Coffee, a slightly acidic-tasting beverage, is brewed from the roasted seeds of coffee beans. These beans are found in coffee cherries that grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, but they are mostly found in the Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Green coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee contains caffeine, a chemical stimulant.
And as many of you will agree, the morning just isn’t complete without a good cup of coffee. It makes you feel more alive and prepares you for the day. Not only have that, the aromatic fragrance of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, coupled with its unique blend of bittersweet goodness, never fails to paint on a smile.
Good feelings aside, have you ever considered what coffee does for your body? Is it good for your health, or not so good? Let’s find out.
Ten health benefits of coffee
- Several studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee may help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- In a study conducted by the US Health Nurses, moderate consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee was found to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee is rich in antioxidants (your body’s major defense against free radicals) such as chlorogenic acid and melanoids.
- Some evidence has shown that coffee may protect against gallstone formation.
- Coffee protects the liver against alcoholic cirrhosis.
- Coffee lowers your risk of getting kidney stones.
- Caffeine is known as a powerful stimulate that helps promote alertness, attention, and wakefulness.
- Caffeine is also found to be related to theophylline, which is an old known cure for asthma.
- Several researchers claim that coffee may have anti-cancer properties. Some of these studies show evidence that coffee drinking can lower the incidence of colon, breast and rectal cancers.
- Coffee helps improve metabolism
Too much of a good thing?
While drinking coffee does provide more positive health benefits than negative, it’s still worth noting the ill-effects of coffee over-consumption:
- Too much coffee can elevate your blood total and LDL cholesterol levels. Also, because unfiltered coffee contains cafestol and kahweol, both of which are known to increase cholesterol levels, filtering your coffee before drinking is recommended.
- Coffee increases arterial stiffness and wave reflections (increasing your risk of high blood pressure).
- Too much coffee drinking may cause cardiac arrhythmias characterized by palpitations or irregular heartbeats.
- Coffee may induce extra urinary excretion of calcium, increasing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Coffee may trigger heartburn.
- Since coffee is a stimulant, over-consumption may cause sleep disturbances. Never drink coffee before your sleeping time.
- Coffee is a known diuretic, which can increase urine excretion, leading to dehydration.
- Coffee can be addictive because of its caffeine content.
Long-term benefits of drinking coffeecup of coffee
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee a day may reduce their risk of endometrial cancer by 30 percent. According to the study, women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day showed a 22 percent reduction in their risk of developing endometrial cancer. This is explained by the ability of caffeine to improve insulin levels and decrease estrogen.
In another study, researchers found that individuals who regularly drink coffee have a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to non-coffee drinkers.
So continue to make coffee a part of your morning ritual – it’s as good for the body as it is for the soul!