Drinking coffee — it just might be more American than apple pie. As a country, we consume several hundred million — that’s eight zeros after the first number — cups a day. Over the years, rumors have abounded regarding the negative effects of coffee, including the high acidic content, on a person’s health. However, if you are looking for ways to improve your eating habits, you might consider a hidden source of nutrition. Numerous recent studies show that downing that cup of joe might actually benefit you health-wise and even lengthen your lifespan.
The Nutritious Value of Coffee
Surprise! — coffee positively contributes to overall nutrition. If you drink the black elixir favored by so many, you might see several health benefits. However, avoid the sugar-laden lattes and frappes loaded with fat, extra calories and tons of sugar. Instead, stick to coffee sweetened with stevia as needed. Choose no- or low-fat milk over heavy creams, which contain excessive fats. Use some common sense and enjoy some of the following health benefits:
Caffeine – This obvious coffee ingredient does more than serve as a pick-me-up to start your day. In addition to providing you with energy, caffeine improves memory along with your mood. If you are in school, that extra shot of caffeine could even boost your test grade.
Antioxidants – These cancer-preventing chemicals provide a power-packed punch for your body, keeping cells healthy. While fruits and veggies offer the best antioxidant support, coffee provides a needed boost if you don’t eat enough of these important foods. Some of these occur naturally in coffee while others form during the roasting process.
Hydrocinnamic acids – These reduce stress and neutralize free radicals in your body.
Magnesium – This trace mineral strengthens bones, which is especially necessary for your fitness routine. In addition, it regulates your heart rate and your blood pressure.
Polyphenols – Another antioxidant, this chemical aids in disease prevention.
Potassium – If you’ve ever suffered a muscle cramp in the middle of the night that has jolted you awake from the deepest sleep, you probably understand the importance of potassium. Someone probably told you to eat a banana — loaded with potassium — to prevent further cramps. Instead of grabbing a banana, try drinking coffee instead, which also contains potassium. This electrolyte helps regulate the water in your body, transmits nerve impulses and aids in muscle contraction.
Vitamin B2 – This trace but much-needed vitamin contributes to the health of eyes, hair, and skin; aids in metabolizing fat and protein; and helps change carbs into energy to keep your body going during the toughest workouts.
Yes, it’s true — coffee can help guard against disease, possibly due to all of the antioxidants it contains. The following list provides a starting point for just some ailments that coffee prevents.
Colon cancer – According to a study of more than 9,000 people done by the University of Southern California, coffee can protect against colon cancer. Those who drank one to two cups of coffee daily lessened their risk of cancer by 26 percent. If a person drank more than 2.5 cups daily, he or she cut that risk in half.
Alzheimer’s disease – A 2015 study on Alzheimer’s disease reported that older adults who consumed one or two cups of java daily were less likely to develop cognitive impairment when compared with those who drank no coffee. Another study showed that drinking lots of coffee was associated with a 27 percent decrease is a risk for Alzheimer’s.
Diabetes – Research has also shown coffee can protect against diabetes by helping to increase the chemical that regulates estrogen and testosterone in the body, reducing the risk of the disease by more than 10 percent.
Heart disease – Studies differ as to findings of including coffee as part of a healthy regimen to reduce the risk of heart disease. Research in Europe found that drinking four cups of coffee daily could decrease the risk of heart disease by 11 percent.
Coffee also decreases the risk of hepatitis C, liver disease, HIV, skin cancer and other ailments.
Want to Live Longer? Drink More Joe
One study of nearly 20,000 people showed that those who drank a minimum of four cups of their favorite grind decreased the risk of early death by 64 percent over those who did not drink coffee. This gap widened even more dramatically after the age of 45.
Another study conducted in Spain in 2017 analyzed data from 20,000 people over a decade to see how coffee affected them and compared their health with the health of those who didn’t drink much coffee. This study showed that drinking coffee could drop a person’s risk of death by 64 percent. For those over the age of 45, their risk of death decreased by 30 percent. The optimal number of cups of coffee was four, eight-ounce cups daily.
The decrease in death rate was true for various ethnic groups across the board: Latino, African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian. Experts theorize that caffeine helps reduce inflammation, which aids in overall health. Additional lifestyle factors could also factor into the drop in death rates, such as individual or group exercise classes and diet.
Proceed with Caution
However, proceed with caution if you are pregnant and don’t drink more than a cup of coffee a day as studies have not yet determined the risks of caffeine to the growing baby. Coffee speeds up your heart rate, so cut down your caffeine intake, and in the most serious cases, do not drink coffee at all if you have a heart condition. If you struggle with falling asleep at night, avoid caffeine before bedtime and even earlier. Check with your doctor if you have any questions.
Whether or not you enjoy the energy boost that coffee provides, you will notice improved energy and better overall with regular women’s fitness classes at Flow Fitness Boutique. Check out our trendy fitness classes, including trapeze classes, Muay Thai, core de force, Tabata and much more. We also offer child care, making our women’s workouts ideal for busy moms. Stop by today!