It’s no secret…
Anyone who knows me knows I love my cup of joe. In fact, I’m enjoying a cup as I write this post. It’s a ritual I have because I like to do my writing in the morning, preferably. I pick through topic ideas as I sip and then let the creative mojo go from there.
However, admitting to being a coffee drinker as well as a wellness professional has gotten me more than a few looks of condescension from some of my peers. “Caffeine is BAD for you,” they say! Wagging fingers in my face… Well, perhaps abusing caffeine is what’s “bad” for you; but ‘caffeine’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘coffee.’
Regardless of this fact, my beloved coffee has been given a bad reputation over the years. Especially after a few health experts linked it (or rather, linked ‘caffeine’ abuse) to several diseases. But honestly, is coffee really that bad?
In fact, new research supports the notion that drinking coffee in moderation provides numerous health benefits.
Antidepressant It might seem a little odd to find that coffee could help with depression, but new research has shown that it does just that. Now, please note that I’m am in no way telling you to throw out your antidepressant prescriptions or quit counseling and head to Starbucks! Coffee is not a cure for depression. Rather, the caffeine in coffee helps regulate your mood transmitters. It is also believed the phytonutrients and antioxidant properties of the coffee bean also contribute to keeping your mood in check and helps you feel happier all day long.
Antioxidant Speaking of phytonutrients and antioxidants; Free radicals are the big bad guys of the health world, causing cancer and speeding up the aging process. Antioxidants work as the good guys, the superheroes of sorts, and work to bring these free radicals down. Foods that are loaded with antioxidants have been heralded as super foods for this reason. Coffee is one of these super foods and its surplus of caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid are the big reasons for this.
Cancer Protection The fact that drinking coffee puts you at a lower risk of cancer seems a little bit odd since it was once linked to cancer, but scientists now say that a few cups per day actually keeps the cancer away. Caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid are at work again. They are the reasons that coffee lowers your risk for cancer.
Weight Loss Another health benefit of coffee is that it helps with weight loss. For a lot of people struggling to lose a few pounds this might come as quite a relief. Thank goodness I don’t also have to cut coffee out! Well, not quite. Coffee in itself helps with weight loss by burning off excess calories, but once you throw sugar and milk in there, that’s not the case anymore. Keep your coffee black or doctor is with only bit of plain milk or dairy alternative to reap its weight loss benefits.
Diabetes Protection The caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid in coffee once again lead the charge, this time offering protection from diabetes. They reduce blood glucose levels and also reduce the amount of glucose that is stored in your liver. Combined, this significantly reduces your chance of getting diabetes.
Now, after saying all that, I don’t want you to think you can consume all the coffee you want! Sure, coffee has a ton of great benefits, but don’t over-dose yourself with bottomless-brew-consumption. All health benefits aside, you should probably consider pulling back on your coffee intake. Coffee is best in small amounts (between one and three cups) and, and as the case with alcohol, if you drink any more, you could actually be turning its advantages into disadvantages.