Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species.
Coffea species are shrubs or small trees that grow best in tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. The seeds of some species, called coffee beans, are used to make the coffee we drink.
Coffee is hugely popular. Worldwide we consume about 145 million bags of coffee a year – that’s almost 10 million tons of coffee
There are 24,000 coffee shops across the U.S. with independent coffee shops making $12 billion in annual sales.
Coffee Is The Top Source Of Antioxidants For Westerners
Research shows that coffee provides more antioxidants in the diet than any other food group.
Especially for Westerners coffee is the top source of antioxidants. This is so because the modern diet often lacks enough fresh fruit and vegetables, which are also good sources of antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants And Why Are They So Important?
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can harm the cells for your body if their levels become too high.
Free radicals are linked to many illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Foods high in antioxidants include strawberries, blueberries, artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, red cabbage, kale, beans, beets, spinach, and dark chocolate.
Health benefits of coffee
#1 Increases Energy Levels
Coffee consumption increases alertness and performance. If you drink a cup of black coffee, you can feel your energy levels improve. In fact, most of us can’t even get going without a cup of coffee in the morning.
That’s because coffee contains the stimulant caffeine, which is absorbed into your bloodstream when you drink coffee.
#2 Increases Physical Performance
One of the greatest benefits of black coffee is that it drastically improves physical performance – 11 -12% on average.
It works by increasing epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in the blood. This is the fight or flight hormone, which gets the body ready for intense physical exertion.
Caffeine also breaks down body fat and releases the fat cells into the bloodstream in the form of free fatty acids. These fatty acids are then available as fuel for strenuous physical activities.
Multiple studies have shown that caffeine increases endurance in athletes and cyclists. Coffee has a positive effect on exercise performance.
Many trainers ask their clients to have a cup of black coffee half an hour before they arrive for their workout.
#3 May Reduce Post-Workout Pain
If you are avoiding exercise because you dread the aches and pains afterward, you may be happy to learn that coffee may help to reduce this pain and discomfort.
Moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, reduced post-workout muscle pain by up to 48 % in a study conducted at the University of Georgia in the USA.
This is very good news if you are new to exercise as these people experience the most pain. You must drink the coffee an hour before exercising.
#4 Coffee Can Lower The Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease
After Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in this part of the brain are responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, which is why doctors are focused on prevention. One way to prevent the disease is to drink coffee. Scientists have found that people who drink coffee have a much lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee drinkers reduce their risk of the disease by 32–60%!
However, people who drink only decaf, don’t reap the same benefits.
#5 Coffee Can Lower The Chances of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease. The disease causes brain cells to waste away and die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in the world.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are things you can do to help prevent it, including following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Drinking coffee may help as well.
Research has shown people who drink coffee reduce their chances of getting Alzheimer’s by up to 65%.
#6 Coffee Can Help Fight Off Depression
Depression is more than just a low mood; it’s a serious mental health condition that has a serious negative effect on a person’s quality of life. It is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
The good news is that coffee can help. Having a cup of black coffee when you feel down can lift your spirits instantly.
Coffee stimulates the central nervous system and increases the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, which can elevate mood.
Multiple studies have shown that drinking coffee protects against depression. In one study, women were given 4 cups of coffee per day to drink. Researchers found that these women had a reduced risk of becoming depressed.
#7 Coffee Protects The Liver
The liver is one of the most vital organs in the body. It performs many important functions. Chronic alcoholism and hepatitis can cause cirrhosis of the liver, which is a serious condition.
Black coffee can help. Black coffee has been shown to help prevent liver cancer, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and alcoholic cirrhosis. Coffee drinkers who consume 4 or more cups of black coffee a day have an 80 % lower chance of developing any liver disease.
#8 Coffee Protects Against Gall stones
The effect of coffee on the gallbladder is to stimulate contractions and lower cholesterol in the bile can that can form painful gallstones. This effect helps to prevent gallstones, but only if it’s the real thing – decaffeinated coffee doesn’t have the same protective effect.
#9 Coffee Can Lower The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that prevents your body from using insulin in the right way. Insulin resistance or a diminished ability to secrete insulin causes elevated blood sugar levels. There are about 27 million people in the U.S. with type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that drinking coffee can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Coffee helps to control blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are effective for this purpose.
Scientific studies have supported this, finding that people who drink a fair amount of coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting diabetes.
#10 Coffee Protects Against Heart Failure
While drinking black coffee increases blood pressure, this effect diminishes if you drink coffee regularly. For some people with high blood pressure, this isn’t the case, though.
Whether drinking coffee increases the risk of coronary heart disease is still being studied. Many studies have found that moderate coffee drinking (1–2 cups per day) doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease.
In fact, women who drink moderate amounts of coffee regularly have shown a lower risk of heart disease.
#11 Coffee Can Protect Against Retinal Damage
New research has found that drinking coffee may protect against deteriorating eyesight and even blindness.
The retina – a thin layer at the back of the eye that is made of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that are responsible for receiving and organizing visual information – is prone to hypoxia.
Hypoxia means not getting enough oxygen. Hypoxia can lead to the degeneration of the retina, which causes deteriorating eyesight.
The study found that drinking coffee may prevent retinal degeneration.
#12 Coffee Can Reduce The Risk Of Skin Cancer
Drinking coffee may help prevent the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
A 2011 study showed that women who drank more than three cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of developing BCC than women who drank less than one cup a month. The risk reduction for men was 9%.
The researchers observed that decaffeinated coffee did not have the same protective effect on the skin.
As you can see, drinking coffee has many health benefits, so if you love your coffee, go ahead and enjoy it.