If you’re a fellow java lover like me, don't feel pressured to give up your coffee when someone tells you it's "bad" for you, because there are plenty of proven reasons coffee is good for you. Sure, drinking endless cups a day can lead to caffeine dependence, adrenal fatigue, increased heart rates and nervousness, but coffee in reasonable does is actually quiet good for you. Coffee has been linked to many, many proven health benefits for years now. Let go of the noise from coffee haters out there, and instead celebrate the many reasons coffee is good for you instead. Keep it at one to two cups a day and enjoy your cuppa, sans guilt!
1. It Can Improve Liver Health
One of the main reasons coffee is good for you, is it helps improve the health of your liver. Despite some people saying it is toxic to the liver, researchers have found that people who drink one to two cups a day of coffee, have a 43% lower chance of developing liver cancer, along with have improved liver function overall. This is due to the antioxidant known as chloerogenic acid found in coffee beans. You can also buy a raw coffee bean supplement to reap the same benefits, but I actually enjoy getting my antioxidants through my morning hot cup of coffee instead!
2. It Can Prevent and Help Treat Diabetes
Researchers have also found that drinking coffee can improve the effects of diabetes and improve blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. This occurs due to coffee’s effect on insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. Too much coffee can increase sugar cravings, so keeping your coffee amount to one to two cups per day is key, unless you drink decaf, which has been proven to be fine. Coffee has been linked to a reduced need for sugars and sweets, considering you don’t add sugar to it of course!
3. Improved Brain Function
One of my favorite reasons coffee has been found to be good for you, is it improves mental function and overall brain function. It has a strong effect on the brain which helps it focus on, process and retain information better, and faster. It has been linked to studies that show coffee to prevent Alzheimer's disease as well as Parkinson's disease, which are due to the beneficial effects coffee has on memory. This is probably the reason so many people start their day out with this amazing beverage when we’re off to work or need to get a jump start in the early hours of the day.
4. It Prevents and Treats Mild Depression
No one should turn to caffeine to get rid of depression, but moderate use of coffee, especially in women, has been time and time again proven to treat mild depression. This happens due to what researchers believe is the effect that coffee has on neurotransmitters in the brain that help improve blood flow, mental function and increased focus and awareness. Coffee also has a mild sedative effect, which helps relax tension and ease stress. Keep the amounts between one to three cups a day to reap the benefits, and if you suffer from a caffeine crash, switch to decaf or reduce the amount of regular coffee that you’re drinking.
5. It Improves Your Workouts
Coffee has been linked to many benefits in the areas of physical fitness, with one of the most popular being that it is a great pre-workout tool to use to increase the quality of your workouts. Many people don’t tolerate any food, or heavy foods before exercising. Don't feel pressured to eat before a workout if you don't want to, but instead drink a cup of coffee. Coffee stabilizes insulin levels so your blood sugar stays even, but it also gives you energy and eliminates pain in the body. It can help take increase your energy and improves the length of time you’re able to workout as well. It also takes away those hunger pains you may feel, but don’t want to indulge in before a workout. This is especially true if you exercise really early in the morning before sunlight, when the body may not be ready to eat, but needs something to get it started.
6. It Improves Blood Flow
Coffee is a great way to improve your blood flow, which is one reason it helps improve your mental function and your ability to exercise. Because it affects your blood flow, it also improves the use of your muscles, and can increase your body’s ability to move throughout the day. I find I just feel better overall after a few sips, and can automatically tell a difference when I don’t drink it, in which I’ll feel stiff, lethargic and overall clouded mentally. While I don’t need coffee to wake me up first thing, I definitely feel better after having it!
7. It Can Improve Regularity
This is a benefit of coffee many of us are familiar with. Some health gurus like to say that coffee is a stimulant and this is the only reason it seems to help with regularity. Yet, as a nutrition major and health nut myself, I happen to side with the many research studies done on this issue, and disagree completely. Researchers have found that even decaf has the same effects as caffeinated coffee on the bowels, and it isn’t due to the stimulant effect of caffeine in coffee. Instead, it has to do with the nutrients that coffee contains. Yes, coffee does contain nutrients! Coffee is actually a rich source of magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and folate. These nutrients also serve as reasons coffee relaxes your mind and your gut, which also improves your state of mind, bowel function and overall sense of well being. Coffee also helps to relax the nerves in the stomach, which increases the flow of the bowels, helping to relieve constipation. Too much coffee can overstimulate the bowels, so keep it at a couple cups a day to be safe!
Next time someone tells you that you need to go off coffee, take it with a grain of salt. Research has proven coffee to be beneficial for years now. Sure, in abundance it can create acidity, dependence and inflammation, but overdoing coffee isn’t what we’re talking about here. Plus, coffee is calorie free and ten times better for you than sugar and junk food! For the best beans possible, be sure to buy organic, which ensure you aren’t getting any nasty pesticides, herbicides, chemicals or contaminants in your daily cuppa! I also suggest using a low-glycemic sweetener, or using a non-glycemic sweetener like stevia, and unsweetened almond milk, skim milk or coconut milk instead of heavy cream or premade creamers. Drinking it straight up black is also great if you can tolerate it. What’s your favorite benefit of drinking coffee?