Aside from being our daily perk-me-up, many studies have shown that coffee offers several benefits for our health. Drinking coffee long-term may help to maintain good health and lower the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Note: While coffee may be considered a healthier beverage choice, it should also be accompanied by a balanced diet, regular exercise and good lifestyle habits. It should not be used as a method to prevent or treat diseases.
1. Coffee can help to burn fat
Coffee is a low-calorie beverage and a 150ml cup of Black Brew contains only 6kcal, almost negligible. Drinking black coffee does not increase our blood sugar and may even help to enhance the benefits of intermittent fasting. Several studies have shown that coffee can help to boost our metabolism and increase our body’s ability to burn fat. Thus, the fat that has been absorbed by our body can be processed more quickly.
Black coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine per cup, which is the normal daily caffeine requirement. Energy drinks on the other hand, contain way more caffeine than we need (up to 500mg per can!), making it easy to exceed the safe amount of caffeine if we are not careful. Hence, coffee is the preferred choice for fitness enthusiasts as a pre-workout energy boost. Some studies also indicate that drinking coffee before working out can help to boost fitness performance.
Note: Adding sugar, milk or other flavorings will increase the amount of calories in a cup of coffee.
2. Coffee may help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
The American Chemical Society (ACS) expressed that some studies have shown that people who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. One study with a sample size of 450,000 found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of getting diabetes by 25% as compared to those who do not drink coffee. With every cup of coffee, the risk of getting diabetes reduces by a further 7%.
Note: Studies have shown that the maximum amount of caffeine a person should have per day should not exceed 400mg, which is about three to four cups of coffee. Consuming more than this amount may lead to side effects and affect daily activities. It is important to moderate your coffee consumption.
3. Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants
Many would think of blueberries, tomatoes and other vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables when we talk about antioxidants. However, a cup of coffee contains a high amount of antioxidants, maybe even more than the amount in vegetables.
Antioxidants help to delay the effects of free radical damage caused by sunlight, pollution and other environmental aggressors. Thanks to the antioxidants present, coffee drinkers are found to have a 19% lower risk of getting cardiovascular related diseases as compared to non-coffee drinkers.
4. Coffee may help to protect your liver
The antioxidants in coffee not only bring benefits to your heart but your liver too. Studies have shown that these antioxidants can effectively help to reduce the risk of cirrhosis. The chemicals in coffee help to regulate activity of enzymes to improve metabolism and detoxification, thus reducing the risk of liver diseases.
5. Coffee can help with brain health
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia currently have no cure. Prevention is key and coffee can help support brain health. According to studies, drinking coffee may reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease by 65%. A study in Japan also found that even people who drink just one cup of coffee a day have a 20% lower risk of getting the disease as compared to those who do not drink coffee at all.
6. Coffee may reduce the risk of cancer
Studies have shown that coffee may have an effect on the development of cancer cells. For example, it activates the bile acid and accelerates digestion in our colon, which lowers the amount of carcinogens that the colon may be exposed to. According to the National Cancer Institute in the United States, there may be substantial evidence to prove that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer and liver cancer. It may also have a significant effect on cancers relating to our skin, mouth and throat.
7. Coffee may reduce the risk of depression
An analysis by the National Coffee Association has shown that drinking at least two cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of depression. Another study also indicated that components in coffee such as caffeine, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acid can affect the pathology of depression.
8. Coffee can help to prevent kidney stones
A Harvard University study showed that people who drink at least one cup of coffee a day have a 26% lower risk of having kidney stones. Caffeine helps to increase urination, which helps to remove excess calcium and sodium that researchers believe cause the formation of kidney stones.
9. Coffee can support our nervous system
A few studies have suggested a link between caffeine and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. Although researchers are not completely sure on the effects of coffee on the disease, they believe caffeine is the main ingredient that helps. Other studies have also shown that the fatty acids in coffee may have an effect on the disease.
10. Coffee helps to increase our vitamin intake
One cup of coffee contains Vitamin B2, B3 and B5. Vitamin B2 helps to prevent heart diseases and cancer, Vitamin B3 helps to balance our blood cholesterol levels and Vitamin B5 helps to stabilise our blood sugar levels.