Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages on the planet. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed by people worldwide every day. However, coffee still has a controversial reputation when it comes to health benefits.
Mounting research now suggests that coffee can substantially prevent the onset of numerous ailments, like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
What’s in Coffee?
Coffee contains many bioactive compounds that are good for the body. Here are three of the most important ones:
Caffeine acts as a mild stimulant in the central nervous system. It’s responsible for giving us mental alertness and improved attention span. If you drink coffee after a workout, caffeine helps the body release more glycogen, which allows the body to recover from muscle pain after vigorous exercise. Health buffs will be happy to discover that caffeine speeds up the body’s natural metabolism, helping you burn fat faster.
Coffee also contains chlorogenic acids such as coffeic acid and quinic acid, which lower glucose in the blood and regulate insulin spikes caused by the intake of sugar and carbohydrates. This is how coffee, which is absorbed in the body through the gut, can help prevent illnesses such as adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes.
Melanoidins are compounds formed in coffee during the roasting process and are capable of helping the body rid itself of free radicals that do damage to the body in the form of inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular, and other chronic health problems.
Coffee consumption studies in the US and Europe have also found that coffee carries the highest amount of antioxidant substances in the body daily. This has a lot to do with the amount of coffee consumed daily by millions of people – although coffee per se is only ranked 11th in terms of highest antioxidant content.
Consuming Coffee in Moderation
A lot of research is still being done on the benefits of coffee for the human body. One of the most important announcements of the last five years comes from the World Health Organization, which in 2016 stated that it was removing coffee from the world’s list of potential carcinogens. Other significant findings suggest that coffee may help prevent other illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease and relieve symptoms of depression.
That’s not to say you should consume unlimited cups of coffee a day. Three to five cups a day are considered a safe, moderate amount Caffeine has a half-life of about 5-6 hours in the body, so if you have trouble sleeping, try not drinking any more coffee after 2 or 3 pm or switching to decaf, which may contain between 7-15 mg of coffee or about 3-8 percent of the Caffeine in regular coffee.