Is Coffee Beneficial to a Healthy Lifestyle?

Coffee, a beverage consumed by many across the world. Many lovers of the caffeinated drink enjoy it for both its energizing effects and rich flavors. Many have also raised concerns about the way’s coffee can affect your health, pointing to stunted growth and heart disease.

Recent studies, however, have shown that coffee can be advantageous for your health. When examining the health effects of coffee, it is important to consider cortisol.

Cortisol, dubbed “the stress hormone”, is a steroid hormone that regulates our immune responses, our metabolisms, and how we respond in pressured situations. For information on best Sumatran coffee brands, check out our dedicated article!

How Does Caffeine Affect Us?

Caffeine intake also boosts cortisol production in the body. While cortisol is healthy, too much can lead to health complications such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, and more.

This is not to say that you should abandon your daily cup of joe, though. Rather, you can regulate cortisol levels by drinking your coffee at a certain time. Natural cortisol production is at its peak when you wake up, eat lunch, and get ready for bed.

So, while drinking coffee first thing in the morning is a common American tradition, it is recommended that you begin sipping a few hours after rising. It is additionally advised that you halt consumption six hours prior to bedtime.    

Benefits to Drinking Coffee

While coffee consumption does come with some risks, it has also been found to have a plethora of health benefits. Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee is associated with improved heart health as well as protection against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and liver cancer.     

A study conducted in 2014 found that people who increased their daily coffee consumption by a cup or more over four years had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not begin consuming more. Research in 2017 determined that those who drink four to six cups of coffee-caffeinated or not-daily had a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome.     

Numerous studies have also shown that caffeine intake can prevent against Parkinson’s disease. One study found that men who drink between four and six cups of coffee a day have a 500% lower chance of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s than those who do not.

Further, a 2012 study also found that caffeine can help to mitigate movement in people with Parkinson’s. This same study also found that coffee drinkers are less likely to be diagnosed with depression and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.     

Coffee can Combat Certain Diseases

Research conducted in Italy found that coffee intake reduces the possibility of liver cancer by approximately 40%. The results of this study assert that those who drink three cups per day may have a 50% lower risk.  A 2017 meta-analysis determined that consumption of any kind of coffee seemed to reduce the risk of liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. Coffee drinkers also may have a lower risk of gallstone disease.     

Researchers in 2012 found that regulated coffee intake (two 8 oz. servings a day) can help to protect against heart failure. Those who consumed roughly this much each day were found to have an 11% lower risk of heart failure.  One study in 2017 found that coffee may have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, particularly blood pressure.

Other studies, however, also found higher concentrations of blood lipids and cholesterol in those who drank more coffee. Nutritionally speaking, simple black coffee is very low-calorie. The average cup of black coffee usually contains only 2 calories.

Coffee Contains Antioxidants

However, common additions to coffee such as milk, cream, and sugar, increase the caloric value.  Coffee beans are also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants help to rid your body of its natural waste, which are toxic and can cause inflammation.

This antioxidant is actually responsible for many of the ways that coffee protects against metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.     

What Does Drinking Too Much Coffee Do?

Drinking coffee can have other health detriments, though. Studies found that women who drink more coffee have an increased risk of bone fractures; men who drink more coffee, however, have a lower risk.

Coffee consumption also may not be healthy during pregnancy. Coffee consumers also have an increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease and anxiety.     

In summation, coffee can be a beneficial addition to a healthier life, when consumed in moderation.