People drink coffee for a variety of reasons—to boost their energy, fuel their brains, socialize with friends and colleagues, or simply for the taste. For most, coffee represents a combination of all these things and more. But what about health? Without much knowledge, most coffee drinkers will attest that their favorite beverage is, in fact, good for them. I mean, even if it wasn’t, they would probably still tell themselves that. But how many of them really know the health benefits that are derived from the cherished bean?
Coffee is naturally infused with many of the same nutrients that we get from eating our greens. For many, their cup of coffee (or tea) is their primary source of antioxidants for the day. Coffee is rich in a group of antioxidants called polyphenols, also found in many fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Polyphenols are superstar antioxidants that fight free radicals—agents that can damage our cells’ DNA—in our bloodstream. They are also proven to reduce inflammation, the culprit behind almost any chronic illness.
Reduced risk of disease
Researchers have come to link coffee drinking to a reduced risk of contracting a whole host of chronic diseases. In a series of studies, coffee drinkers saw a 10% reduced risk for diabetes and heart failure, and a 40-50% decreased risk of liver cancer. The caffeine in coffee is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well.
While coffee is packed with good antioxidants, it lacks in calories, carbs, proteins, and fats. Coffee’s low energy density, coupled with the fact that the caffeine has been shown to increase metabolic rate, makes it a helpful beverage for anyone who is trying to lose weight.
Thanks to modern research, coffee drinkers can have their daily joe with the peace of mind that they are doing their bodies a favor. But more than that—they can sip it with the intention of reaping specific health benefits.