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20 Wonderful Health Benefits Of Coffee

20 Wonderful Health Benefits Of Coffee

You might not know this but I’m a bit of a coffee addict (and that’s putting it lightly). Therefore, I literally jumped at the chance to write an article highlighting all of the awesome things that coffee can do for you health.

It seems like every day or so there’s a new report on the news granting some new magical property to coffee, and thus is can be a bit difficult to keep track of all of them. Therefore, I am going to lay out a bunch of the most significant ones in this list. That way, you’ll be able to save this link and have easy access to a list of coffee health benefits whenever you need it! (It should be especially handy during those times when you have to convince folks that it’s totally reasonable to be on your third cup of coffee before noon)/

Before we begin, stow away all of those preconceived negative notions you have towards the coffee bean. Trust me, it won’t stunt your growth or anything like that. If anything, after reading this you’ll be wishing that you started drinking coffee earlier!

To start, coffee is great because…

1. It could lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

You might think that coffee harms your heart more than it helps it, especially since your heart beats a bit faster when you’re hyped up on caffeine. The truth, however, is that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day reduces your chances of acquiring heart disease.

And, even if you drink more than five cups a day, you’re chances of having a heart attack are no higher than those who don’t consume coffee at all.

2. It bolsters your brain cells.

As a stimulant, coffee enables your brain to produce more dopamine and adrenaline than usual.

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This can have a number of positive effects, such as improving your memory and reaction times. In college, I remember hating morning tests…until I started guzzling down a cup of coffee before going to class. While under the effects of caffeine, my test scores improved measurably. It puts the pep in your step you need to get going.

3. It negates the effects of sleep deprivation.

This one might seem obvious, but you might be surprised by just how powerful of an effect coffee can have on a drowsy individual. Indeed, it’s so effective that the mere smell of coffee beans is enough to give most folks a slight energy boost.

4. It adds years to your life.

There are some well-documented side effects to coffee consumption that keep many from trying it. These can include anything from the “jitters” to the headaches we coffee connoisseurs get when we don’t get our caffeine fix.

That said, research out of Harvard has found that those who stay caffeinated could live longer lives than those who abstain from it. The study also concluded that the dreaded side effects of frequent coffee consumption have inconsequential effects on the body in the long run. So sip away!

5. It decreases your chance of having a stroke.

Similar to heart disease, consuming two to six cups of coffee a day has been found to lower one’s risk of having a stroke. You don’t have anything to lose!

6. It makes you run faster.

Simply put, drinking coffee before a workout allows your muscles to better convert your fat to fuel, meaning you’ll feel more energized. Personally, I’ve noticed that I can run about a mile more than usual when I drink coffee about an hour before starting my workout routine.

7. It helps you burn fat.

Let’s face it: it’s summer, so we all want to look good in a bathing suit. What better way to do that than to shed a couple pounds? Coffee can help you reach your weight loss goals, as seen by a study where green coffee extract was found to be a significant factor in assisting several “pre-obesity” test subjects reach a normal weight.

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8. It substantially lowers your risk for type II diabetes.

With our increased consumption of sugary products over the years, we’ve seen the number of cases of diabetes skyrocket. Luckily, you might be able to protect yourself by drinking a few cups of unsweetened coffee a day.

Indeed, studies have found that coffee consumption greatly reduces one’s risk of acquiring type II diabetes. For every cup of coffee a day that test subjects consumed, researchers found that their chances of getting diabetes went down by 7%. (If you currently sweeten your coffee a lot, simply start with just a little less sugar per day and work your way down).

9. It fortifies your mind against diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

While coffee certainly has short-term mental benefits, it might also prove to be great for your brain in the long run as well.

Indeed, frequent coffee consumption has been shown to greatly lower the risk of acquiring degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

So if you’re wondering why your great-grandmother is still sharp as a tack, ask her if she’s a coffee drinker!

