Monday, October 14, 2013

7 Reasons Why Coffee Is Good for You

1. Coffee Can Make You Smarter

Apparently, coffee can make you smarter. Actually, it can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function. Those are some good reasons for me to be drinking coffee, though, to be completely honest, I’d probably drink it anyway. For those who are always looking for a scientific explanation, here it is:

The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine's primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.

2. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance

You’ve probably noticed that almost all weight loss supplements include caffeine. Well, now we know why. To explain it briefly, caffeine has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system, so it raises metabolism and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues.

3. Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type II Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67%.

A massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457.922 participants. Each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk.

4. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Truth be told, I wouldn’t guess this one in a thousand years. But when I think that it improves your memory in the short term and makes you smarter, this kind of makes sense too. Now let’s see why…

According to AuthorityNutrition, “Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world and a leading cause of dementia. In prospective studies, coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson's by 32-60%.”

So…I still have no idea why, but I just found myself another reason to have my second cup.

5. Coffee May be Extremely Good for Your Liver

Multiple studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, the strongest effect for those who drank 4 or more cups per day (and I’m talking about my second cup).

Coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer by around 40%.

6. Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying

Well, this isn’t really surprising after all that I’ve just read. But I’ve always been told that coffee is bad for me. Apparently, conventional wisdom is often at exact odds with what the actual studies say.

In two very large prospective epidemiological studies, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death by all causes.

This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period.

7. Coffee is Loaded with Nutrients and Antioxidants

Apparently, a cup of coffee contains:

6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.
*RDA= Recommended Daily Intake

May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up. But this isn't all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants. In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined.

But just so we’re clear, it’s not that healthy if you add a ton of sugar, cream or milk, you know…

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