The health impact of coffee has long been a controversial topic, with advocates touting its antioxidant activity and brain-boosting ability, and detractors detailing downsides such as insomnia, indigestion and an increased heart rate and blood pressure. But the latest wave of scientific evidence brings a wealth of good news for coffee lovers. Here are 5 reasons drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought.
1: Coffee is a potent source of healthy antioxidants
Scientists have identified thousands of antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Antioxidants fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many chronic conditions such as arthritis and atherosclerosis and many types of cancer. Also found in coffee is Chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, and is thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
2: Coffee is healthy for your heart
A landmark Dutch study, which analysed data from more than 37,000 people over a period of 13 years, found that moderate coffee drinkers (who consumed between two to four cups daily) had a 20% lower risk of heart disease as compared to non-drinkers.
3: Coffee is great for your liver (especially if you drink alcohol)
A study published in 2006 that included 125,000 people over 22 years showed that those who drink at least one cup of coffee a day were 20% less to develop liver cirrhosis – an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer.
Studies have also shown that coffee can help prevent people from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School revealed that drinking four or more cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing the progression of NAFLD.
4: Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50%. The proposed reason is because coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
5: Coffee consumption has been linked to lowered risk of type 2 Diabetes
Men and Women who consumed 6 or more cups per day had a 22% lower disk of Diabetes. A recent review of research conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu showed that the risk of type 2 Diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased the risk by 6% per cup.