Coffee Lovers: 6 Benefits You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite Drink

Sep 11, 2013
Guest Poster

Health-Benefits-of-Coffee

The strong earthy smell of freshly roasted coffee — Many of us just can’t live without it. Today, Samantha Joyce from  Seattle Coffee Gear spills the beans about how coffee and espresso can help you live a longer and happier life.

Our bodies are all unique, like snowflakes. For some folks who are sensitive to caffeine, steering clear of “the evil bean” is the right choice. However, if you love coffee and you want to incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle, check this out.

Coffee Lowers Health Risks in Six Important Areas:

Type 2 Diabetes: There is a 7% drop in the occurrence of type 2 diabetes for coffee drinkers. This is fantastic news since diabetes affects 8.3% of the U.S. population according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The reason may be because coffee contains magnesium and quinides, which help control blood glucose levels.

Heart Failure: Coffee substantially decreases the risk for heart disease and two cups per day decreases the risk of heart failure by 11% according to WebMD. The same active coffee compounds that decrease the risk of diabetes, also decrease the risk of heart disease and heart failure.

Gout:Coffee consumption contributes to a decreased risk of gout in men over age 40, according to a 12 year study. “The risk of gout was 40 percent lower for men who drank four to five cups a day and 59 percent lower for men who drank six or more cups a day than for men who never drank coffee,” explained an Arthritis.org post. An antioxidant called cholorgenic acid causes the uric acid levels to drop, not caffeine, so decaf coffee is just as beneficial.

Parkinson’s Disease & Cancers: Due to its antioxidant properties, the Mayo Clinic reports coffee can protect against certain types of diseases and cancer of the skin, mouth, liver, breast or prostate. Beneficial antioxidants found in coffee include: polyphenols, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, try an espresso prep, which yield higher levels of antioxidants than other coffee brewing methods.

Depression & Suicide: In a combined study with the AARP, the National Institutes of Health found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 20% less chance of depression than non-coffee drinkers. In addition, according to a recent Harvard School of Public Health study, drinking two to four cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide in both men and women by 50%. This is likely due to the fact that caffeine is a stimulant that may increase neurotransmitter production of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

Stroke Risk: Coffee lowers risk of stroke in men and women by 17% according to several studies reported in the Huffington Post. This is because of the combined effect of caffeine and quinides in coffee that help improve blood flow.

Coffee lovers don’t need an excuse to grind some beans and drink more coffee! But, in order to reap these health benefits, remember all coffee is not created equal. Keep the following in mind:

  • An American serving size of coffee is 5 ounces. In other words, a Starbucks Venti cup is equal to 4 servings of coffee.
  • Drink black coffee, Americano coffee or doppio espresso. Avoid dairy, non-dairy, sugary or alcoholic additives.
  • If selecting decaf coffee, choose the Swiss water process or carbon dioxide method instead of other chemical decaffeination treatments.
  • Select organic coffee and espresso beans to avoid agricultural pesticides and fungicides.
  • Get to know your local coffee roaster. Buy fresh roasted whole coffee beans and grind them just prior to use for the biggest antioxidant benefit.
  • And finally, one of my Mom’s favorite proverbs, “Moderation in all things.”

Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things coffee.

(Photos: Bruno Cordioli )

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