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Caffeine is good for you, then it’s bad for you, the answer seems to be ever changing, so what is the actual truth? While there are very few things that are good to consume in excess, coffee, when ingested in reasonable amounts, can potentially be very good for your overall health.
Here is why.
Coffee is good for the mind
The active ingredient in coffee is of course caffeine, the most commonly used psychoactive stimulant in the world, and it can in fact be good for our brains.
This is because caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and by blocking adenosine, caffeine will actually increase the firing of neurons in the brain and release other neurotransmitters like dopamine.
Many studies have shown that caffeine can actually have a positive effect on mood, reaction time, memory and overall cognitive function.
It can contribute to weight loss
Caffeine can contribute to weight loss because it raises our metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. The consumption of coffee has also been shown to improve athletic performance by mobilizing fatty acids from fatty tissue and in two different studies, caffeine was discovered to increase exercise performance by 11-12%.
It can help to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
Now a worldwide epidemic, around 300 million today are living with diabetes, a condition that is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
In some observational studies, coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, from 23% to 67%. In these studies, the more coffee people drank, the lower the risk.
It can lower the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
In prospective studies, coffee drinkers had up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s and a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinson’s.
It’s good for the liver
Cirrhosis is the final stage of liver damage caused as a result of diseases like alcoholism and hepatitis and studies have shown that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Cirrhosis by up to 80%.
It’s filled with antioxidants
Coffee is actually the largest source of anti-oxidants in westerner’s diets and even ranks above fruits and vegetables combined.
With so many health benefits, why wouldn’t you drink coffee?
Although coffee can benefit the body in many ways, there are reasons why it has been thought to be not- so- healthy in the past.
Coffee is a highly addictive substance, and because of this, many coffee drinkers cannot limit the number of cups they drink and can eventually come to depend on coffee to get them through the day.
Also, for a large percentage of coffee drinkers, cup after cup of coffee means a lot of extra calories. This is of course due to the fact that many people fill their cups with cream and sugar two, three, four times a day.
Coffee in excess can also stain your teeth and can keep you from getting some much needed sleep if taken too late in the day.
And yet, if you limit the number of cups you consume in a day, and refrain from filling it with heavy amounts of cream and sugar, coffee can actually be beneficial to your health. So flick on your coffee maker and take your coffee break, you just might be doing yourself a favor.
This is a guest post by Anita. She is a healthy eater, a blogger and a writer for Higher Click. She is currently writing on behalf of Macy’s.