Looking for new ways to improve your health but feel like that means you have cut back on all the things you love? Well, coffee doesn't have to be one of them! When starting out on a new health improvement journey, many people often have the false idea that cutting back or even eliminating coffee entirely from their diet, is a necessary part of any new plan. Well, the good news is… it doesn't have to be! In fact, keep reading and you'll see that continuing to have coffee as part of your daily diet, actually has multiple health benefits!
Now first off, it is essential to note that not just any cup of joe will work. Those sugar-loaded, whipped cream versions from your favourite barista down the street have absolutely zero health benefits. Because obviously, when you're dumping a boatload of sugar and dairy products into your morning brew, these calorie-filled concoctions outweigh the natural benefits of those pure ground coffee beans. But you already knew that.
No need to despair, though! Your caffeine fix is still possible. So how does one get that magic pick-me-up without all the bad stuff? The answer is in black coffee. But wait a minute? Black coffee? Yes, you read that right. Now, it's completely normal if the first thought that comes to your mind is the nasty bitter taste of black coffee. Everyone's had it, and let's be honest; everyone hated it. But it doesn't have to be that way! There is a solution to avoiding that bitterness from black coffee, which you can read about here.
The key is also in moderation. Like most things, anything to excess is not healthy, but many things in moderation can be. With coffee, moderation is defined as two to three cups per day. This is a reasonable and enjoyable amount that will give you the health benefits but still avoid some of the negative issues associated with too much caffeine.
Again, the key here is not just to be drinking coffee but to be drinking it correctly. Because when you do, there are many important health benefits that have been proven to have a positive effect on the body. Despite there being multiple advantages that could keep us here all day, for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the top ten only. So here we go! What are the top ten health benefits of drinking black coffee?
Top 10 Health Benefits to Drinking Black Coffee
PUTS YOU IN A PEAK MENTAL STATE
Who can argue with that feeling of early morning haziness drifting away, followed by particular alertness coming over your mind? That's the feeling of caffeine hitting your system, and it gets you started right each and every time! We know that the caffeine in coffee acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. It literally wakes us up and makes us feel focused and alert. And it's not just an abstract feeling. Many studies have shown that, depending on the level of intake, caffeine can help to improve mental performance, especially on alertness, attention, and concentration. Does this happen with any coffee though? Well, yes and no. You can still feel the effects of the caffeine, even if you've loaded up your mug with sugar and dairy. What you might not know, though, is that you are also feeling the rush of sugar hitting your system. That rush feels great at the beginning, but there is the notorious sugar crash that follows soon after. With black coffee, though… no crash at all, just an excellent energetic high.
HEIGHTENS ENERGY LEVELS
Speaking of energy levels…ever get the feeling that you need a late afternoon pick me up? Sure, you have! And you know that a mid to late afternoon cup of coffee works wonders. That's once again because of our friend's caffeine. Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Psychoactive. Just the term tells you everything you need to know! After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. After which, it travels to your brain. Once there, the caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. When this happens, the number of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons. Sounds complicated? It's actually quite simple. All this means is that your brain is getting fired up just as if you were plugging it into an electrical outlet. Black coffee is the perfect way to make this incredible recharge happen!
CAN MAKE YOU HAPPIER AND HELP FIGHT MILD DEPRESSION
This is a great reason to drink black coffee! Because of the boost that coffee gives you, it has been proven that it can help to fight normal depression slumps and bring you to a happier state of mind. Coffee also contains chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid. These acids reduce the inflammation of nerve cells that take place in the brains of people suffering from depression. Along with caffeine's natural antioxidant properties, coffee acts as an anti-inflammatory in the affected parts of the brain. This has the potential to relieve some of the discomfort and distress caused by depression, which has been proven to be directly related to inflammation.
HELPS OBTAIN A PEAK PHYSICAL STATE
Is it possible that we can achieve a peak physical state as a result of drinking black coffee? Yes, it is! Coffee, with its high levels of caffeine, has been proven to aid in burning fat at a faster rate during exercise. Therefore, when taken as a pre-workout drink, a cup of black coffee can aid in your quest for that ultimate peak physical state. You know the one. The one that makes you feel like you lift heavier and run faster? Thanks to a cup of black coffee, you can get there. Also, the peak stimulant effect of coffee occurs thirty to sixty minutes after drinking a cup. Once caffeine enters our bloodstream, several responses begin to happen in our bodies. Blood pressure and heart rate increase, fat is broken down, and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream. That's why we typically feel energetic and ready for a great workout. Even when ingested after a workout, coffee helps to cut post-workout pain caused by lactic acid. Another benefit of drinking black coffee is that it becomes easier to consume fewer calories during the day. This is due to the compounds and caffeine in the coffee that suppresses the appetite.
