Here it is! The news that you’ve been waiting for…coffee can actually be considered as health food! Yes, that’s right! Great news! This is because, in some situations, coffee actually has some pretty great health benefits. Let’s take a closer look!
First of all, it’s essential to understand the connection between inflammation and the body. Inflammation is both good and bad. Within the body, it helps protect against infection and injury. However, chronic inflammation is also a marker of weight gain and disease. Many of the hallmarks of modern life can actually make this risk even higher. Things like stress, inflammatory foods, and low activity levels create more inflammation and problems in the body. But what if there was something you already wanted to do each morning that could help with these issues? There is, and it’s pouring yourself a warm and delicious cup of coffee!
According to new research, coffee has recently been said to help lower the inflammation that worsens with age. This is supposed to happen due to the way that coffee affects the immune system. Results of this are the possible ways that coffee could be warding off diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even dementia. It all comes down to how coffee affects the immune system. We already know and love that feeling of the way coffee wakes us up in the morning, but do you know how that happens? It occurs when the caffeine blocks the effects of a molecule called adenosine. When this molecule is being blocked from the brain cells, we feel the impact of being more awake. However, in the body, this blocking can also block the pathways that produce inflammatory molecules. This correlation could be a thrilling discovery for coffee lovers everywhere!
There has even been evidence that suggests that polyphenols, which are the antioxidants found in coffee and tea, may have positive effects on the immune system and chronic inflammation. During this research, is seemed that regular coffee drinkers had lower circulating levels of the typical inflammatory markers that usually correspond to chronic diseases.
This is fantastic news for coffee drinkers and those concerned with having a more anti-inflammatory diet. But the key thing to remember is that it is not with coffee alone that you will reduce all the inflammation in the body. Many foods do the same thing, and it’s the combination of them all together that make the most significant impact.
We know that chronic inflammation leads to a host of medical issues. Things like cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and even rheumatoid arthritis can all be linked to inflammation. Following an anti-inflammatory diet with coffee as one of those components can help reduce these risks.
It is the compound called arachidonic acid that is the main contributor to inflammation. This compound is commonly found in animal products. Anti-inflammatory diets, therefore, call for minimization of animal products and encourages a more plant-based diet. Yet another perfect reason to drink your coffee black! Bypass the dairy products and make your already anti-inflammatory coffee even more healthy!
The fact that coffee is anti-inflammatory is not the only reason that you should be drinking it! For this information to be helpful, you need to understand why those anti-inflammatory properties are crucial to good health. With this in mind, here are ten reasons why having an anti-inflammatory cup of coffee or two a day is a healthy choice.
Caffeine boosts your short-term memory.
There have been several studies done whereby groups of people have been asked to perform memory tasks with and without coffee. Those who have had a cup of coffee performed at a higher level almost every time. Not that this should come as a surprise! You can feel the effects of a coffee on your brain almost immediately!
This is because caffeine affects the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and concentration. It basically boosts your short-term memory, although the full effects do differ per person.
Coffee is a great source of healthy antioxidants.
Everyone has heard that green tea and cocoa are high in antioxidants, but did you also know that coffee has even more antioxidant activity than either of these two? There are about one thousand antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans and hundreds more that develop during the roasting period.
First of all, these antioxidants take us right back to the topic of inflammation. Antioxidants fight inflammation, which is a major underlying cause of many chronic conditions, including arthritis and several types of cancer. They also neutralize free radicals, which occur naturally as a part of everyday metabolic functions. Free radicals cause oxidative stress that leads to many chronic diseases. In other words, antioxidants help keep us healthy because they protect our cells from damage.
Coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.
In addition to providing a temporary boost in brain activity and memory, regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Although there are several theories about how coffee may help prevent or protect against cognitive decline, there is one that stands out the most. It’s that caffeine prevents the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain that may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.
Coffee is healthy for your heart.
Moderate coffee drinkers have been found to have a twenty percent lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee drinkers. That number is definitely worth celebrating! This is because of the evidence that shows that coffee can support heart health by protecting it against artery damage caused by…you guessed it! Inflammation!
Coffee may help curb certain cancers.
Coffee has been shown to help with lowering the risks of prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and there are even ties between coffee and lower risks of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancer.
How can coffee be this powerful? From the polyphenols, which are antioxidant phytochemicals found in coffee. When tested, they have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties are thought to help reduce the inflammation that is potentially responsible for these and other tumors.
Coffee can lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
New growing research suggests that there is an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Up to a fifty percent lower risk of developing diabetes than light drinkers or non-drinkers. Those are pretty big numbers!
It is believed that coffee may be beneficial in helping people to avoid type 2 diabetes at bay in the following ways:
- By assisting the body to use its insulin and protecting the insulin-producing cells. This enables the effective regulation of blood sugar
- By preventing tissue damage
- By battling inflammation, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Your liver loves coffee.
Coffee consumption has been linked to lower instances of cirrhosis of the liver, more great news for coffee! This is especially true in correlation to the way alcohol can destroy the liver. This is because it turns out that there is an inverse relationship between coffee and the blood levels of liver enzymes. Higher levels of liver enzymes mean more inflammation and damage to the liver.
Coffee can enhance exercise performance.
We have been told that coffee is dehydrating, which is often why we think that coffee and workouts don’t go together. However, new research shows that a moderate amount of coffee consumption (think one or two cups pre-workout balanced by the same amount of water) actually doesn’t dehydrate or interfere with your workout but actually helps to combat fatigue and enables you to exercise harder and longer. Caffeine can be a performance and endurance enhancer
Coffee helps with depression.
Researchers have seen a connection between caffeine and lower levels of depression because of how it activates the neurotransmitters in the brain that control your mood. This means higher levels of dopamine and serotonin.
Coffee helps to avoid gout.
Coffee’s antioxidant properties have been shown to lower the risk of gout because of the way that it decreases the production of insulin, which in turn lowers uric acid levels that cause…you guessed it! It’s inflammation!
These recent discoveries about the anti-inflammatory properties of coffee and all their benefits are great reasons to enjoy a moderate amount of coffee. Between the health benefits connected to lower risks of disease and the links to longer lifespans, there has never been a better time to brew a cup or two. The fountain of youth has been one of man’s quests since the dawn of time.
Another way to combat inflammation and reach higher levels of health and wellness is to consider changes to your diet. You can check out some quick and insightful information on the well-known and results yielding bulletproof diet HERE.
Whatever you do, though, you can rest easy knowing that your daily coffee is working as an anti-inflammatory and doing good things for your body!