A delicious shot of caffeine in a cup; coffee has been used for centuries as a pick-me-up. However, with decaf versions available too, coffee offers far more than a shot of energy when you need it.
Although it’s had some negativity over the years, coffee can have some very beneficial effects on the human body. We’ve pulled together some of the top facts which show just how many health benefits that coffee has.
Contains Vital Nutrients
The nutritional content of coffee is rarely discussed, so you might be surprised to learn that it has a lot of goodness. However, when you consider that coffee is made directly from a natural plant bean, it seems obvious that it would be packed full of healthy nutrients.
The nutrients are present in the largest quantities when coffee is freshly ground before being drunk. Just one cup of coffee could provide the following goodness:
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – 11% RDI (Reference Daily Intake)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) – 6% RDI
- Manganese and potassium – 3% RDI
- B3 (niacin) and magnesium – 2%
The amounts may seem negligible but when you consider how many cups of coffee you have every day, it’s easy to see how these nutrients quickly add up.
Powerful Antioxidant Action
Antioxidants are vital to the western diet, helping to combat the damage that free radicals inflict. For most people, coffee will be the greatest source of antioxidants, giving them a powerful shot with every cup of coffee they drink.
Coffee is high in antioxidants. Research has shown that the majority of people get more antioxidants from the coffee they drink than fruit and veg combined.
The effect of antioxidants shouldn’t be underestimated, making coffee one of the healthiest drinks you can choose.
Aids Brain Function
The effect that caffeine has on energy levels has been well-documented. It is classed as a stimulant, and is the most widely consumed psychoactive edible in the world.
Caffeine is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, from the coffee you drink, travelling to your brain. From here, it blocks adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This allows other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine to increase, sending neurons firing in all directions.
The outcome of this change in brain chemistry is improved function. Research has demonstrated improvements in reaction times, memory, mood, vigilance and general cognitive performance.
May Protect Against Cancer
While no-one is claiming that coffee is some kind of miracle cure, studies suggest that drinking coffee may provide some protection.
Cancer is one of the top causes of death globally, with cells in the body invading and spreading in an uncontrolled way. Coffee doesn’t seem to have an effect on them all, but it does seem to offer some protection against liver and colorectal cancer.
Research suggests that drinking coffee could decrease your risk of developing liver cancer by as much as 40%. Similarly, the risk of developing colorectal cancer could be reduced by 15%.
Large-scale studies on both these types of cancer indicated that drinking coffee could reduce the overall risk.
Could Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the first and second most common types of neurodegenerative diseases. Both more frequently seen in older people, neither are curable. This means that focusing on prevention is particularly important.
Staying active physically and mentally has shown to be beneficial, but drinking coffee can also help. Some studies show that the risk of Parkinson’s could reduce by 32-60% while the risk of developing Alzheimer’s could fall by as much as 65%.
Caffeine is believed to be key, especially for the prevention of Parkinson’s. Decaffeinated coffee does not seem to have the same protective effect.
Caffeine is a key ingredient in many fat-burning supplements. This is because studies have shown that your metabolic rate can be increased by as much as 3-11% as a result of consuming caffeine.
There are very few natural fat-burners other than caffeine, so it’s little wonder that it’s found in almost every fat-burning supplement.
If you want to enjoy all these health benefits of coffee and more, take a look at our range of high-quality coffee, available to buy online.