Finally, Something We Love That is Good For Us: Five Benefits of Coffee
Our daily cup of coffee may be doing more for us than providing that morning boost.
The health benefits of coffee have long been a hot topic, with advocates praising its antioxidant activity and brain-boosting ability, and others detailing its downsides such as insomnia and increased blood pressure. But as science evolves, so does the information.
There is evidence that brings a wealth of good news for us coffee lovers. Here are five reasons drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought.
When we talk about antioxidants, we hear about green tea and dark chocolate cocoa, two antioxidant superstars. Did you know that a cup of black coffee has more antioxidant activity than both those things? They have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process.
Caffeine appears to affect the particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short term memory. It’s not clear how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.
Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the perception of muscle pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance.
In a study, heavy coffee drinkers seemed to have the lowest risk of depression, up to 20 percent. Researchers aren’t yet sure how coffee seems to stave off depression, but it is known that caffeine activates neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin.
Scientists found an interesting relationship between coffee drinking and blood levels of liver enzymes. Elevated levels of liver enzymes typically reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee subjects drank, the lower their levels of enzymes. Additionally of lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.