Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Coffee benefits are many, but for several years it was seen as potentially harmful to your health. A recent study published in 2014 has changed that perception. People wrongly assumed that because coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant, it could lead to increased blood pressure and heart attacks. However, coffee is rich in antioxidants and other bioactive compounds that benefit the cardiovascular system.
Scientist reviewed data from a million people, of which about 120,000 died over many years. Lifestyle factors were tracked and controlled for, and people that consumed coffee were compared to non-coffee drinkers. Coffee drinkers had a reduction in all-cause mortality, that is coffee drinkers were less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers. Drinking any amount of coffee was associated with a lower death rate, but maximum reduction in death was noted at 3-4 cups of coffee per day.
It’s surprising when something that was once considered questionable for your health turns out to have health benefits. Still, as usual there is a limit to the benefits and the key word is moderation. Studies have shown that the optimal amount ranges from 3-5 cups per day.
What’s In Your Cup
What visually is only a cup with brown water has more nutrients than one might realize. But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants. The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants drinking coffee than eating fruits and vegetables. This is mainly to two reasons. First, the average person drinks 3-5 cups of coffee per day – thus multiplying the amount of nutrients. Second, in the typical Western diet people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. Please note that we are talking about antioxidants and coffee is not a substitute to fruits and vegetables.
A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of brewed coffee has many nutrients including :
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.
- Folate: 1% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 3% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group.
Coffee on my Mind
Other Coffee Benefits
- Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of becoming depressed and are significantly less likely to commit suicide.
Given it is a stimulant coffee also has some negative effects on your body. Further, caffeine is an addictive substance. It can lead to tolerance and well documented withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness and irritability.
For some people, caffeine contributes to insomnia, anxiety and panic, which may mean coffee is not a good choice for those people. Perhaps the most important negative impact of coffee is the risk of osteoporosis. Caffeine causes loss of calcium in the urine. Scientists have been concerned that losing calcium in the urine may impact bone density over time, increasing the risk of weakened bones, known as osteoporosis, and increasing fractures, especially in elderly.