10. It can replace your daily facial scrub.

Ok, so maybe it won’t replace it entirely, but coffee grounds do in fact work extremely well as an exfoliant. By mixing fresh or used coffee grounds with coconut or olive oil, you can create a paste that works similarly to most store brand facial cleansers. You’ll smell great afterwards too!

11. It drastically improves the quality of your naps.

I wrote all about “coffee naps” in a previous article, so check that out if you want an in-depth rundown of what that entails. To put it succinctly, drinking a cup of coffee right before a nap will make you feel much more energized afterwards compared to if you took a nap without drinking coffee beforehand.

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It might sound counter-intuitive, but trust me, it works!

12. It can hold off Father Time.

Not only can coffee be used to make you look younger, but it can make you feelyounger as well. Indeed, scientists have discovered that consumption of coffee helps your body fight off all of the typical effects of growing old, such as declining reflexes and deteriorating memory.

13. It makes your hair shine.

Interestingly enough, coffee grounds can make your hair appear shinier by exfoliating the individual hair strands, stripping away any grime or old hair-care product stuck on them. Just don’t do this if you have lightly colored hair…coffee can stain your locks if you aren’t careful!

14. It combats depression.

Coffee is so filled-to-the-brim with antioxidants and other chemicals (like caffeine of course) that it’s nearly impossible to get down on yourself while drinking the stuff. Indeed, the National Institute of Health found that people who drink four or more cups a day are 10% less likely to become afflicted by depression.

15. It does great things for your liver.

Maybe this is the reason people tell you to drink coffee when you have a hangover? Speculation aside, coffee has been found to decrease your chance of being afflicted by cirrhosis of the liver by up to 80%. Those who drink four or more cups of coffee a day were found to have the biggest defense against liver disease.

Not only can coffee combat the effects of alcohol on your liver, but it has also been found to reduce the risk of liver cancer by up to 40%.

16. It can make you more social.

When people drink a lot of alcohol at parties, they’re usually doing so to reduce their inhibitions, and thus be more open to social interaction. Well, I’ve found that coffee makes you just as talkative as alcohol, withoutall of the downsides associated with the latter. (Seriously, I’ll talk your ear off if you give me a good latte!) And in my mind, this is definitely something that benefits your health, because even an introverted person like me feels better when they’re able to more easily open up to friends and acquaintances!

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Oh and not to mention, most people get their coffee from a shop populated by a bunch of people, which is sure to lead to some nice random interactions.

17. It prevents eye disease.

Scientists have found that drinking coffee decreases one’s chance of experiencing vision loss and acquiring eye diseases like glaucoma, thanks to an extremely powerful antioxidant present in coffee.

So put the carrots aside…if you really want to protect your eyesight, grab a mug filled with coffee instead!

18. It shields you from skin cancer.

While you shouldn’t stop applying sunscreen or taking other precautions just because you drink coffee, you can also rest easier knowing that consuming your favorite caffeinated beverage daily reduces your risk of acquiring melanoma.

19. It makes your pains go away.

I’m not being metaphorical or anything. Coffee literally alleviates some of your physical pains, much like ibuprofen or other pain medications, as seen by this study. Seeing all of the other health benefits of drinking coffee listed above, it should come as no surprise that it’ll make your entire body will feel better as a result.

20. It simply makes every morning better.

Well, there really isn’t much more for me to say. Coffee just makes your mornings better! You now know that coffee has a bundle of health benefits, ranging from improving your intellect, to lowering your risk of acquiring a number of different diseases.

The last point I’ll touch upon is more intangible than the others, and comes from my personal experience of being something of a coffee addict. There’s just something about waking up, brewing a good cup of coffee, and enjoying the sunrise. While this feeling I get isn’t a measurable health benefit, per se, it is something that keeps me coming back to my favorite mug day after day. And, along with all of the other reasons listed here, it’s why I continue to be a dedicated member of club caffeine to this day! Would you care to join me?

Featured photo credit: Columbia Coffee/McKay Savage via flic.kr

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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