Coffee benefits the body and the senses! With its invigorating aroma, rich taste and natural burst of caffeine, coffee has earned its place as America’s favorite hot pick-me-up. This versatile brew owes its fame and flavor to a humble tropical fruit that, when sliced open, reveals a seed commonly called the coffee bean. Throughout the years, research has shown that this marvelous bean not only grinds up to produce a delicious drink-and even a great addition to some desserts like tiramisu-but it also has some major health-boosting benefits. Read on to learn how coffee benefits the joints, boost athletic performance and delivers several other surprising health benefits.
Coffee Benefits the Joints: Gout, a painful arthritic condition that afflicts the joints, results from an accumulation of uric acid (a substance that breaks down chemicals in certain foods) in the body which leads to crystal deposits in the joints. Coffee consumption has been shown to benefit the joints by decreasing uric acid levels, thereby lowering the risk of gout.
Coffee Benefits the Skin: A recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School, in partnership with Brigham & Women’s Hospital, demonstrated that women who consumed more than 3 cups of (caffeinated) coffee daily lowered their risk of a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma by 21 percent. Men who drank over 3 cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of this skin cancer by 10 percent.
Coffee Benefits the Liver: Approximately 30% of American adults suffer from NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies indicate that drinking 4 cups of coffee can benefit the liver by reducing the dangerous accumulation of triglycerides (bad fats) in the liver cells. Fewer accumulated triglycerides means decreased risk of NAFLD.
Coffee Benefits the Brain: A recent study involving rats indicated that an unknown compound in coffee, combined with caffeine in coffee, helped raise blood levels of GCSF, a type of growth factor that helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Coffee Benefits Your Mood: A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that women who drank at least 4 cups of coffee daily had a 20% lower risk of depression compared to women who consumed less or no coffee. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health also reported a 50% reduced risk of suicide in men and women who consume between 2 and 4 cups of coffee daily. Researchers believe that the caffeine in coffee may help stimulate the central nervous system as well as increase production of certain chemicals in the brain which help maintain positive mood, thereby reducing the risk of depression.
Coffee Benefits Athletic Performance: A study performed by the University of Birmingham indicated that caffeinated coffee, (at least 5 mg of caffeinated coffee) can boost endurance athletic performance when consumed one hour before exercise.
Coffee not only offers a quick and delicious pick-me-up, it serves up a surprising number of health benefits. So pour yourself a mug of your favorite flavor of java, and drink to your health!
Sources for “Coffee Benefits:”
- http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthlibrary/library/news/featured/doc.php?type=88&id=P10471 (skin cancer)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573201 (exercise)
- http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/coffee-depression-women-ascherio-lucas/ (depression in women)
- http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/drinking-coffee-may-reduce-risk-of-suicide-in-adults/ (suicide)
- http://hscweb3.hsc.usf.edu/health/now/?p=19816 (Alzheimers)
- http://www.arthritis.org/research/funded-research/research-update/journal-summaries/coffee-gout-risk/ (gout)
- http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/uric-acid-blood (uric acid info)
- http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/gout (gout info)
- http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/coffee-and-tea-may-contribute-to-a-healthy-liver (liver)
Originally posted 2013-11-18 13:15:03.