More and more studies are highlighting the positive effects that a cup of coffee can have on a person’s body. Always bearing in mind that moderation is a virtue, here are the ten benefits that coffee can have on our health.
Coffee has become one of the most common and widely consumed beverages in the world. Given its popularity, it is and has been the subject of studies to determine its benefits and drawbacks for people’s health and, in most cases, it has been determined that, despite what is thought and published, coffee, always taken in moderation, has more positive than harmful effects on our organism and some of the latest studies even claim that drinking three cups of coffee a day can considerably reduce the risk of death.
Responsible for almost all the benefits, as well as the drawbacks, is its main compound, caffeine, a psychoactive substance that affects the central nervous system, restoring alertness and eliminating symptoms of drowsiness.
But as well as being a stimulant, coffee also has other health benefits. Here we tell you what they are:
1. Helps maintain alertness
Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. This increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels and speeds up brain activity.
This increase in brain activity allows aspects such as memory, alertness, reaction times, energy levels, and cognitive function to improve. At the same time, this same effect can cause sleep disorders, which is why it is advisable not to drink more than four cups of coffee a day or to drink coffee close to bedtime.
2. It is rich in essential nutrients
A cup of coffee contains a good amount of essential nutrients for the body, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium, manganese, magnesium, and niacin.
In addition, coffee is one of the greatest sources of antioxidants, containing more than most fruits and vegetables consumed.
3. Increases physical performance
Caffeine increases levels of adrenaline, a hormone that prepares the body for physical exertion by breaking down fat into free fatty acids that are used as fuel. This is why many athletes consume several cups of coffee before competing.
4. It is a natural fat burner
Caffeine is one of the few natural substances that truly act as a fat burner. This is why most dietary supplements used for weight loss contain large doses of this substance.
5. Improves mood
Caffeine is a great ally in the fight against depression. A study by Harvard University (Boston) showed that women who consumed coffee had a lower risk of depression, while women who did not consume four cups of coffee or more a day were up to 20% more likely to develop depression.
In addition, moderate coffee consumption reduces people’s risk of suicide. The study showed that those who drank coffee daily had a 50% lower suicide rate than those who did not.
The researchers concluded that the recommended amount is between two and four cups of coffee a day.
6. Reduces the risk of heart attack
Caffeine consumption increases blood pressure but, contrary to popular belief, it does not increase the risk of developing the cardiovascular disease but helps prevent heart attacks. Consuming up to four cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of heart failure.
7. Reduces the risk of diabetes
According to multiple studies, coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by between 23% and 50%. So important is the role of coffee in the prevention of diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, that if coffee consumption is combined with a healthy lifestyle, the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced by up to 67% according to some experts.
8. Protects against cancer
Daily coffee consumption has been shown to help prevent the onset of different types of cancer. A team of researchers from the American Society for Nutrition demonstrated the beneficial effects of coffee in preventing colon cancer. The study ruled out decaffeinated coffee having the same effects.
On the other hand, a study carried out in Sweden claims that high caffeine consumption, more than five cups of coffee a day, helps to reduce the occurrence of breast cancer.
9. Combats neurodegenerative diseases
It seems that regular consumption of coffee helps to combat the onset of diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that people who consume caffeine on a regular basis reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases by up to 65%.
10. Protects against cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is a disease that affects the liver. It is usually associated with alcohol abuse, but can also occur as a result of hepatitis.
Whatever the cause, it has been shown that drinking four cups of coffee a day can prevent the development of cirrhosis, reducing the risk of cirrhosis in coffee drinkers by up to 80%.