Five health benefits of coffee
That heady aroma of brewing coffee. It’s enough to make your taste buds salivate in anticipation of its earthy taste. And while there’s something comforting about the routine of plunging that French press or watching the crema form on your espresso, there’s also an array of health benefits that comes with your morning cup of java.
1. Increases metabolism
Caffeine won’t necessarily supercharge your metabolism, but science says it can give it a boost by three to seven percent. And even that modest spurt of energy can help in fat-burning. Research studies have shown that metabolic rate increased in participants some three hours after drinking coffee, and along with it, significant increases in fat oxidation were reported. That “metabolic burn” caused by caffeine is called thermogenesis, which is essentially using fat as fuel. Bring on the burn!
2. Boosts brain power
Remember drinking cup after cup of coffee when cramming for exams in university? Sure, caffeine as a stimulant can keep you from dozing off at your computer, but coffee has other brain-boosting benefits. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which, no surprise, heightens alertness. Even better, according to The Journal of Nutrition, coffee has cognitive advantages such as improving memory and thinking skills, plus it can inhibit dementia, especially in women.
3. Kickstarts athletic performance
A few sips of coffee before you sprint? It takes more than that, but researchers have discovered that caffeine has positive effects on athletic performance, such as spikes in muscle power. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 that the Olympics lifted its ban on caffeine. Even if you’re not angling to be the next Usain Bolt, science suggests that coffee consumption can elevate your exercise, whether you’re playing stop-and-go sports like tennis, busting it out at boot camp, or pumping iron at the gym. Why does coffee work? It’s hard for researchers to nail down exact reasons, but they point to caffeine’s knack for delaying feelings of fatigue by blocking chemicals that make you feel tired.
4. Amps up nutrition
You might be surprised to learn that a single cup of coffee is packed with nutrients, helping you achieve your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamine, and niacin are three of the all-important B vitamins hidden in coffee, along with potassium—it keeps blood pressure in check—and manganese, a trace mineral essential for bone health, among other benefits. Have a few cups and the nutritional intake, naturally, increases. Caffeine, however, can inhibit absorption of good things such as Vitamin C, so limit your java fix to a few cups a day.
5. Protects against disease
According to Harvard Health, most doomsday conspiracies about coffee being bad for you have been debunked. Actually, the opposite is true. Coffee, once on the list of possible cancer-causers has been given the green light by the World Health Organization, which has gone as far as saying that coffee might even protect people from serious diseases such as cancer of the uterus and liver. Whether caffeinated or not, coffee has been found to protect against other liver diseases, plus type-2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.
Whether your coffee go-to is a foam-crowned latte or deeply bold espresso, science shows that not only are you satisfying your tastebuds, you’re also improving your health, even if only slightly, with every delicious sip.