If your best friend in the morning comes in a mug, you’re like millions of Americans that love that first cup of coffee in the morning. You may have heard that drinking coffee is bad for you, but there’s a lot of contradictory evidence that it may actually be quite the opposite. In fact, some studies actually find that coffee may increase lifespan and provide benefits for your health. It does have some plant chemicals that are harmful, but an awful lot that are good for you.
That burst of energy from coffee comes from the caffeine.
You probably already know the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that gets into the bloodstream and goes to the brain. It causes the blocking of the neurotransmitter adenosine. When that happens, dopamine and norepinephrine are increased, which then increases the firing of neurons. When more neurons are firing, brain functioning improves. That caffeine also boosts fat burning and increases the amount of adrenaline created, which boosts your energy and can improve your workout.
Drinking coffee can provide your body with phytochemicals.
Coffee contains polyphenols, such as phenolic acid and flavonoids. These phytonutrients are potent antioxidants. They help fight free radicals that can destroy cells, cause illness, premature aging and death. Polyphenols are important to your body for another reason, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. They can help boost your metabolism and make weight loss easier. Those same phytochemicals not only reduce inflammation and help control blood sugar, they reduce the risk of stroke.
Coffee may not qualify as food, but it does have nutrients.
This no calorie drink has quite a few nutrients you may not know about. Just one cup can provide 11% of your daily requirement for vitamin B2, 1% of your requirement for folate, 2% for vitamins B1 and B3, 2% of your RDA for niacin and magnesium, plus 3% of the amount you need each day of potassium and manganese. What other virtue does this magic elixir have? Drinking at least 3 cups of coffee each day may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes by up to 42%.
There’s a reason coffee is so prized in the morning. It helps lift your spirits. There is scientific backing that proves it. Coffee drinkers tend to get less stressed in tough situations than people who opt for herbal teas.
- Every person has his or her own tolerance to the caffeine before discomfort sets in, with heart palpitations, disrupted sleep, the shakes and panic attacks. There are also symptoms of withdrawal, such as irritability and headaches.
- Decaf doesn’t have the health benefits of fully caffeinated coffee. The caffeine is removed using solvents that also affect the benefits. Don’t forget to make coffee using a paper filter, which lowers the cafetal levels that raise cholesterol.
- Drinking coffee can also help lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease by as much as 60%. The antioxidants in coffee may also help prevent Alzheimer’s, some types of cancer, gall stones and liver disease.
- New studies show that people who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day may help prevent calcium build-up in the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood. Coffee could actually be lowering the risk for heart disease.
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