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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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