Coffee is very healthy.
It is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that ca boost your health.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.
Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels.
After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, it travels into the brain.
In the brain, caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine.
When that happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine actually increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.
Many controlled trials in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function.
There's a good reason for that... caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that have actually been proven to aid fat burning.
Other studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat, by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat.
But caffeine also increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood.
This is the "fight or flight" hormone, designed to make our bodies ready for intense physical exertion.
Caffeine makes the fat cells break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel.
Because of this, it makes sense to have a strong cup of coffee about a half an hour before you head to the gym.
Coffee is more than just black water. Many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink.
A single cup of coffee contains:
Although this may not seem like a big deal, most people are drinking more than one cup per day. If you drink 3-4, then these amounts quickly add up.
Type 2 diabetes is a gigantic health problem, currently afflicting about 300 million people worldwide.
It is characterized by elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin.
For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The studies show that people who drink the most coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of getting this disease, one study showing a reduction as high as 67%.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide.
This disease usually affects people over 65 years of age.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer's.
However, there are several things you can do to prevent the disease from showing up in the first place.
This includes the usual suspects like eating healthy and exercising, but drinking coffee may be incredibly effective as well.
Several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, right after Alzheimer's.
It is caused by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.
Same as with Alzheimer's, there is no known cure, which makes it that much more important to focus on prevention.
In studies, coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, with a reduction in risk ranging from 32-60%.
In this case, it appears to be the caffeine itself that is causing the effect. People who drink decaf don't have a lower risk of Parkinson's.
The liver is an amazing organ that carries out hundreds of important functions in the body.
Several common diseases primarily affect the liver, including hepatitis, fatty liver disease and others.
Many of these diseases can lead to a condition called cirrhosis, in which the liver has been largely replaced by scar tissue.
It turns out that coffee may protect against cirrhosis. People who drink 4 or more cups per dayhave up to an 80% lower risk.
Depression is a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life.
It is incredibly common and about 4.1% of people in the U.S. currently meet the criteria for clinical depression.
In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.
Another study with 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death and is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.
Coffee appears to be protective against two types of cancer... liver cancer and colorectal cancer.
Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.
One study of 489,706 individuals found that those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.
It is often claimed that caffeine can increase blood pressure.
This is true, but the effect is small (3-4 mm/Hg) and usually goes away if you drink coffee regularly.
However, the effect may persist in some people, so keep that in mind if you have elevated blood pressure.
That being said, the studies do NOT support the myth that coffee raises the risk of heart disease.
In fact, there is some evidence that women who drink coffee have a reduced risk of heart disease.
Some studies also show that coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of stroke.
Given that coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases, it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.
There are actually several observational studies showing that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.
In two very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% lower risk of death in women, over a period of 18-24 years.
This effect appears to be particularly strong in type II diabetics. In one study, diabetics who drank coffee had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year study period.
For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may actually be the healthiest aspect of the diet.
That's because coffee contains a massive amount of antioxidants.
In fact, studies show that most people get more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables... combined.
Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. Period.
Kris Gunnars, BSc
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