While I’m not a coffee drinker, approximately 64 percent of American adults are. So it’s time to quantify the health benefits of coffee.
As the percentage above indicates a lot of Americans start their day with a steaming cup of coffee. They are usually looking for caffeine to wake them up. Now it is nice to know there are additional health benefits to this morning ritual.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest a typical cup of home-brewed coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine. For those that want more, a 20 ounce specialty coffee from a franchise can have as much as 475 mg of caffeine.
But coffee is more than just caffeine. It also contains powerful polyphenols and other natural ingredients that can significantly impact your health in a positive way.
7 Health Benefits of Coffee
In researching this article I came across more than 7 health benefits of coffee. But I believe these are the 7 most important ones.
Benefit #1 – Protection Against DNA Damage
I have decided to start with this one because DNA damage can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel, autoimmune issues, and cancer. In late 2018 a study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition that showed coffee reducing DNA damage by 23%.
This was a single-blind, randomized, controlled study looking to see what effects moderate coffee consumption had on DNA damage. There were 100 adults in the study. Subjects were give either coffee or warm water. The amount consumed by all was 500 ml per day. For those drinking coffee this is approximately four 4-ounce cups or 16 ounces of coffee per day.
By the end of the study, the coffee group had a 23% reduction in DNA damage. Those that got water had no change in their DNA damage. Now 23% was the average for the coffee drinkers. When you look at the effect based on sex, women had a 26% reduction and men had a 20% reduction.
This means women experienced a statistically greater benefit then men in how coffee can help reduce DNA damage.
Benefit #2 – Can Improve Energy Levels
This benefit is most likely the key benefit for most people. Historically, coffee has been used as a “wake me up” drink in the morning.
Or for college students to keep them awake so that they can study all night for their final exams.
And the main component in coffee that helps do this is caffeine. Caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream where it then travels to your brain.
Once in the brain caffeine blocks adenosine, which is a inhibitory neurotransmitter. When this occurs, other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increase. These then increase neuron firing and your brain become more active.
As many controlled studies have shown, brain function improves leading to improved memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times, and overall mental function.
Benefit #3 – Improved Physical Performance
In addition to stimulating your brain function, caffeine also stimulates your nervous system. This has two effects:
First is an increased break down of body fat. This makes free fatty acids available as a fuel source for your muscles.
Second is an increased production of epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your bloodstream.
This duel combination typically improves physical performance by an average of 11%.
Most trainers would recommend having a strong cup of coffee about 30 minutes prior to heading to the gym.
Benefit #4 – May Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
The exact reason why coffee lowers your risk for Type 2 Diabetes is currently unknown. In one large review of 18 studies, that had a total of 457,922 participants, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% risk reduction in type 2 diabetes.
And in other observational studies those that drank the most coffee had a range from 23-50% lower risk for this disease.
Benefit #5 – Improved Brain Health
Again the exact reason why is currently unknown but multiple studies have shown the following for coffee drinkers:
65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
60% lower risk for Parkinson’s disease
Benefit #6 – May Lower Your Risk for Certain Cancers
At one time coffee was listed as a potential source for cancer. But as study designs improved coffee has been shown to actually lower the risk for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer.
And of these cancers, coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk for liver cancer and a 15% lower risk for colorectal cancer.
Benefit #7 – Rich in Antioxidants
For those that eat the standard American diet, which is high in carbohydrates, fat, and protein, coffee may be their only good source of antioxidants. As I’ve shared many times, antioxidants protect us from free radical damage.
Free radical damage causes inflammation, which is the primary cause of most diseases.
This means a diet rich in antioxidants helps to reduce inflammation.
So if you’re not going to eat fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, then make sure you drink multiple cups of coffee per day.
And if you do eat your fruits and vegetables, then know that your coffee consumption is adding to your antioxidant levels to help protect your cells and cell membranes from free radicals.
Now the world is loaded with coffee suppliers and vendors. But if you’re looking for some great coffee than is properly sourcee and prepared for maximum flavor and health benefits, then I would recommend the coffee from Kindred Coffee Roasters. Here is a direct link to their website for the coffee blends they provide:
As modern science shows, drinking coffee can be a good part of your daily health strategy.