Oh, coffee. What would we do without that liquid gold that helps get us through the day? It's warm, delicious, and packs a serious punch of caffeine that wakes us up in the groggiest hours of the morning.
For the longest time, I believed that coffee was completely bad for you, without any discernable health benefits. After all, caffeine is a drug - a drug that nearly a quarter of U.S. adults admit to being addicted to in the form of coffee. For the 64% of U.S. adults who drink at least one cup of joe every day, coffee has become as much a part of their morning routine as showering or brushing their teeth. While all this sounds pretty negative for the classic brown beverage, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that there are some major health benefits to sipping on coffee.
Just like any other food or drink, coffee must be consumed in moderation to receive any of its health benefits. If you ever want to see what drinking too much coffee will do to you, just visit any college library the week before final exams and you'll think twice before over-indulging. Scroll down to find out the five negative health conditions that coffee helps protect against, as well as five benefits to be gained from drinking coffee regularly. So, what are you waiting for? Grind up some beans, boil some water, and enjoy!
The Five Dangerous Health Conditions Coffee Protects Against
1. Liver Cirrhosis
Coffee is by no means a cure-all for this condition, but it has been known to decrease risk by significant amounts. CNN reported that two cups of coffee per day could lower your risk of liver cirrhosis by 44%.
2. Type II Diabetes
Never try to treat diabetes without working closely with a trusted medical professional. Some studies have come to the conclusion that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type II diabetes, and while it was long believed that caffeine was responsible, it turns out that the coffee itself leads to the positive side effect.
3. Heart Disease
Everyone's heart is different. The relationship between heart health and caffeine is still being figured out, so it's important to exercise caution before increasing your caffeine intake. One study covered by Tech Times found that, "regular consumption of coffee was inversely associated with risk of… mortality due to CVD [cardiovascular disease]."
Coffee is full of powerful antioxidants which have been known to help fight cancer. Like every other point on the list so far, coffee is far from a "cure" for cancer, but even the American Institute for Cancer Research believes that coffee can help fight cancer.
Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's are two conditions that everyone is afraid of developing later in life. Fortunately, coffee has proven beneficial in fighting off both. CBS revealed that three cups of coffee a day are capable of staving off Alzheimer's for those of us experiencing a decline in memory. Also, for those suffering from Parkinson's, caffeine has been known to ease symptoms.
The Five Biggest Health Benefits Of Regular Coffee Consumption
1. Burns Fat
Coffee's caffeine is a great way to boost metabolism and help you burn more fat when you work out. Just make sure you aren't ordering lattes full of fatty milk and sugar, otherwise, you'll undo any benefits you gained!
2. Increases Brain Power
Anyone who's taken a shot of espresso knows that coffee gives you a temporary boost, but Harvard discovered that this might lead to long-term positive effects in one's "thinking skills."
3. Decreases Pain Levels
No pain, no gain - right? Well, you might want to think again. Coffee has anti-inflammatory properties which act as an effective pain relief for your entire body. Combine that with the powerful antioxidants it has, and you've got yourself a better headache medicine than Advil.
4. Adrenaline Boost
Turns out you don't have to go skydiving to get that rush of adrenaline. While we don't recommend drinking coffee while playing sports or working out, coffee's tendency to boost adrenaline can lead to "significant improvements in physical performance."
5. Digestive Aid
For as awkward as it is to talk about, staying "regular" is an important part of life. The folks over at Livestrong found that just one cup of coffee a day "relieves constipation and minimizes sugar absorption."
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