There is nothing quite like a cup of coffee. It wakes you up in the morning, gives you company on long work nights, and serves as an excuse to ask someone out on a date. It is also versatile enough to cater to most people’s needs. You could like your coffee hot, cold, in a shot glass, or a bowl of dessert.
Whether you’re addicted to it, or are just the occasional drinker, it’s always nice to know what benefits come with your cuppa. Here are seven benefits of coffee that you might not have expected.
1. Improves Memory Retention
Your coffee habit might just improve your short-term and long-term memory. Studies have shown that caffeine improves memory retention in low doses.1
Furthermore, regular coffee intake of about 3–5 cups a day at midlife reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 65%.2 So, as long as you’re keeping your caffeine intake to a minimum, you don’t have to feel guilty about reaching for a cup whenever you need a wake up call.[/ref]
2. Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
23.1 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, while 7.2 million aren’t diagnosed with it yet. These staggering statistics show just how real the risk of the disease is.3
Some part of the solution to this risk might be in your cup of coffee. Research indicates that regular coffee intake in moderation, might reduce the risk of clinical type 2 diabetes. But, it might be a good idea to stick to a cup of black coffee if you’re at risk of diabetes.4
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Coffee might just be a good addition to your bowl of salad. Research shows that coffee increases lipolysis, a process that involves the breakdown of fats, and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to induce weight loss.5
Furthermore, caffeine intake prior to an aerobic workout might also increase fat oxidation and improve your performance.6 However, it’s always best to consult a medical practitioner before consuming caffeine to optimize your workout.
Regular and large quantities of caffeine intake is linked to the suppression of leptin, the hormone that controls hunger, in women. Hence, you feel satiated and eat less once you’ve had coffee. It also promotes thermogenesis, a process by which your body burns calories to produce heat. This makes coffee the perfect replacement for a glass of soda or sugary juice.7
4. Fights Depression
With all the social stigma surrounding mental health, dealing with depression can be difficult. But, you might find relief in your cup of caffeine. Research links moderate coffee intake (limited to less than 6 cups a day) to less depressive symptoms, fewer cognitive failures, and a lower risk of suicide.8
In fact, a study showed that drinking coffee reduced the risk of suicide in men and women by 50%. It does this by stimulating the central nervous system and boosting serotonin, dopamine, and nonadrenaline, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that control mood.9 So, whenever you need to, reach for a comforting cup of coffee.
5. Lowers The Risk Of Death
A few cups of coffee a day, might keep the risk of death away. Research indicates that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, injuries, accidents, diabetes, and infections.
Statistically, men and women who drank 3 or more cups of coffee had a 10% lower risk of death. So, you might not be wrong when you call coffee “a health drink.”10
6. Protects Against Gallstones
Caffeine might prevent the formation of gallstones. Studies show that men and women who consumed coffee regularly were less likely to develop gallstones than those who didn’t. So, it’s okay to make a morning coffee ritual for yourself.11
7. Reduces The Risk Of Stroke
If your family has a risk of heart disease and stroke, then including caffeine into your diet might be a good idea. Studies suggest that moderate consumption of coffee leads to a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. So, as long as you keep a check on your intake, you might just benefit from a good cup of coffee everyday.12
When it comes to coffee, the risk lies in what you add to it and not coffee itself. If you like your coffee sweet and creamy, then you might just negate all the benefits that it offers. Furthermore, be sure to limit your consumption to less than 5 cups a day.13 After all, too much of anything isn’t good for your body.
|↑1||Angelucci, M. E. M., C. Cesario, R. H. Hiroi, P. L. Rosalen, and C. Da Cunha. “Effects of caffeine on learning and memory in rats tested in the Morris water maze.” Brazilian Journal of medical and biological Research 35, no. 10 (2002): 1201-1208.|
|↑2||Eskelinen, Marjo H., and Miia Kivipelto. “Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 20, no. s1 (2010): S167-S174.|
|↑3||National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.|
|↑4||Van Dam, Rob M., and Edith JM Feskens. “Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The Lancet 360, no. 9344 (2002): 1477-1478.|
|↑5||Kim, Tae-Wook, Young-Oh Shin, Jeong-Beom Lee, Young-Ki Min, and Hun-Mo Yang. “Effect of caffeine on the metabolic responses of lipolysis and activated sweat gland density in human during physical activity.” Food Science and Biotechnology 19, no. 4 (2010): 1077-1081.|
|↑6||Wilcox, Anthony R. “The effects of caffeine and exercise on body weight, fat-pad weight, and fat-cell size.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 14, no. 4 (1982): 317-321.|
|↑7||Westerterp‐Plantenga, Margriet S., Manuela PGM Lejeune, and Eva MR Kovacs. “Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation.” Obesity 13, no. 7 (2005): 1195-1204.|
|↑8||Lara, Diogo R. “Caffeine, mental health, and psychiatric disorders.” Journal of Alzheimer’s disease 20, no. S1 (2010): 239-248.|
|↑9||Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide. Harvard Gazette.|
|↑10||Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Death. US Department Of Health And Human Sciences.|
|↑11, ↑12||Other Healthy Beverage Options. Harvard TH Chan.|
|↑13||Coffee: Love it or leave it? Harvard Health Publishing.|