Do you, like many others, grab a cup of coffee first thing every morning? Has it gotten to the point where you don’t think you can function without it? The good news is there may be a lot more to that morning cup of coffee than simply helping you prepare for the day. Although the actual benefit of drinking coffee has been a controversial topic for decades, it turns out that sipping that morning cup of Joe may have several health benefits. Here are four reasons coffee may be healthier than you expected.
Depression is a serious mental health disorder that has a significant effect on daily living. There are several types of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD makes it difficult for many people to overcome the feelings of sadness, loneliness and fatigue. Studies have shown that drinking coffee may reverse the symptoms of various forms of depression, including SAD. Drinking coffee helps ward off depression by stimulating serotonin and dopamine, which are feel-good hormones.
Protects Your Liver
Your liver is responsible for a vast array of responsibilities. Unfortunately, it’s also subject to a variety of diseases, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis. Steady consumption of coffee has been shown to lower the risk of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis. In addition to reducing the risk of cirrhosis of the liver, drinking coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer. Studies reveal that drinking coffee has a lowering effect on the blood levels of the liver enzymes. When liver enzymes are elevated, it results in inflammation and damage to the liver. Coffee may counteract this effect. In fact, studies have shown that subjects who drank the most coffee had lower levels of enzymes.
Improves Brain Health
Not only is coffee a great way to boost your cognitive functioning, but it has also been shown to provide a surge in brain activity. It’s believed that the caffeine in coffee affects the area of the brain that’s responsible for memory and concentration. So drinking it may actually boost your short-term memory and help you focus. As an added bonus, one study found that drinking coffee on a regular basis may prevent the decline in cognition that is typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Packed with Antioxidants
Antioxidants play a variety of good roles in your body. They help combat inflammation, which can be a part of or lead to chronic conditions such as arthritis. They also fight free radicals, which may lead to quicker skin aging (wrinkles). One of the newest trends is drinking green tea, which is full of antioxidants. Well, coffee drinkers need not give up their morning cup of Joe for a cup of tea just yet. Studies claim that unprocessed coffee beans have approximately 1000 antioxidants and there are hundreds more that develop during the roasting process.
From antioxidants to brain health, there are several health benefits that come with drinking coffee. However, moderation is the key. It’s generally recommended that two to three (8 oz) cups per day is moderate. Also, keep in mind that the way coffee is prepared and how you drink it has an effect on how it affects your body. It’s best to drink organic blends of fresh coffee and skip the cream or sugar, substituting almond or coconut milk instead.
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