Guess what? Coffee is bad for you. Or, is it good for you? It seems like every day there’s new information about whether we can enjoy those glorious morning cuppas guilt-free, or if we should hide our takeout cups in shame.
Well, here’s the potential bad news: too much coffee has been linked to higher blood pressure, anxiety and nervousness. That’s because coffee contains caffeine, and caffeine is a stimulant. But as we all know, too much of anything is bad for you.
When consumed in moderation, there are myriad benefits to enjoying a cup of java. Such as …
It gives you cleaner arteries
Yup, you read that right. A recent Korean study indicates that coffee drinkers have less calcium deposits in their arteries, which means they’re at a lower risk for developing heart disease.
It can make you smarter
Coffee helps to block a neurotransmitter called Adenosine in your brain, which means it is freer to fire off dopamine and norepinephrine – the things that help to improve mood, memory, reaction time and overall cognitive function.
It’s good for your liver
On this one, it doesn’t matter if you drink regular or decaf. Early studies indicate that coffee drinkers have lower levels of the enzymes that are usually linked to liver damage.
It helps you burn fat
Caffeine stimulates our central nervous systems, which in turn increases our metabolisms. Who doesn’t love that?
It also makes you a better athlete
Not only does coffee help rev up our metabolism, but it also enhances physical performance by helping to oxidize the fatty acids that form fat tissues.
It might lower your risk of diabetes
There have been multiple studies that report drinking good old java could actually lower your risk of developing Type II Diabetes. Mind you, there are plenty of other things you can do to prevent developing the disease, too.
It might lower your risk of Alzheimer’s
Studies show that some coffee drinkers have up to a 60 per cent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia thanks to a compound the go-go juice contains called polyphenols.
And Parkinson’s too
Although the jury is still out, some studies indicate coffee could lower the risk of developing the disease by 32-60 per cent.
It has nutritional value!
An average cup of coffee is more than just caffeine and water – it has Vitamins B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) and B1 (Thiamine). Not to mention Potassium and Manganese, too.
It’s chockfull of antioxidants
Move over blueberries and pomegranate seeds. We’re getting some of our toxic free-radical fighting juju from coffee these days. Especially since new research shows it could have up to four times as many antioxidants as green tea.
It gives your more energy
But then, we all knew that one, didn’t we?
Just smelling coffee helps to de-stress
So that’s why we love smelling the stuff first thing in the a.m. And in the afternoon. And sometimes when we come home from work…
It might make you less depressed
Studies show coffee drinkers are 10 per cent less likely to be depressed as their non-coffee drinking counterparts are. Although the jury is still out, research indicates this has more to do with the high antioxidant levels than the caffeine.
It lowers your risk of skin cancer
Sorry guys, but you’re out of luck on this one. Early research shows coffee could help prevent cancer from developing in the skin cells – but only in females.
It gives you increased libido
Turns out coffee is great for gals in the bedroom, too – the caffeine is said to stimulate the part of the brain that regulates arousal in females.
It wards off… gout?
OK guys, here’s one that’s all yours. Coffee consumption in men may actually decrease the risk of developing the disease.
It prevents cavities
No, this isn’t an endorsement to swap that mouthwash for a cuppa joe in the morning, but research indicates that drinking the stuff could help prevent cavities. The catch? Only if you don’t add cream, milk or sugar.
And it could protect against gum disease, too
A 2014 study on men who drank coffee indicated a small reduction in periodontal bone loss, which is linked to gum disease. Why could that be? Well, in addition to those antioxidants, coffee has anti-inflammatory properties. Now that’s something to smile about!
So what are you waiting for? Sip that cup of coffee to your little old heart’s content. It might be good for it.
Want to know how much coffee is too much coffee though? Test out this handy little caffeine calculator now.