It’s no secret we are huge coffee drinkers and lovers in the Woman of Style and Substance office and to justify our love of the black, creamy, hot goodness that is coffee, we have come up with ten reasons why we need to drink coffee…. purely for research reasons, of course! Like we need any more excuses to drink coffee!
1. Coffee can protect you from diseases
Cancer: It is a fact that coffee drinkers can have a lower risk of certain cancers. Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death and is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.
Coffee appears to be protective against two types of cancer… liver cancer and colorectal cancer. One study of 489,706 individuals found that those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer
Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth. Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.
Stroke: Some studies also show that coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of stroke. Coffee may cause mild increases in blood pressure, which usually diminish over time. Coffee drinkers do not have an increased risk of heart disease, but a slightly lower risk of stroke.
Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s disease: Coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease, Dementia and Alzheimer’s. In this case, it appears to be the caffeine itself that is causing the effect. People who drink decaf don’t have a lower risk.
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a gigantic health problem, currently afflicting about 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin.
For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people who drink the most coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of getting this disease, one study showing a reduction as high as 67%.
According to a review that looked at data from 18 studies with a total of 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Liver diseases: Several common diseases primarily affect the liver, including hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and others. It turns out coffee may protect against liver diseases such as cirrhosis. People who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk of developing a liver disease.
2. Coffee makes you happy
Well, duh! We coffee drinkers know coffee can make us happy but did you know it can lower the risk of developing depression? In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. Another study with 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
3. Coffee can make you smarter and give you energy
Many controlled trials in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function.
4. Coffee can help you burn fat
Yes, really! Did you know that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement? There’s a good reason for that… caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that have actually been proven to aid fat burning.
Several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-11%. Other studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat, by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat. But caffeine also increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood. This is the “fight or flight” hormone, designed to make our bodies ready for intense physical exertion.
Caffeine makes the fat cells break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel.
Given these effects, it is not surprising to see that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11-12%, on average. Because of this, it makes sense to have a strong cup of coffee about a half an hour before you head to the gym.
5. Essential nutrients and antioxidants
Coffee contains several important nutrients, including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, and Niacin.
For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may actually be the healthiest aspect of the diet. That’s because coffee contains a huge amount of antioxidants.
In fact, studies show that most people get more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables… combined!
So with all of the health benefits above how do you get the full benefits from your coffee? Well, that’s easy!
1. Don’t drink coffee after 3pm, as it is a stimulant and will have you wide awake into the wee hours of the morning.
2. Skip the sugar. Sugar is probably the worst thing in our diets. Excess sugar can cause all sorts of serious diseases like obesity and diabetes.
If you can’t imagine living your life without a sweetener in your coffee, use Stevia. Never go the artificial sweetener route, artificial and processed foods should be avoided as they have been linked to a higher rate of cancers and diseases.
3. Add Some Cinnamon to Your Coffee. Yes, really! Studies show that cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides in diabetics. If you need some added flavor, try adding a dash of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly good.