Worldwide, our collective love for coffee has never been stronger. Even in the tea-drinker’s heaven that is the United Kingdom, coffee has officially overtaken every other beverage to become the nation’s number one. And while it may have earned something of a bad rap here and there over the years, all evidence today suggests we could in fact be better off with more coffee in our lives.
For quite some time, it was simply assumed that caffeine – and therefore coffee by extension – wasn’t particularly good for our health. Nevertheless, a growing number of studies have demonstrated conclusively that the extraordinary benefits of coffee go far beyond simple enjoyment alone. In fact, there’s significant evidence to suggest that drinking coffee on a regular basis could actually help you live longer!
Not convinced? Here’s a quick rundown of just five of the most incredible benefits of coffee – all of which representing the perfect excuse to pour another cup right now:
1. Coffee can make you more productive and enhance mental acuity
Of course, it’s no secret that coffee can give you that all important jolt of energy, when and where you need it most. Caffeine can be great for a short-term boost as and when required, but research suggests that coffee and other caffeinated beverages can actually enhance cognitive performance and improve motor skills. Not only this, but caffeine intake has also been linked with greater ability to make correct decisions, improved accuracy of reactions and better performance of short term memory. All of this while giving both mental and physical fatigue the boot, even if only for a brief period!
2. Coffee can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes
It might sound hard to believe, but a study was carried out in 2012 which determined that coffee and similar drinks may positively contribute to a lower risk of developing type two diabetes. The study went by the name of "Caffeinated and Caffeine-Free Beverages and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes" and saw a research team of comparing and contrasting the effects of everyday drinks with and without caffeine, on an individual’s respective likelihood of developing the condition. Unsurprisingly, the team found that drinks with a high sugar content significantly increased type two diabetes risk. Conversely, those who consumed coffee and other caffeinated drinks on a regular basis (including tea) were found to be somewhat less likely to develop the condition during their life.
3. Coffee can help ward off many cancers and other degenerative diseases
One of the most extensive areas of research into the benefits of coffee over recent years has been that which focuses on cancer prevention. In 2005, researchers determined that the regular consumption of coffee was apparently linked with a significantly lower risk of developing chronic liver disease and cancer. In addition, further studies brought to light evidence suggesting that consumption of caffeine at a moderate level on a daily basis could represent one of the very best long-term preventative measures to ward-off Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s. It still isn’t known exactly why coffee and other caffeinated beverages have such an extraordinary effect – it is only known that they do!
4. Coffee is good for your heart and does not detrimentally affect blood pressure
If you get well and truly carried away with extra-strong coffee in a short period of time, chances are you are going to feel as if your heart and blood pressure are a little out of control. Which is precisely why it was assumed for so long that coffee couldn’t possibly be good for your heart. However, studies carried out in 2005 and 2011 brought about the conclusion that while an acute increase in blood pressure in hypertensive patients was noted after coffee consumption, there is no evidence to suggest that drinking coffee on a regular basis has any notable or long-term effects of a detrimental nature on heart health or blood pressure. In fact, the 2011 study brought to light evidence suggesting that regular coffee consumption could actually reduce the risk of developing heart disease considerably, when compared to those drinking less coffee or no coffee at all.
5. Coffee keeps things moving…in more ways than one
Last up, a study carried out by the American Chemical Society found that contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just the caffeine in coffee that can help keep you regular. Instead, it’s the way in which coffee has a relatively high acidic composition which can speed things up when it comes to bathroom visits. The consumption of coffee leads to the elevated production of gastric acid in the stomach, which assists with the breakdown of protein. Coupled with the increases in hormone production triggered by the consumption of coffee, the body is encouraged to speed up its ‘waste disposal’ process and get rid of what it doesn’t need, quickly and more efficiently. As such, any number of studies have linked coffee consumption with a healthy colon.
So once again, if you needed any excuse whatsoever to pour or order another cup right now, take your pick from many of the five above!
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