Health Benefits and Side Effects of Coffee
- June 20, 2018
Is coffee good for health?
A cup of coffee may be good or bad for you in many ways. From many centuries, coffee has been praised as well as taunted for its benefits and side effects respectively. It has been blamed to cause impotence and madness, other times a cure for laziness or “gift from heaven”. But what are the actual facts? Let’s find out.
Coffee is a drink made from coffee beans, which are the roasted fruit of the Coffea Arabica bush. People drink coffee to relieve mental and physical fatigue and to increase mental alertness. Coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles.
Research on coffee and its pros and cons for humans is nowhere near finished, but here is a list of what we know at the moment.
- Coffee boosts your physical performance. Have a cup of black coffee about an hour before workout and your performance can improve by 11-12%. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood. Adrenaline is your body’s “fight or flight” hormone which helps you to prepare for physical exertion.
- Coffee may help you lose weight. Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks.
- Coffee helps you focus and stay alert. Moderate caffeine intake, 1-6 cups a day, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness.
- Coffee lowers risk of death. Studies have shown that coffee drinker’s overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than of those who don’t drink coffee.
- Coffee reduces risk of cancers. One study has shown that coffee may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer in men by 20 %, and endometrial cancer in women by 25 %. People in the test group drank four cups of coffee a day. Caffeine may also prevent developing of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer
- Coffee reduces risk of stroke. Reasonable consumption of coffee (2–4 cups a day) is associated with lower risk of stroke.
- Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinking decreases risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25 %. There’s evidence that coffee causes activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
- Coffee protects your body. Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants that work as little warriors fighting and protecting against free radicals within your body.
- Coffee may lower risk of Type II diabetes. Caffeine decreases your insulin sensitivity and impairs glucose tolerance, therefore reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee protects your brain. High caffeine levels in your blood reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease. It also lowers risk of dementia.
- Coffee brightens your mood, helps fight depression and lowers risk of suicide. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood. Two cups of coffee a day prevents risk of suicide by 50 %.
- High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels.
- According to a research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, it is said that caffeine is a drug. While low to moderate doses are generally safe, caffeine is addictive and users can become dependent on it and find it difficult to quit or even cut back.
- More than two cups of coffee in a day can increase anxiety and disrupt sleep patterns, leading to a vicious cycle of restless sleep, relying on caffeine to help with daytime fatigue, followed by more insomnia.
- Caffeine interacts with some medications, including thyroid medication, psychiatric and depression drugs, the antibiotic Cipro and the heartburn drug Tagamet.
- Don’t drink more than one cup a day if you’re pregnant because it directly affects the fetus.
- There is some concern that drinking more than 5 cups of coffee per day might not be safe for people with heart disease. But for people who don’t have heart disease, drinking several cups daily does not seem to increase the chance of developing a heart problem.