinkers may live longer. In a study that was conducted over 13 years, in over 400,000 people, it was found that men who drank 4-5 cups per day had a 12% decreased risk of death, and women who drank the same amount had a 16% less chance of dying!
To Be Aware Of…
To get the most from coffee it’s best not to add sugar, as we know that consuming too much sugar can lead to many health issues and would counteract the benefits. Bear in mind that when you get coffees from cafes they often contain lots of sugar and calories, so drinking them too much isn’t good for your health!