Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the western world. Brewed from coffee beans, this drink has been used by many to kick-start their day. Unfortunately, it has earned a bad name for itself over the years for its ill effects on our health. Blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer were linked to excessive coffee drinking in the past. Recent studies, however, have shown that there are multitude health benefits of coffee beans.

Here are some of the health benefits of drinking coffee:

1. It can help you lose weight

Research (1) has shown that drinking coffee can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. The caffeine in your cup of coffee stimulates the nervous system and making it send signals to your fat cells to break down body fat.

In fact, caffeine is a part of almost every commercial fat burning supplement.

2. Great source of nutrients

Coffee is not just a tasty drink you love to have to energise yourself; it has a lot of nutritional value.

  • One cup of coffee (237 g) contains:
  • Riboflavin: 11 percent RDA
  • Pantothenic acid: 6 percent RDA
  • Manganese and potassium: 3 percent RDA
  • Magnesium and Niacin: 2 percent RDA

It is also an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants (2) prevent cell damage and prevent premature ageing.

3. Can prevent type II diabetes

Diabetes affects almost 8 percent of people over the age of 18 all over the world. Drinking coffee has been linked to lower risk of developing type II diabetes. There have been numerous studies on coffee’s role in preventing diabetes.

Most of them have concluded that drinking more coffee reduces the risk of diabetes by 23 to 50 percent. One research (3) that looked at data from 18 such studies found that each additional coffee taken per day could lower the risk of type II diabetes by 7 percent.

4. Can boost energy levels

Coffee can relieve tiredness and provide a boost of energy. Caffeine, which is a commonly consumed psychoactive substance, is responsible for this energy boost. Caffeine inhibits the action of adenosine.

Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that tends to make you tired and sleepy. Caffeine ensures that less adenosine reaches the brain. When this happens, the activity of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases (4) and so you feel more energised.

5. May help prevent liver disease

According to a study (5), an ingredient in the coffee can protect you from developing a liver disease called cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis. When a person is suffering from cirrhosis, his liver tissue gets damaged and is replaced by scar tissue.

So drink coffee to help your body to detoxify from the ill effects of alcohol.

6. May help prevent heart disease

If you drink coffee every day, it can have a beneficial impact on your heart health. Some studies (6) have shown that moderate coffee drinking lowers the risk of coronary heart disease in women.

According to a 2012 study (7), coffee drinking can decrease your chances of having a stroke by almost 20 percent. So, go on and enjoy your favourite cup of coffee.

7. Can protect you from Alzheimer’s and dementia

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects people in their sixties and above. This disease causes problems with your memory and behaviour and can eventually lead to dementia.

The symptoms start slowly but can subsequently make day to day functioning difficult. However, research (8) suggests that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee in your middle years can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 65 percent.

8. Can make you smarter

Caffeine is a stimulant for the central nervous system. When you drink your coffee, this stimulant travels to the brain where it enhances the firing of the neurons. The alerting effects of caffeine (9) are related to the action of methylxanthine on serotonin neurons.

This helps improve learning, memory, performance and coordination. So, the next time you have to study, make sure you start with a cup of coffee.

Health Benefits of Coffee info graphic

9. May lower the risk of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. The typical signs of this disease are slowing down of motor function, resting tremor, muscular rigidity, gait disturbance and postural reflex impairment.

Although there is no cure for this neurodegenerative disorder, individual studies (10) have linked coffee drinking to lower risk of developing Parkinson’s. In fact, according to some studies, drinking coffee can reduce the risk of this disease by 32 to 60 percent.

10. May prevent liver and colorectal cancer

According to a recent study (11), drinking three to five cups of coffee can reduce your risk of developing liver cancer by 40 percent. This lowered risk is attributed to the presence of caffeine, coffee oils, kahweol, cafestol and antioxidants in coffee.

Liver and colorectal cancer affect millions of people around the world. However, individuals who drink four to five cups of coffee a day have a 15 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to studies.

12. Can improve physical performance

Drinking coffee can enhance endurance levels and can benefit athletes. Caffeine increases the adrenaline levels in the blood, and this makes our bodies ready for intense physical exertion.

Coffee can stimulate our body to use fat stores as fuel. Some studies (12) indicate that coffee can improve physical performance by up to 12 percent. For best results, have your cup of coffee at least 30 minutes before you start exercising.

13. Can fight depression

According to research published in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychology, drinking coffee can reduce the risk of depression.

A study by The Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had 20 percent lower chances of depression. Caffeine is a psychostimulant that helps increase wakefulness and motivation.

14. The biggest source of antioxidants

Coffee is the most important source of antioxidants in the western diet. In fact, according to studies (13), more people get their antioxidants from coffee than vegetables and fruits.

Antioxidants have numerous health benefits like protection against cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants oxidise free radicals in the body to form harmless substances that can be flushed out.

15. Prevents retinal damage

According to a Cornell University study, coffee may avert retinal damage due to oxidative stress. Chlorogenic acid, one of the most active antioxidants found in coffee, helps prevent this damage.

16.  Help you live longer

Since drinking coffee is linked to lower risk of so many diseases, we can say that it helps us live longer. In fact, according to several observational studies, middle-aged

coffee drinkers who have two to four cup of coffee a day have a lower risk of death.

According to two extensive studies that were conducted over a period of 24 years, drinking coffee lowers the risk of death in men by 20 percent and women by 26 percent.

Over to you

Considering the numerous health benefits of coffee, we must make this tasty beverage a part of our daily diet. However, people with caffeine sensitivity, heart conditions and pregnant women must stay away from it. Also, avoid drinking coffee in access as you may end up negating the benefits.