Coffee for it’s health benefits has a mixed reputation in healthy living circles, and we totally understand why. Caffeine is a stimulant and whilst providing so many of us with our daily get up and go, many people are sensitive to caffeine. This can present problems and often result in doctor’s advice to avoid food and drink containing high levels of caffeine. So we encourage you while reading this to consider your own health first.
Coffee Can Fight Depression
In 2011 a study at Harvard showed that women that drank 4 or more cups of coffee in a 24 hour period were less likely to become depressed by 20% overall.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.National Institute of Mental Health
Depression takes an effect on a great portion of the population and through a controlled study Harvard have identified that coffee does in fact have a measurable effect on the likelihood of developing symptoms of depression.
Something to consider is coffees place in culture and society as an element to socialising and gatherings. Coffee is often a conversation starter or at the very least, present during conversation. If a good cup of coffee helps you to open up and have a conversation then this in itself may be a tremendous factor in lifting moods and encouraging mental health.
Coffee Does Have Nutritional Value
Coffee is often used as a dietary aid. Many people are mistaken in thinking that this is due to coffee being free from any real nutrition and therefore calories (without milk or creamer). However, coffee does actually contain some really important nutrients.
Coffee contains ;
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B5
In a single cup of coffee you can get up to 10% of your recommended daily intake of the above, something worth considering next time you have a cup of coffee in the morning. Not only is it giving you that caffeine hit but it’s replenishing some vital vitamins too.
Coffee Can Support Healthy Weight Loss
A big discussion point surrounding the health benefits of coffee is how it can be used to encourage weight loss. Coffee on it’s own, without milk, creamer or sugar is almost calorie free. This means that you’re not adding much to your calorie intake each time you have a cup of coffee, in particular if you have it black.
However, often overlooked is the way that coffee can stimulate your body and encourage healthy weight loss. Caffeine is a stimulant and as you consume higher amounts of caffeine, such as you would get from multiple cups of coffee, certain things change. You may experience elevated energy levels, burning off this energy is a great way to stay in shape. It can just be doing daily tasks or completing a busy day at work.
You will also see increased heart rate, with excessive consumption you may even start to sweat, providing that you don’t have any underlying health conditions and you control your intake, this may also lead to weight loss. Your body uses it’s energy, the calories you take in, just to carry out it’s basic functions. These are things like your heart working to pump blood around your body, if your heart is working harder, it’s using more energy, that’s more calories gone.
Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease
Following a study by the University of Colorado medical school, it was found that those consuming a 230ml (around 8 ounces) cup of coffee per day were up to 5% likely to develop heart disease. This is a regular sized coffee, just as a large portion of the population would consume on a daily basis. So even if you aren’t drinking coffee exclusively for health benefits this is good news.
It’s worth considering that an elevated hear rate can be brought on by over consumption of caffeine and this can also create some negative effects. This will differ from person to person but it’s important to understand your own body and it’s tolerances. We would advise to always consume caffeine in moderation.
Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Even the thought of Alzheimer’s Disease can be quite frightening. Many of us have relatives or loved ones that have developed symptoms in their later years of life. Neurological research has shown that consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease later in life by up to 30%.
Coffee Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer
Research has shown that 1 in 23 women will develop colon cancer. Further research shows that regular coffee drinkers would be up to 26% less likely to develop colon cancer in their lifetime.
Whilst these figures are not all encompassing one would imagine that these benefits extend beyond the control group.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Regular consumption of coffee can often cause the body to process glucose in a much better way, leading to reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
An obvious health benefit of coffee, this was shown to be the case when in 193,000 individuals those that drank more than 5 cups of coffee daily were up to 35% less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Moderation is Important
Whilst we have done our best to only provide information from valid sources, academic and medical where possible, we would like to advise caution amongst our readers. It’s absolutely vital to understand your own health risks when consuming anything. Coffee is a very safe beverage to consume for the vast majority of people. However underlying health problems can present an issue for some.
We feel it is important for each individual to make their own assesment on whether or not the health benefits of coffee are suitable for them and always exercise caution when consuming higher levels of caffeine.
While the health benefits of coffee are many, it is also important to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy, balanced diet.
Now that you know just how good for you a simple cup of coffee can be, why not check out our list of great coffee gifts, ideal for your friends and family starting a healthy diet.