Good news for coffee drinkers, the research coming in indicates that there are not only short-term benefits of coffee consumption but also long-term benefits. In addition, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that drinking up to 4 cups of coffee a day, totaling 400 milligrams, is ideal. This means you can not only enjoy your morning cup of coffee, but you can enjoy multiple cups of coffee throughout your day with zero guilt.
The fuel that carries you through the best part of your day and helps you power through the rough spots also benefits your future self. And there is nothing better than self-care, especially when it comes with a kick of caffeine.
Coffee Benefits: Now and Later
When we think about the benefits of coffee, typically, our first thought goes to increasing energy. For most coffee drinkers, this is the main reason we initially began our love for coffee.
Many people get their start drinking coffee either in college, with a first job, or after having kids; it’s safe to say the obsession begins as a necessity for most coffee drinkers. It is a way to tackle the day when extra sleep is not always an option. However, as more research goes into our beloved coffee beans, we discover other significant health benefits of coffee drinking.
Benefits of Coffee
- Burn Fat
- Enhance Memory
- Lower Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
- Get Antioxidants
Coffee Beans and your Metabolic Rate:
The primary stimulant in coffee beans is caffeine. Caffeine, which is naturally found in tea, coffee beans, and chocolate, can block the effects of adenosine. Adenosine is a naturally occurring substance created in our brains that works to relax and dilate our blood vessels. It binds to adenosine receptors, slowing down nerve cell activity, which causes drowsiness.
Caffeine looks like adenosine to a nerve cell and is able to bind to the adenosine receptor. So, instead of slowing down the nerve cell, it speeds up. This is what causes the surge in energy that we feel when drinking coffee.
As a result, a benefit of coffee is increased neuron firing in the brain, and the pituitary gland views this activity as an emergency. In response, it releases hormones directing the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline causes several things to increase in your body, with the intention of prepping our muscles for exertion:
- Blood circulation
- Carbohydrate Metabolism
Enhance your Memory with Coffee:
There are no known cures for Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's; however, budding research indicates that there may be links between caffeine intake and a lowered risk of developing these two diseases. This benefit of coffee is groundbreaking.
Alzheimer's is the leading cause of dementia worldwide and is the most common neurodegenerative disease. In addition to eating healthy and regular exercise, results show that regular coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
High levels of brain entropy are directly related to the capacity for higher processing abilities. Caffeine is shown to cause a widespread increase in brain entropy. Caffeine is also a stimulant to your central nervous system, giving the sensation of alertness. This is why it is used in many medications used to treat headaches and migraines in addition to drowsiness.
Coffee drinkers have a 32%-60% lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, the second leading neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson's disease affects movement and typically begins to show through body tremors. In addition to possibly preventing the onset of Parkinson's, research shows that the benefits of coffee can be powerful tools in treating Parkinson’s symptoms.
Coffee and Managing Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body cannot appropriately regulate or use sugar for fuel. This impairment results in too much sugar circulating in the body, ultimately leading to circulatory, immune, and nervous system disorders. Type 2 diabetes, while it is most common in adults, can occur in both adults and children.
Researchers believe the benefits of coffee include a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. This is due to the elevated levels of antioxidants in coffee beans. Inflammation can lead to diabetes, and these antioxidants are known to lower inflammation within our bodies.
There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, so preventive measures are essential. There are several ways to prevent the onset of this disease, all rooted in a healthy lifestyle.
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Methods
- Eating healthy foods
- Losing or maintaining weight
- Staying active
Researchers at Harvard conducted a 20-year study that showed those participants that had a minimum of one cup of coffee per day had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. At the same time, other studies showed that participants that had four or more cups of coffee daily had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Coffee and Antioxidants:
Research shows that for most humans, coffee is the largest provider of dietary antioxidants. Free radicals within our body are constantly attacking and attempting to damage protein and DNA molecules. Antioxidants aim to disarm and block free radicals from causing damage to our bodies.
The darker the coffee beans are roasted, the higher the maximum antioxidant activity. These powerful antioxidants are some of the wonderful benefits of coffee beans.
While coffee beans contain a plethora of antioxidants, two of the more potent antioxidants are:
- Hydrocinnamic acid
Both hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols are fantastic at disarming and neutralizing free radicals within our bodies. In addition, hydrocinnamic acid can prevent oxidative stress, which is the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in our systems.
Polyphenols found in coffee beans are related to a decrease in the development of many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
To Drink or Not to Drink Coffee
While the debate on the benefits of coffee has been going on for decades, more and more research shows that the benefits packed into coffee beans far outweigh any negatives. From the immediate energy and metabolic boost to the possible prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer's, drinking up to four cups of coffee a day is the best way to start your day.
It's safe to say that whether you are drinking coffee to power through your day, for pure enjoyment, or to fight off potential health scares, it is bound to improve your outlook. So, grind some coffee beans, and let's pour a cup of our favorite coffee and toast to the health benefits of coffee both now and later.