For much of my adult life, I was a die-hard tea lover. But in 2004, I tried coffee and have never looked back. One of the things I loved about tea was its tremendous health benefits. After I started drinking coffee, I worried that I was losing out on all of that.
So is coffee good for you? I started looking into the health benefits of drinking coffee and discovered even more reasons to love coffee. Here are 6 quick benefits why coffee is good for you. There are many other benefits. Read on!
Is Coffee Good For You: Coffee Might Make You Healthier
You might wonder, is coffee good for a cold? There are pros and cons of caffeine and its impact on a typical cold. But research shows that coffee is good for preventing some long-term diseases.
There’s also new evidence that coffee drinkers are more likely to live longer than their non-coffee drinking friends.
Coffee can help lower your risk of developing:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Liver Cancer
- Heart Disease
1. Lower Your Chance of Type 2 Diabetes
Cafestol is an ingredient in coffee that scientists recently discovered has anti-diabetic properties.
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects more than 30 million Americans. Although it can be managed through diet and medication, diabetes seriously impacts your quality of life.
Someone with type 2 diabetes cannot regulate their insulin, or the way their body reacts to sugar. Many people with type 2 diabetes manage their disease by eating sugar-free foods and injecting insulin.
The good news is that one of the many benefits of espresso is its anti-diabetic properties. Scientists used mice to research the pros and cons of coffee in relation to insulin production. After feeding different groups of mice different levels of cafestol, they measured the insulin levels produced by each group.
Mice who ate more cafestol produced more insulin. Translated into coffee terms, the more coffee you drink, the more insulin your body can produce.
Coffee not only helps produce insulin, it also can lower your likelihood of developing diabetes. Just be sure to keep an eye on your sugar intake. The health benefits of coffee won’t overcome the negatives of too much sugar.
2. Protection Against Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder, which causes shaky hands, stiffness, and eventually speech problems. As more of your brain cells die, the disease becomes worse.
Unlike other brain disorders, Parkinson’s is not inherited genetically, and instead is caused by environmental factors.
Scientists haven’t confirmed all possible environmental factors, but a recent study showed that coffee could help protect you against Parkinson’s.
Caffeinated coffee dramatically reduces your risk of developing Parkinson’s. A study showed that men who drank four cups of joe a day were five times less likely to develop the disease.
Unfortunately, if you’re a woman, the health benefits of drinking coffee don’t help you here. But you’re 50% less likely than men to develop Parkinson’s on the whole.
3. Say No to Liver Cancer
Don’t like caffeine? We can debate decaf vs. caffeinated coffee pros and cons for hours. Luckily for those firmly in the decaf camp there are still tons of health benefits of drinking coffee.
Hepatocellular cancer (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer. A recent study in the UK found that one cup a day coffee drinkers were 25% less likely to develop HCC.
Are you a multiple cups of coffee person? Two cups a day means you’ll be 35% less likely to have liver cancer, even if you prefer drinking decaf.
4. Heart Disease: The Silent Killer
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the US. In 2017, one in eight deaths resulted from heart failure.
You might gain from espresso benefits in your heart too. There’s a relationship between coffee and heart disease – and it’s a good one! Drinking several cups of coffee a day can help to keep your heart healthy.
Additionally, coffee may reduce your blood pressure, which is a significant factor in heart disease.
Is Coffee Good For You: Coffee Has Nutritional Value
Coffee is more than caffeine and water. It’s full of vitamins and antioxidants that help your body function, including vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B3 (niacin), and magnesium, and potassium.
Vitamins are necessary for your body to work optimally. Each one has an important job to do, and some are harder to come by than others just by eating your vegetables.
5. Vitamin B2 for energy
A standard cup of joe contains 11% of your daily recommended dose of riboflavin. Vitamin B2 is an essential building block of two coenzymes that produce energy, meaning Dunkin’s slogan works on two levels.
Lots of food contain B2, and many companies even add it to their grains in the US. It’s a critical vitamin and there’s no recommended max intake at the moment, so you can drink that second cup of coffee without worries.
Although most Americans take in enough B2 through milk and a meat-centric diet, vegetarian athletes and vegans need to make sure they’re taking B2 supplements.
6. Vitamin B3 – another source of energy
Vitamin B3, or Niacin, is another energy building vitamin found in coffee. With every cup you’ll get about 2% of your daily intake.
Niacin is used to treat high cholesterol when taken as a supplement. The only problems come if you take in over 2,000 grams a day. As long as you’re not drinking 1,000 cups of coffee a day, your coffee habit will only help you get enough niacin.
7. Vitamin B5 for blood cells
Pantothenic Acid, or B5, is vital for the creation of blood cells. An 8oz cup of coffee gives you 6% of your daily dose.
8. Magnesium – key role in many body processes
Magnesium is an essential mineral that keeps over 300 processes in your body running smoothly.
Many Americans don’t meet their daily recommended intake. Luckily for coffee drinkers, every 8oz cup includes 2% of your daily magnesium dosage.
9. Potassium – maintain your nerves
One cup of coffee boosts your potassium intake and hits you with 3% of your daily recommended amount.
Potassium has many fantastic properties, including helping to steady nerves. But, less than 2% of Americans get enough potassium in their regular diets. Without enough in your system, you might feel lethargic, weak and constipated.
