7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOUR MORNING COFFEE
From helping burn fat to lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, we reveal why a cuppa a day keeps the doctor away.
By Shane Conroy
A growing body of research is dispelling old myths that coffee is bad for your health. Now, researchers believe that coffee plays an important role in maintaining good health, and may lower your risk of developing a range of life-threatening diseases including cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. But remember, coffee isn’t a cure on its own. Rather, it should be consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
1. COFFEE HELPS… BURN FAT
Next time you go on a diet, don’t eliminate coffee. Studies have shown that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 11 per cent. It also increases your fat burning ability – by around 10 per cent in obese people and by almost 30 per cent in thinner individuals. And coffee may even improve your performance at the gym – one study revealed that men who drank a cup of coffee an hour before cycling completed their workout five percent faster.
2. COFFEE HELPS… PREVENT KIDNEY STONES
If you suffer from kidney stones, it might be worth adding coffee to your diet. A Harvard study revealed that people who drink one or more cups of coffee per day are 26 per cent less likely to develop kidney stones. That’s because caffeine increases urination, which expels the excess calcium and sodium that researchers believe cause kidney stones.
3. COFFEE HELPS… PROTECT YOUR BRAIN
Alzheimer’s and dementia are terrifying diseases that currently have no known cure. Prevention is the key, and coffee could play a role in protecting your brain from these debilitating diseases. Studies have shown that drinking coffee could reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 65 per cent. A Japanese study also found that people who drink just one cup of coffee per day are 20 per cent less likely to suffer from a stroke than non-coffee drinkers.
4. COFFEE HELPS… LOWER YOUR RISK OF DIABETES
Adult on-set type 2 diabetes is at near epidemic levels and comes with a range of associated health risks including heart disease, nerve and kidney damage, eye problems and even Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that research suggests coffee could be a useful weapon in the fight against type 2 diabetes. A review of 18 separate studies determined that your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is reduced by seven percent for each daily cup of coffee you drink. That’s because coffee contains chlorogenic acid that has been shown to reduce blood sugar concentrations.
5. COFFEE HELPS… PROTECT THE LIVER
Cirrhosis is a serious disease of the liver that can be fatal, and liver cancer rates have increased by an average of four per cent per year over the last decade. However, studies have shown that people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day have up to an 80 per cent lower risk of developing cirrhosis. Researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Centre also found that people who drink two to three cups of coffee per day are 38 per cent less likely to develop liver cancer.
6. COFFEE HELPS… INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN INTAKE
Forget the latest trendy superfood — good old coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the western diet. A single cup off coffee contains vitamin B2, B3 and B5. B2 helps to prevent heart disease and cancer; B3 helps to balance blood cholesterol levels; and B5 helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
7. COFFEE HELPS… PROTECT AGAINST CANCER
Along with reducing your risk of developing liver cancer, one study revealed that people who drink four to five cups of coffee per day have a 15 per cent lower risk of contracting colorectal cancer, and researchers from the National Cancer Institute in the US believe that people who drink four or more cups of coffer per day are 20 per cent less likely to suffer from melanoma.