Health Benefits of Coffee

coffee beans

Here are some recent finds on the health benefits of coffee. I have culled these from various sources to reassure you (and me) that coffee is healthy and that we need not be conscience-stricken by our coffee habit.

1. Coffee lowers cholesterol.
A study published in the August issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that coffee contains a kind of soluble fiber which lowers cholesterol. Unfiltered coffee, on the other hand, contains cafestol which raises cholesterol levels. Don’t worry though as cafestol is already removed from instant coffee and when you filter coffee with a paper filter.

2. Coffee lowers risk for type 2 diabetes.
The combined results of nine studies involving 193,000 subjects were analyzed recently by the Harvard School of Public Health and it was shown that regular coffee drinkers have significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

3. Coffee lowers risk for heart disease.
In the February 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was reported that regular coffee drinkers had 53% lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee drinkers. The coffee drinkers were described as healthy adults who are below 65 years old and who have been drinking 4 to 6 cups of coffee.

4. Coffee lowers risk for suicide.
In a study documented in the Word Journal of Biological Psychiatry, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health discovered a surprising find: drinking several cups of coffee a day is associated with a 50% lower risk for suicide compared to non-coffee drinkers.

5. Coffee packs more antioxidants.
Serving to serving, coffee has more antioxidants than blueberries (though I doubt if they have more antioxidants than moringa). These antioxidants include chlorogenic acid which is similar to polyphenolic antioxidants in grapes. We know that antioxidants neutralize free radicals  which are some of the major causative agents of cancer. Free radicals are constantly being formed in our bodies as by-products of regular, normal metabolism. If we take care to load up on antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables, free radicals are taken care of as they crop up. But when we have a diet devoid of antioxidants, these free radicals accumulate and wreak havoc in our cells, which will ultimately lead to proliferation of aberrant or cancer cells. The rich antioxidant profile of coffee accounts for their health benefits.

6. Coffee packs magnesium.
Magnesium is one mineral which has been found to help prevent insulin resistance which is typical of diabetes. Normally, insulin facilitates the uptake of glucose (sugar) into the cells to fuel activities. In insulin resistance, insulin no longer has its usual effect and the cells no longer take up sugar. Sugar stays in the bloodstream, leaving the cells hungry while the blood gets clogged up by sugar. Diabetes is essentially starvation in the midst of plenty.

These are just some of the health benefits of coffee. There are other preliminary studies which show that drinking coffee could also lower the incidence of Parkinson’s Disease and certain cancers. There may be some more health benefits of coffee yet to be found. Stay posted guys! I will blog next about healthy coffee and the healthy ways of drinking coffee.

Sources:
eatingwell.com
cbsnews.com
huffingtonpost.com

You may want to read the entire series on coffee:
Is coffee good or bad?
Health Benefits of Coffee (this article)
Healthy Coffee and Healthy Ways of Drinking Coffee
Healthy Coffee Add-ons

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