In case you didn’t already know I absolutely love coffee. So I don’t really need a reason to drink it, but the fact that coffee offers many health benefits adds a new layer to my love for this liquid heaven…I mean beverage.
Keep in mind that coffee is actually best for you when served black since adding sugar and/or milk or cream adds calories, fat and, obviously, sugar. However, adding these won’t totally diminish the benefits a good cup of joe can offer.
(On a personal note if you’re on your way to Starbucks feel free to pick me up a flavored latte.)
1. Coffee Improves Energy Levels and Brain Function
I’m pretty sure most people know that coffee contains caffeine. (Sorry decaf drinkers but even your brew has a small amount of caffeine.)
Most of us also know that caffeine is a stimulant so it can keep you alert when you’re sleep-deprived and even sharpen your memory. But something most people DON’T know is that the stronger flavored dark roasts people often reach for when sleepy actually contain less (yes that’s no typo, I do mean less) caffeine than their more delicately flavored light roast counterparts.
Still don’t believe me? Check out this video clip from Good Eats with Alton Brown featuring Dr. Don Wilson.
2. Coffee Helps Burn Fat
This is also due to the caffeine and, like I said, it’s a stimulant. While it speeds and sharpens your mind, it also gives your metabolism a boost. That in turn helps you burn more fat. So a cup of liquid energy before a workout very well could make it a bit more effective.
3. Coffee Contains Essential Nutrients
A single 8 oz. cup of black coffee brewed using normal tap water contains a mere 2 calories and 11% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin B2. It also has 6% of the RDA of Vitamin B5, 3% of both Manganese and Potassium AND 2% of both Vitamin B3 and Magnesium. All of which are important to overall health.
4. Coffee Can Lower The Risk Of Some Cancers
Coffee contains around 100 different active compounds. Among them, there are various antioxidant and polyphenols both of which are known to fight and reduce the risk of several types of cancers including many pancreatic and colorectal cancers as well as liver cancer and liver diseases.
5. Caffeine and Coffee Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
While there are no cures for either of these degenerative diseases there are multiple studies that show a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a moderate caffeine intake can reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s by as much as 60% in some cases.
No matter what your reason is for drinking coffee, odds are it’s helping your health in some way.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
If you’d like to read more check out these links:
Melissa’s Nutritional Tidbit: I love coffee too- it’s the quintessential part of a morning routine. It’s simultaneously comforting and exhilarating! Many people think coffee is bad for you but they have no clue why. I will tell you that there is no current research concluding any harm in drinking coffee. In fact, coffee may reward its drinker. Research shows moderate consumption (2-3 cups per day) is linked to lowered risk of heart disease, liver disease, and other illnesses, such as type-2 diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease. Coffee is also a stimulant, revving up your metabolism and helping you with your bowel movements (you get the drift). Do drink at least one cup of water per cup of coffee, as it may be dehydrating. There still needs to be more conclusive research but bottom line, coffee isn’t bad for you! Like I always say, everything in moderation anyway!