Since the British Nutrition Foundation’s annual healthy eating week is already in full swing, and healthy eating naturally goes hand in hand with the proper drinks, Economic Journal has decided to provide you with a short overview of one of the more controversial products. Similar to alcoholic drinks like beer and wine, coffee has been both commended and criticised with regard to its effects on our health. With Brits consuming around 70 million cpus of coffee per day, it might be interesting to look at these seven ways in which coffee might actually be beneficial for your wellbeing.
1. It Helps You Burn Fat and Improves Your Physical Performance
Caffeine is actually one of only a handful of natural substances which can have a positive effect on fat-burning, which is why it is also found in many common supplements. However, while drinking coffee can seriously boost your metabolism in some cases, the effects may be less powerful for frequent drinkers.
Did you know that drinking a cup of coffee before your workout can also significantly boost your athletic performance? This is especially the case when it comes to types of fitness focused on endurance, like running or cycling. Coffee can boost the amount of fatty acids in your bloodstream, enabling your muscles to burn them for energy.
2. It Protects Your Liver
Granted, a lower alcohol intake is still the first and foremost way to take good care of your liver, but coffee can actually be a big help as well! It can help lower liver enzyme levels; it does not even matter if you are drinking regular or decaf, since both have shown effects.
3. It Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
In this case, scientific indications are quite strong, as several studies suggest that caffeine intake may actually make you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
As one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases along with Alzheimer’s, it makes sense that Parkinson’s disease might be affected by caffeine as well. While drinking coffee can help prevent the disease from breaking out at all, it also has the potential to help already affected patients control their movements. In this case, however, it does seem to matter whether you enjoy decaf or regular coffee!
4. It Lowers the Risk of Getting Type II Diabetes
A disease affecting around 300 million people, Type II Diabetes has become a severe issue in the health industry. Drinking coffee, however, seems to entail a significant reduction in the risk of developing the disease – allegedly by almost 50%!
5. It Helps You Fight Depression
Drinking coffee appears to lower your risk of becoming depressed in the first place—and not, as you might think, because of the “caffeine high,” but because of the high amount of antioxidants it contains. Coffee has even been linked to lower risks of committing suicide, because it can act like a mild antidepressant by helping your body produce, for example, dopamine and serotonin.
6. It Provides the Main Supply of Antioxidants in the Western Diet
In a typical Western diet—especially American—nothing else provides us with more antioxidants than coffee. This is not to say that you should substitute your fruits and veggies entirely with coffee, but a cup every now and then will provide you with some essential dietary ingredients.
7. It May Make You Smarter
Of course, we all know that drinking coffee can increase our energy level and help us feel less tired. But because the effects of drinking coffee can stimulate the firing of neurons in our brains, it may actually improve several aspects of our brain function, enabling the brain to work more efficiently. Many complex functions like vigilance, reaction time, or memory can thus be influenced positively!
Be aware, though, that this is all a matter of quantity, as well as your individual needs and lifestyle. Economic Journal wishes you a happy Healthy Eating Week!