5 Long-Term Health Benefits of Coffee
1. Weight and Fat Loss
First off, the benefits are shown to exist following the intake of plain, black coffee – NOT the fancy “coffee” drinks that are essentially nothing more than caffeinated drinks decorated with sugary syrups and heavy creams. Unlike those fancy coffee drinks that can easily pack on extra 500 calories each day, a cup of black coffee offers a miniscule calorie load of five. And when it comes to weight loss, utilizing low calorie foods can naturally create a calorie deficit. But setting calories aside, coffee may suppress the appetite and initiate thermogenesis, a process in which the body converts energy into heat, subsequently speeding up metabolism. Not to mention, caffeinated coffee may supply you with that needed energy to hit the gym!
2. Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
While achieving and maintaining a healthy weight reduces type 2 diabetes risk, regular coffee consumption may do so as well. Despite the absence of clarity, research has shown moderate intake of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can lower diabetes risk, especially in women. Additionally, coffee may promote tighter glucose tolerance, when consumed without all the added sugars and syrups!
3. Heart Health Protection
Caffeine is hinted to hold tight caution when it comes to heart health, as it may induce heart palpitations, especially in individuals targeted with other factors or a diagnosed heart disease. However, research has shown coffee can actually lower the risk of stroke, particularly in older women and men. Its antioxidant properties can further protect against blood vessel damage and foster healthy cholesterol levels.
4. Cancer Risk Reduction
This devastating disease affects more than 14.5 million people each year with an expected rise towards 19 million by 2024. Though one single cup of joe may not be the cancer cure across the board, its intake can certainly lessen the likelihood of its development. More specifically, consistent or increased coffee consumption has shown to lower the risk of oral, liver, prostate, and breast cancers.
5. Brain Defense
Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the brain, shown to boost mental alertness, attention, and concentration. But much greater than the initial brain jolt, moderate consumption can actually hold great significance in regards to mental health. Coffee intake has shown to reduce depression risk and protect against both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. More specifically, caffeine has shown to diminish brain chemical changes noticed in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
While sound conclusions of coffee health benefits continue to be brewed, research and data are nonetheless compelling. It is important, though, to remember the morning black cup of coffee is not the ultimate elixir to health, but also needs the assistance of a nutritious breakfast and an early workout. Ultimately, a well-balanced diet paired with exercise shows the greatest benefits to health, whether it be physical or mental. Although enjoying a cup or a few of coffee is generally considered safe, speaking with your healthcare provider can further guide you to its intake, largely related to caffeine content.