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Drinking coffee has long been demonized as an unhealthy habit, but research shows this is unjustified. In fact, a couple cups of coffee per day provides a variety of powerful health benefits. In this article, I’ll go over 15 medically proven health benefits of coffee.
And stick around to the end because I’ll give you 5 delicious coffee blends and recipes to help jump start your mornings!
1. Can Improve Energy Levels
One of the obvious health benefits of coffee is that it can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine – the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain.
2. Can Help You Burn Fat
Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement – and for good reason. It’s one of the few natural substances proven that aid fat burning. Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11%. Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
3. Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, signaling fat cells to break down body fat. But it also increases epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your blood. This is the fight-or-flight hormone, which prepares your body for intense physical exertion.
Caffeine breaks down body fat, making free fatty acids available as fuel. Given these effects, it’s unsurprising that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11–12%, on average. Therefore, it makes sense to have a strong cup of
4. Contains Essential Nutrients
Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make their way into the finished brewed coffee.
There are many health benefits of coffee. A single cup of coffee contains:
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI.
- Manganese and potassium: 3% of the RDI.
- Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.
Though this may not seem like a big deal, most people enjoy several cups per day — allowing these amounts to quickly add up.
5. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability to secrete insulin.
For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Studies observe that people who drink the most coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showed a reduction as high as 67%. According to a large review of 18 studies in a total of 457,922 people, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
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6. May Protect You From Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide. This condition usually affects people over 65, and there is no known cure. However, there are several things you can do to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place.
This includes the usual suspects like eating healthy and exercising, but there are many health benefits of coffee that may be incredibly effective as well. Several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
7. May Lower Your Risk of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, right behind Alzheimer’s. It’s caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in your brain. As with Alzheimer’s, there is no known cure, which makes it that much more important to focus on prevention.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, with a risk reduction ranging from 32–60%. In this case, the caffeine itself appears to be beneficial, as people who drink decaf don’t have a lower risk of Parkinson’s. Goes to show that health benefits of coffee can come from different aspects of the coffee.
8. May Protect Your Liver
Your liver is an amazing organ that carries out hundreds of important functions. Several common diseases primarily affect the liver, including hepatitis, fatty liver disease
Many of these conditions can lead to cirrhosis, in which your liver is largely replaced by scar tissue. Interestingly, coffee may protect against cirrhosis — people who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk.
9. Can Fight Depression & Make You Happier
Depression is a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life. It’s fairly common, as about 4.1% of people in the US currently meet the criteria for clinical depression.
In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. Another study in 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to die by suicide.
10. May Lower Risks of Certain Types of Cancer
Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death. It is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in your body. Some health benefits of coffee show it to be protective against two types of cancer: liver and colorectal cancer. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer. Similarly, one study in 489,706 people found that those who drank 4–5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.
11. Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease & May Lower Stroke Risk
It’s often claimed that caffeine can increase your blood pressure. This is true, but with a rise of only 3–4 mm/Hg, the effect is small and usually dissipates if you drink coffee regularly.
However, it may persist in some people, so keep that in mind if you have elevated blood pressure. That being said, studies don’t support the idea that coffee raises your risk of heart disease. There are many health benefits of coffee that actually lower risks.
12. 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. Several observational studies indicate that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.
In two very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% reduced risk of death in men and a 26% decreased
13. The Biggest Source of Antioxidants in the Western Diet
For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may be one of the healthiest aspects of their diet. That’s because coffee is quite high in antioxidants. Studies show that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined.
In fact, there are so many health benefits of coffee, it may be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
14. Coffee Reduces Disease-Causing Inflammation
I’m not talking about the inflammation caused by a killer workout, I mean the type of disease-causing inflammation that’s spurred and worsened by old age. There are multiple health benefits of coffee to reduce this inflammation.
Caffeine has an amazing influence on your immune system – so much in fact that nearly all the other health benefits above could be explained by its ability to fight and ward off disease (like type 2 diabetes and heart disease), according to research published in Nature Medicine. In short, caffeine blocks certain receptors on brain cells, which is how coffee has its stimulating “wake-up” effect.
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15. May Limit Your Everyday Pain
Are you in pain during the course of a typical workday? It’s not that unusual. But, what is surprising is the degree to which many people feel rejuvenated following a coffee break – there’s a reason why.
Norwegian researchers observed 48 people performing office work and found those who consumed coffee only declared a pain-intensity level of 41, whereas participants who didn’t drink any coffee reported having a score of 55. Talk about
5 Delicious Blends of Coffee You Should Try
There are so many different health benefits of coffee —it boosts your memory, decreases your risk of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, and even improves exercise endurance – when consumed moderately. The problem is that coffee often serves as a vehicle for cream and sugar, adding a lot of extra calories to what might be an otherwise healthy drink.
If the idea of black coffee makes you want to gag, there’s still hope. These delicious coffee recipes taste like the specialty coffee drinks you overpay for at the café, and they’re actually good for you too.
1. Vegan Low-Sugar Cafè Mocha
Think you have to skip the frothy cafè mocha goodness on a dairy-free diet? Think again. This delicious vegan-friendly take on a cafè mocha will hit all the right notes, and a sugar spike isn’t one of them.
2. Instant Iced Latte
This simple recipe uses instant coffee and any type of milk you like so you can get your fix in no time flat. Instant coffee, made from dried coffee extract, actually provides powerful antioxidants like regular coffee.
3. High-Protein Cappuccino
Adding protein powder to this cappuccino-inspired coffee drink turns it into a perk-up with serious staying power. Get ready for some serious health benefits of coffee with this drink.
4. Healthy Java Chip Frappuccino
Hankering for a blended coffee drink that taste like dessert? Skip the line and the sugar bomb and whip up this slimmed-down version instead. Plus, you’ll also get a nice protein boost from the chocolate protein powder.
5. Homemade Mocha Latte
This recipe calls for instant espresso powder, the only “fancy” equipment you need is a little handheld milk frother, which is easily found at kitchen stores or online. In place of sugary chocolate syrup, it uses an antioxidant-rich unsweetened cocoa extract, but cocoa powder would also work well.