7:15 am, alarm goes off, you know the drill. Roll over, stretch, and groggily start thinking about the day that looms ahead. I don't know about you but my day doesn't start until that warm cup of liquid life is planted firmly and securely in my hands.
Addictions are typically frowned upon, however fortunate enough for me, a coffee addiction can be quite the opposite. Coffee has a multitude of health benefits, and no I'm not talking about that 1000 calorie double mocha chocolate chip frappuccino you roll through Starbucks drive through for. I'm talking about the coffee that comes straight out of the coffee pot. The coffee that isn't full of artificial flavors, syrups, oils, and refined sugar. Year after year, studies are published with more and more findings on the benefits they discover behind that little bean. So we continue to drink it, relishing in the fact that we don't have to necessarily feel guilty about something so warm and delicious and enjoy the satisfaction of mentally checking off another healthy score for the day. How much coffee we drink in a day, it's really something we should all be bragging more about instead of the number of happy hour brews we chug down after a grueling 10 hour shift that more likely than not turns into an ugly hangover lasting much longer than we'd care to admit.
Coffee is notoriously underplayed, it isn't good for us, it's GREAT and some of the most recent studies released this past year help detail why. I'm here to fill your brain with knowledge so that maybe tomorrow after you've had your morning cup of joe, you'll consider adding another cup or two throughout the day.
What is mortality you ask, it's overall risk of death and coffee intake is linked to significantly lower rates of mortality for all causes. Studies done across all ethnic groups and races showed the same data, consuming coffee on a regular basis is consistent with a lower rate of mortality.
Cardiovascular health, aka heart health is a huge topic in the United States. According to the CDC, the number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. As counterintuitive as it seems, something that theoretically causes high blood pressure actually reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. Coffee beans have shown to reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and associated inflammatory markers that are linked to heart disease.
Also known as cerebrovascular health is essentially health related to your vasculature (arteries/veins). The most common type of cerebrovascular health problem is a stroke. Studies have shown that drinking 1-6 cups of coffee a day can reduce stroke risk up to 17%.
Numerous studies have linked coffee consumption with better glucose metabolism, meaning a better control of blood glucose levels. Avoiding a constant state of hyperglycemia (too much sugar in the blood) is important in avoiding an increased risk of developing Type II Diabetes. This reduction in risk of developing diabetes is thought to have something to do with coffee's anti inflammatory properties. Coffee contains a chemical called chlorogenic acid that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may attribute to coffee's beneficial glucose effects.
We all hate it, we're all terrified of it and drinking coffee may actually help you avoid it. Studies have shown that there is correlation between coffee consumption and lower risks of developing certain types of cancer such as endometrial, prostate, colorectal, head and neck, breast, and skin cancers. These benefits are again linked to coffee's antioxidant and antimutagenic properties.
Not only does coffee get your brain moving in the morning, it may also help in the long term. One of the hallmarks of Parkinson's Disease is the development of something called Lewy Bodies in the brain. Lewy Bodies are abnormal groupings of proteins that gather in nerve cells and cause dementia. Studies done in mice have shown that caffeine from coffee suppresses this type of protein production and actually boosts production of neuroprotective chemicals.
Depression, liver disease, gout, immune health, the list goes on. There is research out there supporting a whole host of benefits from coffee that I haven't even mentioned. The bottom line is this, if you think that second or third cup of coffee may not be the best thing, think again. Cheers to that!
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