Coffee Is Good For You
Numerous studies have shown that daily consumption of coffee can help you to live a longer and healthier life. I was surprised to discover that the people in Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica regularly drink a few cups a day and are still among the healthiest, longest-lived people in the world. The reason for this may be the impressive amount of powerful antioxidants found in coffee.
Coffee Has More Antioxidants
Than Red Wine
According to a 2010 study led by researcher Perez Jemenez, for every serving of 200 ml of soluble coffee, there is about 387 mg of antioxidants benefits. Red wine, on the other hand, served about 269 mg of the same benefits per 125ml serving. The difference may be little when the two are served in equal portions but a difference nevertheless.
Typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than a typical serving of blueberries, grape juice, raspberries, or oranges. A cup of coffee contains up to four times as much antioxidant activity as a cup of green tea contains.
Believe it or not, studies from all over the world have shown that coffee is the single biggest source of antioxidants in the diet. The research, which was presented at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, showed that Americans get more antioxidants from drinking coffee than from any other dietary source, with researchers noting “nothing else even comes close.“(1)
Coffee is rich in polyphenols and contains over a thousand different compounds that improve the function of your cells. (2) Polyphenols are complex plant-derived antioxidants that protect us from disease by attacking free radicals, unstable molecules that cause illness and aging. Polyphenols can change the composition of your gut bacteria, increasing the amount of healthy bacteria and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Coffee also contains a type of polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, which reduces chronic inflammation, particularly in cells with a high fat content, such as brain cells. This is one way (of many) that coffee improves cognition. (3)
Dark roast coffee beans are richer in beneficial compounds. A study in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that dark roast coffee restored blood levels of the antioxidants more effectively than light roast coffee. (4)
One caveat: the antioxidants in coffee are only a few types of the many thousands of types out there. So it is still recommended that you seek a variety of dietary sources of antioxidants to consume different types.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Coffee
Drinking coffee has been associated with a reduced risk of many diseases. Research now suggests that coffee can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and cancers of the liver, kidney, prostate and more.
- A 10-year study presented recently (Aug 2017) at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona showed that people who drank four cups of coffee per day had a 64% decrease in their risk of dying from any cause. They observed a significant interaction between coffee consumption and age. Among those aged 45 and over, however, every two additional cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of dying during the study period by 30%. The association was not significant among younger participants. (5)
- The risk of depression appears to decrease with increased coffee and caffeine consumption, according to research published in the March 2016 issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. (6)
- A Japanese study in 2010 revealed that coffee consumption exerted a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. (7) Researchers have also found that coffee doubles glucose intake, which will greatly reduce blood glucose levels.
- Higher coffee and caffeine intake are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. (8) In fact, coffee is so preventative against Parkinson’s that drug companies are designing experimental drugs that mimic coffee’s benefits to your brain. (9)
- A study conducted by the University of South Florida and the University of Miami and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012 found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day may help elderly people with memory problems delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by two to four years. (10) (11) Caffeine itself may help ease cognitive decline and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by blocking inflammation in the brain. (12)
- A large meta-analysis of more than 2 million adults found that drinking one cup of coffee a day was associated with a 20% reduced risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer. Drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee per day was linked to a 35% reduced HCC risk. In fact, the more coffee people drink, the lower their HCC risk. (13) Coffee contains many antioxidants and phenolic compounds that may play crucial roles in cancer prevention, particularly liver cancer and chronic liver disease.
- A large 2011 study of nearly 50,000 men found that men who drank six cups of coffee per day had 60% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer, and those who drank three cups per day had a 30% lower risk. (14)
- Drinking four cups of caffeinated coffee daily might reduce your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. According to researchers, “coffee constituents suppress UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, induce cell apoptosis, protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage, reduce inflammation in epidermal cells, and inhibit changes in DNA methylation.” (15)
- In a study of more than 25,000 people, those who drank a moderate amount of coffee – defined as three to five cups daily – were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drank no coffee (16).
- A meta-analysis of studies between 2001 and 2011 found four or more cups of coffee a day had a preventive effect on the risk of stroke. (17)
- Researchers in Canada found that coffee helps your body produce ketones, and as participants drank more coffee, ketones in the blood increased. (18) The ketones produced after drinking coffee contribute to 5-6% of brain energy needs. (19)
Caffeine and coffee are different substances. Coffee has hundreds of chemicals and caffeine is just one of them.
Caffeine itself is an antioxidant, according to a study published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B by ACS. (20)
Pure caffeine is a white, bitter and odorless powder. It occurs in several plant species that are used to make beverages (including cocoa, tea, yerba mate and guarana). Caffeine acts as an antifungal agent in the coffee plant. The more stressed the plant is by fungus, insects, droughts or nutrient deficiency, the more caffeine it makes. It acts as a pesticide against some insects but sharpens the memories of others.
One study showed that honeybees were three times more likely to remember a floral scent after ingesting caffeine, helping to ensure their return and , in turn, the reproductive success of the plant. (21)
In humans, it has mild diuretic properties and acts as a mild stimulant on the nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems. Once consumed, caffeine can remain in your system for between four and six hours. Because it is both fat- and water-soluble, caffeine passes easily through the blood-brain barrier.
Caffeine increases breathing as well as the heart rate, resulting in a short burst of energy. Perhaps one of the primary reasons for coffee’s popularity is its ability to increase mental alertness with practically no negative side effects. Another great benefit of caffeine is the fact that it has been proven to increase the metabolism, which in turn, helps the body to burn off excess calories and body fat.
Food and Chemical Toxicology published a study in 2017, reporting that up to four 8-ounce cups of coffee per day (or about 400 milligrams of caffeine) is safe for most people. (22) While one 8-ounce cup of coffee will contain from 25 to 200 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine levels vary depending on type of bean, roast, grind, and brewing method. Darker roasts contain less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the prolonged heat breaking down more of the caffeine molecules. Bean species also differ widely in their naturally occurring concentrations of caffeine. In general the finer the grind, the higher the caffeine in the coffee.
Buy Whole Beans And Grind Them At Home
Coffee starts to lose its freshness soon after roasting, so it is important to purchase freshly roasted beans and use them within one to two weeks. An easy way to tell how fresh coffee beans are is simply by looking at the package and checking for a valve.
Coffee beans should always be freshly ground, because the oils and aromas unlocked from the grinding process degrade quickly, usually within fifteen minutes after grinding. Grind what you require only as you need it, and store the remainder of the beans whole in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. Coffee beans should not be stored in paper, because paper allows airflow. Heavy-duty foil is better alternatives for excluding air.
The type of coffee you drink is incredibly important because coffee beans are one of the most heavily pesticides-sprayed crops. Besides, conventional coffee is a high mold-toxin food. But that’s another topic for another blog day.
Lister, Carolyn; Antioxidants a health revolution : all you need to know about antioxidants; Christchurch, N.Z. : New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, c2003
Davis, Robert J.; Coffee is good for you from vitamin C and organic foods to low-carb and detox diets, the truth about diet and nutrition claims; New York : Penguin Group, 2012; 1st ed
Gianni, Kevin M.; Kale and coffee a renegade’s guide to health, happiness & longevity; Carlsbad, California : Hay House, Inc., 2015; 1st edition
Asprey, Dave; Head strong the bulletproof plan to activate untapped brain energy to work smarter and think faster–in just two weeks; New York, NY : Harper Wave, 
The information here is provided for informational purposes only. It is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. By using this site you agree to these terms. (Read more)
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