Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee, your Brain and your Body…

If you are anything like me, you cannot begin your day until you’ve enjoyed that cup of coffee first! From North America to Southeast Asia to the deserts of Africa and the agricultural fields of South America, coffee has become a global sensation. Even in Great Britain where English tea has been the more preferred caffeine choice for hundreds of years, the country’s coffee shop market has multiplied by ten-fold during the past two decades.

Recent studies show coffee beans offer several health benefits in addition to serving as our daily “pick-me-up” drug!  Did you know coffee consumption may reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and liver disease?

According to a study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) published in 2014, individuals who increased their daily coffee consumption by more than one cup over a 4-year duration, had an 11% lower risk of getting Type 2 diabetes when compared to those who did not alter their coffee intake. This same study also showed those who reduced their daily coffee intake by more than a cup, increased their Type 2 diabetes risk by 17%. But please keep in mind, coffee is one of several factors influencing diabetes risk. Physical activity and weight control also help keep Type 2 diabetes at bay.

Another health benefit of coffee is reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Since caffeine blocks brain inflammation that can trigger cognitive decline, it can boost brain power as we age while improving our memory.

In 2014, University of California conducted a study that showed its adult participants who consumed 200 mg of caffeine before taking a memory test, earned higher scores. But the study also clarifies that the individuals whose caffeine intake was about 300 mg, did not perform better on the memory test and experienced headaches.

Dementia and cognitive awareness decline as we age. The tau protein is closely linked with Alzheimer’s because the brain scans of Alzheimer’s patients show a build up of the protein. Recently, researchers have discovered caffeine blocks certain receptors in the brain that contribute to tau build up.  Considering the onset of Type 2 diabetes can also lead to Alzheimer’s, caffeine consumption may even be more beneficial for the body and the brain.

Are there any other health benefits from drinking coffee? Yes! It may also help fight liver disease and lessen the damage caused by drinking too much alcohol. A research team from the University of Napoli reported coffee drinking increases the levels of the protein, zonulin, which then acts as an anti-inflammatory by promoting good bacteria growth within the intestines.

This is one of the keys to achieving optimal health: reducing chronic inflammation inside the body. If you are not a coffee lover, that’s OK. There are additional means of maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle by ollowing the S.E.N.S.E model of living:

  • Sleep – revitalizes the body
  • Exercise – helps combat excess chronic inflammation
  • Nutrition – eat fish, avocados, walnuts, blueberries and of course, coffee
  • Stress – the body loses ability to regulate inflammation
  • Positive Emotion – a favorable outlook enhances the quality of life

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