Whether you’re the type of coffee drinker that tells everyone to avoid you until you’ve had that first cup in the morning, or the type that enjoys sipping on the hot beverage while enjoying dessert, coffee may be doing more for you than waking you up and pleasing your taste buds. The potent brew may actually be protecting your health. As a matter-of-a-fact, here are five important health benefits from drinking that cup of Joe:
1. Protects the liver
The liver, one of the hardest working organs in the body, is extremely vulnerable when it comes to poor diets and sugar intake. Coffee and liver health have now been linked, with those drinking four cups or more a day showing the strongest beneficial effects. These effects provide protection against liver disorders such as cirrhosis and also lower the risk of liver cancer.
2. Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is rampant across the population these days. Characterized by insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels, Type 2 Diabetes can lead to serious health concerns. Studies have shown that those least likely to develop it, however, are people who drink several cups of coffee per day.
3. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Keeping mental decline at bay is a goal for all of us. Alzheimer’s disease, the number one neurodegenerative disorder worldwide, is particularly troublesome and one we want to avoid if at all possible. Studies have now shown that drinking coffee can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 60%. Although not entirely sure why coffee is such a protectant, it turns out it may have something to do with what happens during the roasting of the coffee beans themselves.
4. Lowers the Parkinson’s disease risk
Simply put, Parkinson’s disease is a condition where the central nervous system (aka the brain and the spine) is slowly damaged. It follows closely behind Alzheimer’s Disease as the most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting the population today. Coffee, however, has been found to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by anywhere from 32-60 percent.
5. Heart-health friendly
Recent studies show that drinking at least three to four cups of coffee a day lowers the risk of developing heart disease. This may be due to the effects of caffeine on the body’s mitochondria This effect enhances their functioning and helps protect against damage to cardiovascular cells. Thus, coffee protects the heart.
Fortunately for us, coffee not only tastes good and may keep us more alert, but it also protects our health as well. Even the federal dietary guidelines today promote three to five cups of coffee as part of an overall healthy diet. Whether it’s drinking coffee for liver health, for protection against developing type 2 diabetes, for protecting our mental functioning, or protecting us from heart disease, the benefits of coffee are undeniable.