It’s hard to definitively say that coffee is good or bad for you because everyone reacts differently to different things. Caffeine in coffee has been discussed negatively in many forums, and this has led to a variety of decaf coffees for those who cannot handle caffeine. Coffee has some benefits, and to narrow it down to three reasons to drink coffee we would say coffee is good for you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Coffee first, please!
This is the initial thought many of us have first thing in the morning, and especially when facing a long day ahead. Your go-to cup of Joe could be in all different forms, be it the instant goodness of a double espresso to jolt your brain, or sipping slowly on a large Frappé Caffé.
Coffee is so popular, it has a classical composition by Johann Sebastian Bach between 1732 and 1735 called The Coffee Cantata, “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” (“Be silent, don’t chatter”) (BWV 211) that talks about the coffee trend of that era in the German city of Leipzig, and how a young woman pleads with her father to accept her coffee drinking habit.
With more than 25 million coffee farmers serving up 400 billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide, each year, it’s no surprise that this diverse beverage would cause conversations about its pros and cons.
The argument about whether coffee is good or bad for you did not start recently. People have been bickering about the effects of drinking coffee since the 15th Century when folk tales say it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia.
Coffee has had religious bans in Italy and Mecca on the premise of its effects being too secular while in 1746, drinking coffee was banned in Sweden and only given to prisoners to see how fast it would shorten their lives.
Coffee has been proven to have some significant positive effects on our brains. Austrian researchers did a six month study giving different groups of people 3 – 4 cups of coffee every day. Their study found that there was a surge in brain activity and a short term memory boost that was measured on the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) half an hour after having coffee.
The caffeine in coffee targets the brain areas accountable for memory and concentration by preventing the build-up of beta amyloidal plaque that is a root cause of the cognitive decline. Drinking a moderate amount of coffee has been associated with deterring ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other types of dementia.
Apart from the brain, drinking coffee has been linked with improved liver functions and a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Male coffee drinkers have presented less of a risk of developing prostate cancer. This is another reason to drink coffee.
Did you know that apart from red wine, coffee and espresso have the highest levels of antioxidants as compared to other beverages? Coffee is exceptionally rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids that clean your body and help it to function at its best.
According to the European Journal of Neurology, the antioxidants in coffee provide anti-carcinogenic properties that get rid of toxic, free radicals. Free radicals if not checked, can escalate and create oxidative stress, leading to chronic inflammation and tumors. Chlorogenic Acid that is present in coffee has turned out to be a key player when preventing diabetes as it enhances insulin functions.
As coffee lovers, we have all had days when coffee was the leading food group, and somehow we survived. Regular black coffee contains essential nutrients such as Riboflavin (vitamin b2), Pantothenic acid (vitamin b5), Magnesium, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese, making this beverage an almost-equivalent to a bowl of wholesome grains, vegetables and fruits.
People all over the world are battling with depression, which is a severe mental disorder that causes reduced quality of life and high risks of suicide. Coffee has shown significant positive improvements to the emotional health of people suffering from depression.
The caffeine in coffee blocks inhibitory neurotransmitters like adenosine that tend to bring us down. It instead helps to release dopamine and norepinephrine that enhances general mental function, vigilance, reaction time, mood and memory.
Caffeine is a natural fat burner.
Drinking coffee mobilizes the oxidation of fatty acids and boosting metabolic rates by 3 – 11%, thus helping the body produce higher energy levels. The caffeine in coffee also increases epinephrine levels in the blood, improving physical performance and giving you that go-go-go adrenaline. That is why some fitness instructors recommend a cup of coffee or espresso half an hour before you work out.
As the saying goes, too much of something is poisonous, and that applies for coffee as well. Doctors and nutritionists have warned about the effects of coffee on people with heart conditions and sensitive digestive systems.
Scientists, doctors and nutritionists have all come to the consensus that we should try not to exceed having 400 milligrams of caffeine or 5 cups of coffee, in a day. Keep in mind that the method you use to brew your coffee will affect the level of caffeine, and so will the type of coffee bean you use.
Insomnia, stomach upsets, jitters or a fast heart rate after drinking coffee may be a sign that your body cannot cope well with caffeine.
Coffee that has had most of the caffeine removed from the bean is an excellent substitute for those who cannot tolerate caffeine. Pregnant women and people taking medication or those with anxiety issues who crave the brew lean towards decaffeinated coffee, which still has the nutrients and pick-me-up attitude of regular coffee.
Benefits of Coffee
With perks like being emotionally uplifting, a vitamin booster and restricting mental decline, it’s no wonder that coffee is the