Stock up on coffee, beans, and bananas before your next big interview to increase your potassium, be alert and stay calm.
10. Antioxidants: Miracle Workers
Many people think of green tea when they hear the word antioxidant.
Coffee is also chock full of chlorogenic acids, commonly known as antioxidants. Antioxidants provide many health benefits, from reducing inflammation to lowering your risk of certain diseases.
Coffee can’t replace your daily vitamin tablet, but it might enhance it! With every delicious sip, you’re helping your body replenish its nutrients and protect itself against diseases.
Caffeine: Not Just For Waking Up
For many people, caffeine is coffee’s biggest attraction. It comes through in a big way. An average cup of coffee contains a whopping 100 grams of caffeine.
Students, new parents, healthcare workers, and many other Americans are all overworked and underslept. This natural stimulant can help you to stay alert and focused even if you’re running on little to no sleep.
But are there other caffeine pros and cons besides keeping you awake?
Because caffeine is a stimulant, if you drink too much of it you can get shaky and have trouble sleeping. Too much caffeine can also cause increased anxiety. Weaning yourself off caffeine might also be difficult, doubly so if your body needs it to function.
However, there are tons of health benefits associated with caffeine too.
Check out our guide to know how much caffeine is in your coffee.
11. Become a Better Athlete
Athletes striving to be faster and stronger might want to add coffee to their morning routine.
Cyclists who drank coffee with 330 grams of caffeine an hour before exercising were able to cycle for an average of 14 minutes more than cyclists who drank decaf coffee.
Just remember to stay hydrated while exercising. Coffee, although primarily made of water, might make you feel dehydrated. If you’re going for a run, consider drinking a big glass of water alongside your delicious cup of coffee.
12. Boost Your Mood
Are you feeling low? Coffee might help you cheer up!
Caffeine works by limiting the production of adenosine, a hormone that encourages sleep, in your brain. Instead of producing adenosine, your brain changes focus. Many times it begins to produce more dopamine, which helps to lift your mood and make you happier.
In fact, caffeine has been linked to lower rates of suicide, partially due to the increase of dopamine.
Less adenosine also makes it easier for you to focus on one subject without getting distracted.
13. Help with Weight Loss
Coffee may help you lose those last 5 pounds. Research indicates that drinking coffee with a meal can help to speed up your metabolism, meaning you burn calories faster. You can even try adding butter to your coffee 🙂
Since caffeine also helps you exercise for longer, you might be able to burn more calories at the gym.
It won’t drastically cause a change in weight, but every little bit helps! As an added benefit, a black cup of coffee will only run you around two calories.
14. Protect Against Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the fifth most diagnosed cancer in the USA. In addition to liberal use of sunscreen and staying in the shade, it’s possible that caffeine has some properties which can protect you against skin cancer.
Scientists are still researching the links between caffeine and reduced skin cancer risk.
15. Relieve Migraines
Everyone has different migraine triggers, but for many sufferers, caffeine can help to relieve some of the symptoms.
The anti-inflammatory properties of caffeine might help to reduce pain. Many over-the-counter pain pills also come with added caffeine.
The American Migraine Foundation believes that while caffeine can help to relieve migraines, it can also trigger them for some sufferers.
Either way, if you’re suffering from a powerful migraine, washing down your ibuprofen with a small cup of coffee might help make you feel better.
Go Organic With Coffee!
Organic coffee benefits outweigh any potential cons.
To be certified organic, a farmer cannot use pesticides or herbicides. Although organic coffee might be more expensive, it comes with a lot of benefits.
16. Help the Earth: Avoid Pesticides
Pesticides are not only terrible for the Earth, they are bad for your health as well.
Farmers and their neighbors can come into contact with pesticides during harvest and through their water supply. They can become seriously ill, including having allergic reactions, sore throats or even seizures.
Long-term exposure to pesticides can lead to debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s.
As for the environment, pesticides can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. They are usually used to kill specific pests that are destroying the crop but usually affect a much larger area.
Pesticides can affect the water supply, the soil, hinder plant growth, and poison other animals, birds and fish.
There is some evidence that roasting coffee beans kills most of the toxins. However, enough of the toxins remain to potentially cause problems for heavy coffee drinkers. Especially if you regularly drink three or four cups a day, organic coffee is a healthier choice.
17. Protect the Planet: Prevent the use of Herbicides
Although many herbicides are non-toxic to humans and animals, they can still cause problems for the environment.
Worldwide there is a shortage of bees. As pollinators, bees are essential to maintaining a healthy ecosystem and keeping plants alive.
Recently, scientists discovered that a commonly used herbicide disrupts honey bee’s immune systems. Without honey bees, pollination will decrease, affecting plant growth.
Protect the bees, protect the planet. Buying organic coffee means supporting farmers who are actively choosing to preserve the earth’s health, themselves, and their neighbours.
So Now You Know Why Coffee Is Good For You
Coffee, like any other food or drug, is, of course, best in moderation. Even water can become poisonous if you drink too much!
For me, the health benefits of drinking coffee outweigh any of the possible downsides. In addition to lowering my risk of developing some pretty nasty diseases, having an espresso with a friend is one of my favorite ways to pass the time.