Benefits of Coffee
That unmistakable aroma! Different people get a different kick out of coffee drinking whether it’s a go-getter in the morning or a pleasure drink.
There are people that relish the flavor and aroma of coffee while the latter jumps at the caffeine punch. Remember when everybody used to worry about coffee giving ulcers and making people nervous? Everything done in excess will probably become a source of problems so moderation is the key.
It also doesn’t hurt that coffee, according to various researches, also has many benefits. And remember, the higher quality your coffee is – the less likely it is to contain harmful mycotoxins that may be present in some of the lower quality brands.
Key Ingredients of Coffee
- Chlorogenic acid – an antioxidant, is the major phenol in coffee
- Quinic acid – a phytochemical that contributes to the coffee’s acidic taste
- Cafestol and kahweol – compounds extracted from the beans’ oil during brewing. Unfiltered coffee, such as French press or boiled coffee, contains these compounds
- Caffeine – a naturally occurring stimulant that affects the central nervous system
- N-methylpyridinium (NMB) – infused during roasting, may make the antioxidants more potent
The Caffeine Factor
Caffeine is the most common psychoactive drug (thanks to coffee) and some of its behavioral effects resemble those produced by stimulants. This comes from caffeine’s effect on adenosine, a brain chemical that dampens brain activity, and on brain areas that affect arousal, pleasure and thinking. There is also a short-term increase in muscle contraction intensity, physical and psychological exertion. Caffeine content greatly varies explaining the different effects of different types of coffee beans, preparation and others. Another factor is that there are identified genes influencing caffeine metabolism that explains the differences in certain people’s sensitivity to caffeine.
Heart disease and Diabetes
According to a University of Scranton research, Coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in the U.S. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions have nearly the same levels of antioxidants. Coffee consumption and lower rates of heart disease and diabetes are often associated to each other. People that consume 1- 2 cups of coffee have reduced risk of dying due to cardiovascular diseases by 38% according to a study made in Japan. A Harvard School of Public Health speaks in the same tone stating that moderate coffee drinking does protect against heart failure.
There are also researches that indicate chlorogenic acid’s ability to inhibit the absorption of glucose. These characteristics are commonly related to antioxidants and chlorogenic acid. UCLA researchers identified that coffee drinking affects the globulin SHBG which controls the activity of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen which is related in the development of type 2 diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, liver cancer is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S.A. and 3rd in the leading cause of cancer-related deaths around the world.
Coffee consumption is said to lower the risk of contracting liver cancer by roughly 40% according to Italian researchers while other results point out that risks are further reduced by more than 50% when consumption reaches 3 cups a day.
Drinking coffee regularly is linked to reducing the risk liver bile ducts disease. According to a U.S. study, coffee drinking also reduces liver cirrhosis among alcohol drinkers by 22%.
Other benefits of coffee
Certain studies show that there may be reduction in the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. This is from coffee’s effect on the beta-amyloid plaque that is a factor in Alzheimer’s. Studies show a 25% decrease in Parkinson’s disease risk for coffee drinkers. A National Institutes of Health study revealed that coffee drinking may be a key factor in reducing risk of death which increases along with the amount of coffee consumption.
These favorable studies are good news for coffee drinkers but always keep in mind that all things should be taken in moderation.