Coffee is one of our favorite beverages, coming in second only to water (how crazy is that)? Your cup of coffee comes with plenty of nutrition and health benefits! From boosting heart health to powering you through your workouts, these are the 7 most amazing health benefits of coffee!
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Coffee
1. Coffee Could Help You Live Longer
Who doesn’t want to find the secret to a longer life? Thanks to the antioxidants in coffee and all of the health benefits listed below, coffee can help you live longer and be healthier. Finally, a habit to feel good about 🙂
2. Love Your Heart with Coffee
Regularly drinking coffee is linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease and hypertension (coffee helps lower blood pressure) and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to cardiovascular problems, aka health problems that affect your heart, arteries and blood vessels in your eyes. Coffee can also prevent stroke… so you’re loving your brain too!
3. Coffee Boosts Your Exercise Benefits
The caffeine in coffee helps you push yourself further during a workout, whether it’s weight training or cardio.
How does it work? The caffeine in coffee makes your workout seem easier so you can push yourself harder without even noticing.
Caffeine in coffee also helps to boost your focus and lengthens the amount of time before you feel tired. Gotta love that!
4. Coffee May Prevent Cancer
Enjoying a couple of cups of coffee may prevent liver cancer and endometrial cancer. New research also links drinking caffeinated coffee to a lower risk of breast cancer. There was previously some concern that coffee might increase the risk of throat cancer (esophageal cancer).
The World Health Organization has clarified that hot beverages are a risk factor for throat cancer, not coffee. Make sure your coffee and other hot beverages are below 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). Personally, I don’t know how people can drink something that hot… I wouldn’t be able to feel my tongue for weeks!
5. Coffee Protects Your Liver
Drinking coffee may help prevent liver damage. A recent review study suggests that drinking 2 extra cups of coffee a day slashed the risk of liver cirrhosis by almost half. Liver cirrhosis is a disease where healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue.
Before you take this as an opportunity to order another martini, this doesn’t mean you can drink more alcohol and undo any damage with some extra coffee. Being overweight, not getting enough exercise, and overdoing it on alcohol put stress on the liver that can’t be reversed with coffee. Get the real deal on hangover cures in my video that helps separate fact from fiction.
6. Coffee Fights Depression
Coffee can prevent depression with each additional cup of coffee helping to lower the risk of depression by 8%. The mood-boosting effects of coffee seem to be caused by its antioxidants that lower inflammation.
Keep in mind that if the caffeine in coffee causes anxiety or keeps you awake at night, it’s time to cut down. You need to get enough sleep and manage stress and anxiety to keep your mood on an even keel.
7. Coffee Prevents Parkinson’s Disease
Regularly drinking coffee is linked to a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Coffee is believed to have neuroprotective effects, meaning it helps protect the brain and nerves from damage or inflammation.
For people who have Parkinson’s Disease, coffee helps improve the effectiveness of L-DOPA, a drug that helps manage Parkinson’s symptoms.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol With Coffee
Coffee is considered to be heart-healthy because it may help lower the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease at 2 to 3 cups a day. You may have heard that coffee raises cholesterol levels. That can be true, depending on how your coffee is made. Choose “coffee that’s been filtered (aka drip coffee) instead of using a French press. Coffee filters remove a compound called cafestol that can raise unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels..
How Much Caffeine Should You Have?
Despite the many health benefits of coffee, you can get too much of a good thing. Limit your daily caffeine to 400mg a day, or a max of 4 cups of coffee. When I say “cup”, I’m not talking about a venti, extra large or massive mug. A cup is 8 fluid ounces (250 mL). If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, limit your caffeine intake to 200 mg or less a day.
Some people are sensitive to caffeine and may need to cut down even more. If you feel anxious or have trouble sleeping, it may be worth replacing some of your caffeinated coffee with decaf and slowly weaning yourself down.
Another interesting tidbit: The amount of coffee and caffeine you should have each day might depend on your genes.. If you’re a “fast caffeine metabolizer” you’re likely to get heart health benefits from drinking 2 – 4 cups of coffee a day. If you’re a “slow caffeine metabolizer” caffeine stays in your body longer, so you should limit your coffee drinking to less than 2 cups a day. See a registered dietitian who offers a nutrigenomics test to find out if you’re a slow or fast caffeine metabolizer.
Make Your Coffee Healthier
Take a look at what you’re putting in your coffee. Do you regularly treat yourself to fancy drinks loaded with sugar and whipped cream? Limit your coffee additions to a splash of almond milk or milk and use cinnamon instead of sugar and artificial sweeteners for an extra boost of antioxidant power.
For a delicious spin on a coffee house favorite, try my recipe for a Vegan Cafe Mocha. It’s low in sugar and super yum!
If you want to enjoy your coffee along with the health benefits of chocolate, check out my 5 Minute Tiramisu. It’s a healthier version of the traditional Italian dessert that you can make ahead for your next gathering.
What do you love most about coffee? Share your thoughts in the comments below!