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The Top 8 Health Benefits Of Coffee

Written by: Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Did you know that coffee was labeled as a carcinogen in 1991 and it took years and hundreds of studies to reverse that in 2016? Now coffee is known to be an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, and anticancer effects.

Friends having coffee together at coffee shop

Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of over 1000 bioactive compounds (polyphenols), some with potentially therapeutic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, or anticancer effects.


One 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a moderate amount of coffee is generally defined as 3-5 cups a day or 400 mg of caffeine on average.


Here are the top 8 health benefits of coffee: Average amount of coffee consumed in the research studies was 3-4 cups.


1. CVD – 19% lower risk of death from heart disease, heart failure, and stroke


However, it has been found that drinking moderate amounts of coffee increases total cholesterol values. This was mitigated by filtering the coffee


2. Reduced risk of developing certain cancers like:


Prostate, uterine, melanoma, oral, leukemia, non-melanoma skin cancer, colon cancer, and liver cancer


However, lower coffee consumption was better for people with lung cancer who smoked.


3. Liver Health


Your liver is a big filter and cleans toxins out of the blood. In moderate coffee drinkers, there was a 29% lower risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and risk of developing gallstones because of a reduction in the inflammation from the antioxidants. Coffee also helps reduce liver enzymes.


4. Drinking 3-4 cups of Coffee was consistently associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, depression, cognitive disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.


I want to pause here to point out 2 groups where lower coffee consumption is better:

  • For pregnant women, high coffee consumption was associated with a lower birth rate

  • Women with osteoporosis at increased risk for fracture or who have multiple risk factors for osteoporosis

5. Reduced risk of diabetes due to your body processing glucose better.


6. Control your weight


Dark-roasted coffee


According to some research, coffee could alter fat storage and support gut health, both of which may be beneficial for weight management


7. May improve athletic performance and energy levels


8. You may live longer because your DNA is stronger, especially drinking dark-roasted coffee


What can you do to make your cup of Joe even healthier?


Switch up your sweetener or creamer – Instead of using sugar or flavored syrups, try more natural low-calorie sweeteners like stevia, and monk fruit, or add a dash of cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, nutmeg, or cocoa powder for flavor.


Why? Coffee creamers often contain thickening and stabilizing agents as well as partially hydrogenated oils which will negate the heart health benefits of coffee.


Many creamers are also sweetened, and the added sugars, calories, and fat can add up quickly, particularly for people who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels or weight.


Cow's milk or unsweetened plant-based milk are low-sugar ways to lighten up your cup. If you're committed to creamer, be a label detective and check out what's in your go-to product.


However, an important caveat is that milk can reduce the number of polyphenols by decreasing the absorption of heart-healthy antioxidants.


While coffee is a pleasurable part of your lifestyle, there are other factors that make a bigger impact on your health such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. But drinking coffee is a great addition to those key health factors.


Decaffeinated coffee is a good option if one is sensitive to caffeine and offers similar health benefits as caffeinated coffee.


It is a myth that darker roasts contain a higher level of caffeine than lighter roasts. In fact, certain types of lighter roasts have a slightly higher concentration.


Is artificially flavored coffee bad for your health? Manufacturers coat coffee beans with artificial flavors that have been combined with a solvent called propylene glycol, a common food additive, and flavoring agent. Propylene glycol is generally considered safe for food use by the FDA.


However, if your goal is to cut out additives then organically grown light-roasted coffee and coffee grown at high altitudes have the highest number of antioxidants.


The bottom line is that the healthiest cup of coffee is black, filtered, organically grown light roasted coffee. I am not willing to give up my creamer but have ditched the sugar and artificial flavorings.


References are available upon request by emailing Wendy here.


Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit her website for more information on obesity, gut health, mindset and hormones. Read more from Wendy!

 

Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Wendy Crabbe, an oncology nurse practitioner and now expert in helping health professionals and women over 50 lose weight, struggled all her life with her weight. She wondered if she was so smart, why couldn’t she lose weight? The causes of obesity are about more than excess food intake and not enough movement. It’s also related to altered hormones and alterations in the gut microbiome. She was finally able to lose the weight with mindset coaching and adopting a science-based approach that she uses with her clients today. She is now on a mission to help hundreds and thousands of women over 50 get healthier; because when women get healthier, their families get healthier.

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