The Amazing Benefits of Coffee
By Sara Butler
If you’re one of the 83 percent of American adults who drink coffee, prepare yourself for some good news. Coffee just happens to be an incredibly healthy drink. It helps to get you going in the morning and it’s actually good for your health. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of coffee that are making a buzz.
The Active Ingredients
The reason coffee is so incredibly healthy has to do with what’s in it. Coffee contains several hundred compounds that have been found to contribute to your health. They include:
- Caffeine – You may not think of caffeine as a health booster, but just the right amount of it can be good for you. It stimulates your brain and is one of the most consumed substances in the world.
- Chlorogenic acid – These are antioxidants that may help with high blood pressure and blood sugar metabolism, which have been linked to age-related mental deterioration.
- Kahweol and cafestol – These compounds are found in the natural oils of the coffee bean. Some preliminary research indicates they may contribute to liver health and defend against some types of cancer. Be warned that too much of either can also raise levels of LDL cholesterol - the "bad" kind.
- Trigonelline – This is an alkaloid compound that turns into nicotinic acid (Vitamin B3) when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. It is thought to help inhibit the growth of bacteria that contributes to the formation of dental cavities.
Coffee’s Impact on the Brain
As mentioned, coffee stimulates your brain. It makes you feel alert by inhibiting the neurotransmitter in your brain that can make you feel sleepy. That’s why coffee too late in the day can make it difficult for you to go to sleep at night!
Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, though. In the short term, studies have found coffee to actually increase brain function, and can do so through improving:
- Reaction time
The only downside to the positive effects of coffee is your body’s ability to become tolerant to it. Eventually, you’ll have to consume even more coffee to get the same impact.
Reduce Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but research has found there are factors about your diet that can impact your development of these brain diseases. There have been no randomized controlled trials, but in observational studies, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Now you can enjoy that morning cup of joe knowing you’re not only getting your day off to a good start but giving your brain power a boost too!