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In the USA alone, more than 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day, and this translates to about 146 billion cups annually. And this is according to reliable statistics from The Specialty Coffee Association of America and The National Coffee Association.
The amount of coffee consumed in Europe, Asia and many other parts of the world is equally high. But what many coffee lovers might not know is that their daily caffeine fix also comes with a myriad of health benefits.
Most coffee lovers only take the brew to get that caffeine kick at the start of a day, but taking coffee will also do lots of good to your health. Here are some of the top health benefits of coffee.
#1. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Data from the American Diabetes Association shows that in 2015, at least 30.3 million people in the USA had diabetes and the number has been growing at an alarming rate over the years.
In many other parts of the world, and this is more so in third world countries, the diabetes statistics are even grimmer.
Given that diabetes is a growing concern, it has elicited a lot of research as scientists and medical scholars try to find ways of keeping the numbers down.
A study by researchers from Harvard University conducted between 1986 and 1998 that tried to link the consumption of coffee with the occurrence of type-2 diabetes in a population of 40,000 men found that regular coffee drinkers had a decreased likelihood of developing the ailment.
One possible explanation of the link between coffee consumption and reduced risk of diabetes is that the beverage promotes better utilization of insulin while also protecting the insulin-producing cells.
#2. Good for the Heart
A healthy cardiovascular system is vital and anyone that is serious about leading a healthy life knows this.
But, what many people might not know is that taking just one or two cups of coffee every day can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
A Japanese study conducted on 76,000 daily coffee drinkers that consumed one to two cups of coffee daily showed that their risk of getting and dying from cardiovascular disease had reduced by up to 38 percent.
What makes coffee good for the heart is that it protects the heart’s muscular chamber from artery damages that can be caused by inflammation. This way, common heart ailments like heart failure, heart attack, thrombosis, and hypertension are warded off.
#3. Lowers Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Taking in a lot of caffeine is a simple but quite effective way of keeping Alzheimer's disease and dementia in check, and there is also enough research to back this up.
According to researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland, taking three to five cups of coffee daily can reduce the risk of developing these ailments later on in life by as much as 65 percent.
It is thought that the high doses of caffeine in coffee, lots of antioxidants, and increased insulin sensitivity might be responsible for coffee's effectiveness in keeping Alzheimer's disease and dementia in check.
#4. Helps to Curb Some Cancer Types
Different research findings over the years have concluded that taking coffee regularly can reduce the risk of developing certain cancer types.
One such study by researchers from the University of South Carolina found that even drinking coffee moderately can help to reduce the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer by up to 26 percent, and this protective benefit increases as you increase your coffee consumption.
Another research authored by Italian researchers at the “Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri” in Milan found that drinking coffee lowers one risk of developing liver cancer by up to 40 percent and 50 percent for those that take at least three cups of coffee daily.
The presence of polyphenols, which are antioxidant phytochemicals, is mostly responsible for coffee's usefulness in curbing different cancers given that these antioxidants have been demonstrated to have anticarcinogenic properties in various studies over the years.
#5. Contains Many Essential Nutrients
Coffee beans contain several essential nutrients that the body needs and so taking that daily morning cup of cappuccino or a shot of espresso will allow the body to benefit from the nutrients.
Some of the nutrients that find their way from the coffee beans to your cup of coffee include riboflavin (vitamin B2), manganese, potassium, magnesium, niacin (vitamin B3) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).
While the percentage of these nutrients might be small in one 8-ounce cup of coffee, many coffee drinkers will take several cups in the course of the day which allows the amounts to add up quickly and hence become more beneficial to your overall health.
#6. Promotes Weight Loss
According to a 22-week study conducted on 16 overweight adult individuals by scholars from the University of Scranton in the USA, taking green coffee bean extract can aid in weight loss.
In the study, at least 75 percent (12) of the participants showed significant weight loss as they moved from pre-obese to a normal weight.
While there is still not enough research findings to support the idea that coffee can help promote weight loss, there are a few other research findings that have proposed the same.
There are also other ways that coffee can help to promote weight loss, key among them being the fact that caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer that helps to fight fatigue so that you can work out more and for longer to shed off the extra pounds.
#7. Guards Against Gout
Another reason why you should take more coffee is that it can help to guard against gout especially for men that take a lot of it every day.
Using data from 46,000 males in the medical profession over a 12-year period, researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver concluded that taking at least four cups of coffee daily can reduce the risk of developing gout by up to 40 percent.
Other studies conducted on female populations have also shown that ladies that take a lot of coffee every day are also at a lower risk of developing gout.
The antioxidants present in coffee are believed to be responsible for the significant reduction in risk of developing gout among coffee drinkers as they keep insulin levels in check. In turn, controlling insulin keeps uric acid levels down since high levels of it are believed to cause gout.
#8. Helps Curb Depression
Given the ever-rising prevalence of depression that for many people ends up in suicide, taking one or a few cups of coffee every day will be a great idea as it can help lower the likelihood of getting depressed.
There is a horde of both past and recent research findings that conclude that taking coffee lowers depression in both men and women. Many of the studies seem to agree that the coffee aficionados are at a significantly lower risk of getting depressed.
Because caffeine is known to activate the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for controlling moods such as dopamine and serotonin, it keeps depression in check by stimulating the release of these feel-good hormones.
That daily caffeine fix that you are always looking forward to in the morning will do more to your body besides giving you a kick and keeping you alert throughout the day.
Taking coffee comes with many health benefits, and this is more so for those that take lots of cups of it every other day.
While coffee might not be the magical cure that provides a solution to all your health problems, it will help with various things from keeping depression in check to keeping your heart healthy and even curbing the risk of developing gout and some cancer types.