Food & Nutrition

5 Fantastic Health Benefits of Coffee

5 Fantastic Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee consumption is still a somewhat controversial topic, particularly in the health and wellness community. Coffee often gets a bad rap—undeservedly so. When you look at the scientific evidence, a different picture begins to emerge showing that there are, in fact, many health benefits of coffee.1,2 This blog post outlines five fantastic benefits of coffee and provides recommendations to help you get the most out of your daily cup(s).

Health Benefits of Coffee

1. Improved metabolism

Did you know that coffee is nutritious? It contains enough potassium, niacin (Vitamin B3), and magnesium to beneficially contribute to the diets of those who drink it regularly. This is significant because potassium and niacin play an important role in glucose delivery and metabolic efficiency, and magnesium is also important for metabolic health. Magnesium deficiency can contribute to the onset of many metabolic diseases as well as heart disease.

2. Lower risk of many diseases

Studies show that regular coffee consumption is protective against several serious diseases, including various metabolic diseases, heart disease, and cancer. The specific list of diseases that caffeine, and coffee especially, seem to protect against includes:

  • Type II diabetes3
  • Alzheimer’s disease4,5
  • Parkinson’s disease6
  • Heart failure7
  • Some forms of cancer8

3. Improved thyroid and liver health

Studies show that coffee drinking helps improve thyroid and liver health.9,10 In addition to protecting against the diseases listed above, it is also associated with reduced rates of liver disease,2 liver dysfunction,9 and thyroid disease.10 Read my previous post to learn about the importance of thyroid health and the dangers of hypothyroidism.

4. Improved brain and nervous system function

Coffee consumption is also associated with improved cognitive functionality.1 It helps promote the health of the brain and nervous system by protecting against degenerative stress and the harmful effects of stress-related hormones. For related info on how to promote the health of the brain and nervous system, check out my previous posts: ELDOA for Autonomic Health and How to Increase Brain Health with ELDOA.

5. Longer life span

And, finally, the fifth item on my list of fantastic health benefits of coffee: Long-term coffee drinking is linked to improved longevity.11

How Much Coffee Should You Drink?

To reap the benefits of coffee outlined above, I recommend drinking around 3-5 cups a day. Statistically, this seems to be the optimal intake for most healthy individuals. I suggest having coffee with a large meal or sipping on it directly after. Apparently, an 8-12 oz. coffee at breakfast, lunch, and dinner is just what the doctor ordered!

Remember: It’s not a good idea to drink coffee on an empty stomach. While coffee increases metabolism and improves blood sugar metabolism, it is really only helpful when consumed by someone who is already well nourished. Coffee consumption without proper nourishment leads to increased production of degenerative stress-related hormones—the very thing that we are hoping it will protect against. If you absolutely must drink a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, try adding cream and sugar or drinking a latte with honey. This will help reduce the potentially harmful effects of drinking coffee on an empty stomach.

What About Tea, Espresso, and Decaf Coffee?

Good news for tea and espresso drinkers: While it is less well-studied, both drinks appear to have some, if not all, of the effects of coffee at similar dosages. And what about decaf coffee drinkers? Decaf has the magnesium content of regular coffee. However, the metabolic benefit is much less, and the results with respect to health and longevity are not as apparent.

For more insights on the latest topics in health and nutrition, sign up for my monthly newsletter. Want to try a new workout method that’s great for spine health, strength and stability, and flexibility? Join us for ELDOA group classes right here in St. Louis!

References

  1. Butt MS, Sultan MT. Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 51, No. 4 (April 2011): 363-373. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21432699
  2. Cano-Marquina A, Tarín JJ, Cano A. The impact of coffee on health. Maturitas 75, No. 1 (May 2013): 7-21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23465359
  3. van Dieren S, Uiterwaal CS, van der Schouw YT, et al. Coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 52, No. 12 (Dec 2009): 2561-2569. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19727658
  4. Barranco Quintana JL, Allam MF, Serrano Del Castillo A, Fernández-Crehuet Navajas R. Alzheimer’s disease and coffee: a quantitative review. Neurol Res 29, No. 1 (Jan 2007): 91-95. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17427282
  5. Arendash GW, Cao C. Caffeine and coffee as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis 20, Suppl 1 (2010): S117-126. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182037
  6. Costa J, Lunet N, Santos C, et al. Caffeine exposure and the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Alzheimers Dis 20, Suppl 1 (2010): S221-238. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182023
  7. Mostofsky E, Rice MS, Levitan EB, et al. Habitual coffee consumption and risk of heart failure: a dose–response meta-analysis. Circ Heart Fail 5, No. 4 (Jul 2012): 401-405. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425948/
  8. Bøhn SK, Blomhoff R, Paur I. Coffee and cancer risk, epidemiological evidence, and molecular mechanisms. Mol Nutr Food Res 58, No. 5 (May 2014): 915-930. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24668519
  9. Nakanishi N, Nakamura K, Suzuki K, Tatara K. Effects of coffee consumption against the development of liver dysfunction: a 4-year follow-up study of middle-aged Japanese male office workers. Ind Health 38, No. 1 (Jan 2000): 99-102. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10680318
  10. Linos A, Linos DA, Vgotza N, et al. Does coffee consumption protect against thyroid disease? Acta Chir Scand 155, No. 6-7 (Jun 1989): 317-320. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2816215
  11. Ding M, Bhupathiraju SN, Satija A, et al. Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circulation 129, No. 6 (Feb 2014): 643-659.

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