Top 7 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Are you trying to cut back on coffee for fear it might be damaging your health? Well you’ll be pleased to hear there are actually loads of health benefits of drinking coffee. There may be no need to give it up – in fact you might be able to start drinking more. See below for our top 7 benefits of drinking coffee.

#1 Excellent source of antioxidants

Did you know that coffee contains more antioxidants than green tea and cocoa? According to scientific research, around 1,000 antioxidants have been found in unprocessed coffee beans [1] and it is believed that even more develop during the roasting process. If you are looking for a way to target free radicals, drinking coffee is one way to do it.

#2 Good for the heart

A Dutch study has found that moderate coffee drinkers (those who consume two to four cups a day) have a 20% lower risk of heart disease compared to heavy coffee drinkers, light coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers. The study analysed the data from more than 37,000 over a period of thirteen years to get the results [2].

There is some evidence that coffee is good for the heart as it protects against arterial damage caused by inflammation. One of the reasons to suggest it promotes good heart health is that it contains chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant that fights against cardiovascular disease.

heart

Photo by Eva Blue

#3 Helps to prevent depression

Numerous studies have linked coffee with lower rates of depression in both men and women. Results found that heavy coffee drinkers had the lowest risk of getting depression [3]. Whilst researchers aren’t certain on how coffee curbs depression, it is thought to be to do with the fact that caffeine activates neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for controlling mood.

despair

Despair by Lloyd Morgan

#4 Your liver loves it

Coffee consumption has been linked to lowering the risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis, particularly alcoholic cirrhosis. A study found in the Archives of Internal Medicine [4] showed there was a correlation between increased coffee consumption and decreased risk of cirrhosis.

#5 Lowers risk of getting cancer

According to a number of studies, men who drink coffee could be at a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has also suggested that drinking four or more cups of coffee on a daily basis will decrease the risk of endometrial cancer in women by up to 25% [5]. In addition to this, researchers have found a link between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast and rectal cancers. Again, it is thought that it is related to the antioxidants found in coffee.

#6 Good for the brain

Coffee is said to provide a temporary boost of brain activity and gives you a short-term memory boost. In addition to this, studies have suggested that it could also help to prevent cognitive decline, associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

A Finnish study found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily at midlife age could result in a 65% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life [6]. Some believe this is down to the caffeine in coffee, which prevents the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque, something which could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

coffee planet shaking

#7 Lessens the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A number of different research projects have suggested that there is a link between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes. In 2009, a study found that the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes dropped by 7% for each daily cup of coffee [7]. Other studies have found that heavy coffee drinkers (those who consume more than four cups a day) had a 50% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Scientists believe that drinking coffee keeps Diabetes at bay by helping the body to use insulin and ensure the effective regulation of blood sugar. It is also thought to prevent tissue damage and battle inflammation.

Although you may be drinking coffee for pleasure, it’s great to know that there are so many health benefits too!

References

[1] http://www.coffeeandhealth.ca/antioxidants.htm
[2] http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/06June/Pages/tea-and-coffee-good-for-heart.aspx
[3] http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/09/27/140837983/caffeinated-women-may-be-fighting-depression-with-every-cup
[4] http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410422
[5] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/coffee-endometrial-cancer-risk/
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054
[7] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/other-healthy-beverage-options/