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Healthy Reasons to Drink Coffee

health reasons to drink coffee
Dr. Neha Choudhary
Dr. Neha Choudhary
August19/ 2015

Its work ‘o’clock on a Monday morning and the only reasons I can possibly get out of the bed are either I have to pee badly or for My Morning CAFFEINE Dose. Yes! COFFEE it is.

Most of my friends believe I am a coffee addict and most of the time warn me about the side effects of coffee. But let me tell you that coffee is beneficial.

Now anything in excess is bad, but 2-3 cups of coffee are fine, infact good for you.
So let me start by telling you that coffee is the most commonly used psychoactive drug, in the world. Most of us start our mornings with a cup of coffee. It not only helps keeping us awake and alert but also has many other health benefits. (its definitely more than just an energy booster)

  • Coffee can Improve your Energy Levels

Like I said before, it is a psychoactive drug i.e, it contains a stimulant called caffeine.

  • Coffee can make you Smart

Yes! You heard that right! It can make you smart.
Not only it stimulates (activates) your brain but 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.

Research done during many controlled trials in humans shows that coffee can improve various aspects of brain function, including your memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive.

  • Coffee Appears to Have Protective Effects on The Liver

It not only prevents liver disease but also reduces the risk of liver cancer.

Our liver is an important organ that carries out hundreds of important functions in the body.

Common diseases that primarily affect the liver are hepatitis, fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. In cirrhosis the liver has been largely replaced by scar tissue, which cannot be repaired. It turns out that coffee may protect against cirrhosis. Studies showed that people who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk. Regular consumption of coffee is linked to a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare autoimmune disease of the bile ducts in the liver.

  • Coffee is also Good for your Heart

According to the Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard School of Public Health, studies concluded that drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure.

  • Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a massive health problem, currently affecting about 300 million people worldwide. It is a disease characterized by elevated levels of blood sugars, either due to insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin. For some unknown 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%.

According to  the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers gathered data from three studies. In these studies, the diets of the participants were evaluated using questionnaires every 4 years, with participants who reported having type 2 diabetes filling out additional questionnaires. In total, 7,269 study participants had type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day (on average, an increase of 1.69 cups per day) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk over the subsequent 4 years, compared with people who did not change their intake.

  • Coffee may Reduce Risk of Stroke
  • Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Some Types of Cancer

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.

  • Coffee May Protect You From Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, affecting people over 65years of age, is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide. 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 eating healthy and exercising, but drinking coffee may be effective as well. Several studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Caffeine May Lower The Risk of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s. It is caused by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Unfortunately, same as with Alzheimer’s, there is no known cure. In studies, coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, with a reduction in risk ranging from 32-60%

  • Coffee can Make you Happier and helps you fight depression

Depression is considered to be one of the major mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life. 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

  • Coffee is The Biggest Source of Antioxidants in The Western Diet

For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may actually be the healthiest aspect of the diet as coffee contains a massive amount of antioxidants. Studies show that coffee has more antioxidants than both fruits and vegetables, combined.

  • The Caffeine Can Improve Physical Performance

Not only caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat, but it also increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood. Thishormone, also know for our “fight or flight mode”, is 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, so we can burn more calories in the gym.

  • Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat

Dont think you knew that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement in huge amounts, infact that is the most active ingredient in them. As caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that have actually been proven to aid fat burning. Not only that several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-11% and with higher metabolism you are able to digest your food faster and better.

  • Your Cup of Coffee is not just coffee beans, water/milk, but much more than that

There are many essential nutrients in Coffee.

A single cup of coffee contains:

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.

Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.

Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.

So overall Coffee May Help You Live Longer. 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, more than discussed above, showing that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.

But just remember excess of everything can be bad. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking 10-12 glasses of water and you can enjoy your cuppa!!

Dr. Neha Choudhary
Dr. Neha Choudhary

Dr.Neha Choudhary completed her MBBS from Bangalore,India and is currently pursuing her higher studies in Melbourne,Australia.

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