CONTAINS ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Coffee beans contain several vital nutrients, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, and several micronutrients, most important potassium, magnesium, and niacin. These are crucial nutrients that the human body needs to function at high levels. The amount of potassium, for example, in one banana, is 422mg while a cup of black coffee offers you 116mg of potassium. Obviously, the banana has more, but realistically speaking, how many bananas do you want to eat in a day versus the amount of coffee you prefer to drink? Consider your answer as you ponder the fact that the human body needs, on average, 3,500-4,700mg of potassium per day!
HUGE SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are chemicals that fight free radicals, which in turn help to protect the body's cells from damage. Free radicals are dangerous to the human body because they make it sick. Studies have indicated that the antioxidants in coffee may have a protective effect against some cancers, as well as other chronic diseases. Antioxidants have also been thought to fight obesity and aid in losing weight as well as helping overall eye health. In short, antioxidants and specifically those found in coffee beans are naturals chemicals that fight to maintain overall physical health.
MAY LOWER RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
How do these antioxidants work to prevent or lower the risk of these diseases? Well, let's start with diabetes, for example. It has been proven that there's a bioactive compound present in coffee that increases insulin secretion and reduces fasting glucose levels. Again, this is about black coffee only. Because once you load up your cup with dairy and sugar, all the health benefits that lower your risks, suddenly increase them again.
POTENTIAL TO LOWER RISKS OF CANCER
Cancer is everywhere in this day and age, and everyone seems to be on a quest to find ways to prevent it. Is it possible that black coffee could be part of this answer? Part of this holy grail of protection against cancer? There is, in fact, some reason to believe that it could. Coffee is brewed from beans that contain antioxidants. Which, as we discussed in one of our previous points, fight free radicals and is therefore thought to have a protective effect against cancer. Fighting cancer is the ultimate battle of good versus evil cells going to war inside the body. If the good, healthy cells have more antioxidants on their side, they have a much strong fighting chance at protecting their territory and helping it to heal if those breaches are indeed broken.
MAY LOWER RISKS OF HEART DISEASE AND STROKE
Strokes and heart disease are just as common but are sometimes less emphasized diseases as compared to cancer. This does not mean they should be forgotten. Years ago, coffee was once said to increase blood pressure, increase cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of heart attacks. However, more recent and subsequently, more conclusive studies have suggested that black coffee probably does not increase the risk of heart disease. In some cases, it may even be beneficial. Why? This is because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
PROTECTS AGAINST DENTAL DISEASE
New studies suggest that drinking black coffee helps protect your teeth from cavities and other forms of periodontal disease. According to one study, those who drink an average of three cups of black coffee may have fewer cavities than people who don't drink any coffee at all! Black, strong, and unsweetened has always been the way among coffee connoisseurs. However, there is more than just prestige at stake! Now we learn that drinking black coffee could be the key to keeping our teeth clean as well! Scientists found that coffee with high-quality caffeine content actually destroys the bacteria, which causes dental plaque. As your hygienist has probably said to you many times… plaque, caused by food and subsequently sugar resting on your teeth for long periods, is the reason for all those nasty fillings. But again, the coffee must be drunk without milk, cream, or sugar as these will have a counterproductive effect. Instead of creating more plaque, it will help to keep your teeth cleaner!
Overall when you look at all the top 10 health benefits to drinking black coffee, it is clear why many say that it can help you to live a longer and healthier life! So, raise your mug and join us in cheering for coffee! You can now feel confident in your decision to continue keeping caffeine as part of your dietary health plan. No need to force yourself into giving up your old dear friend.
Continue to pour yourself a cup of hot steaming coffee each morning and again once or twice in the afternoon as well! Just remember to make sure that you are using high-quality beans and that you are drinking it black. Black coffee is the only way to ensure the above-listed health benefits. Keep sugar and dairy products far from your coffee, and you will be on your way to a healthier new life!