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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 August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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