Caffeine is probably the world's best-known addiction.
A good dose of caffeine can help to wake you up, make sure that you stay focused on the tasks of the day, and it provides you with plenty of energy too. We all love getting some extra caffeine with our coffee each morning- the question is - how healthy is it?
There's been a lot of debate over the years about whether coffee is dangerous for your health. When people use caffeine as a crutch to help them cope with poor sleeping habits and other problems - that's where issues can start to arise. At the same time, it's very easy to overdo it with coffee if you're drinking it 24/7. However, coffee in itself isn't bad for you.
In fact, drinking plenty of coffee can be an important way to boost your healthy lifestyle. Most of the research shows that if we use coffee correctly, it can protect us from everything from diabetes to heart disease. One study even showed that people drinking up to 4 cups a day are 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular problems.
How Does Coffee Improve Your Health?
So, what can coffee do to help you live a healthier life?
According to studies from all across the globe, your daily brew could do a lot more than simply give you the early morning pick-me-up you need. The impact of coffee can go all the way from simply boosting your antioxidant levels, to improving your chances of fighting back against cancer. Here are just some of the biggest ways that coffee improves your health.
1. Coffee Is a Great Source of Antioxidants
Have you ever wondered why whole coffee beans are so much better for you than the pre-ground stuff you find on grocery store shelves? The simple answer is that whole coffee beans come packed full of antioxidants ready to fight against problems in your body. In fact, coffee comes packed with more antioxidants than cocoa and green tea. Unfortunately, as soon as that coffee is ground, freeze-dried and stored, it begins to lose its benefits. That's why it's so important for coffee to be fresh!
2. Coffee Improves Your Memory
When you first have your cup of coffee in the morning, you've probably noticed how it helps to bring you to life and help you concentrate on various tasks throughout the day. However, coffee doesn't just boost your energy levels; it can also improve your memory too. According to one study, drinking coffee improves the functioning of the memory portions of your brain, so you're more likely to learn at an accelerated pace.
3. Coffee Could Protect Against Certain Cancers
Coffee could be one of the many healthy products that can protect you against the C-word: cancer. According to one study, heavy coffee drinkers (people who consume more than three cups a day) see a significantly reduced risk of cancer. A review of various forms of research into coffee and cancer found that at least one cup a day can reduce your chance of suffering from liver cancer by 15% and reduce your risk of endometrial cancer by 8%!
4. Coffee Makes You Happier
You probably don't need a scientist to tell you that coffee makes you feel good, but here's some research anyway! One large study into more than 50,000 women found that drinking a minimum of one cup of coffee each week could be enough to reduce the risk of suffering from depression by 15%. Another study that looked at more than 100,000 men and women found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from suicide.
5. Coffee Reduces your Risk of Diabetes
Finally, plenty of research into coffee has begun to show a connection between drinking your favorite brew and reducing your risk of diabetes. According to one 2009 study, the risk of developing diabetes can drop by up to 7% for every cup of coffee you drink each day.
How to Make Coffee Part of Your Healthy Lifestyle
So, now that you've seen the evidence that coffee is good for you - how do you add it into your healthy routine? After all, it's important to remember that while coffee is good for you, the way that you drink it can either enhance or reduce the benefits it has to offer. Here are just a few tips to get you started.
1. Drink It at the Right Time of Day
Most of us start our days with a delicious cup of coffee - and that's great. The problem is when you start drinking coffee all the way through the day. Coffee is designed to stimulate the mind and wake you up. That means that if you drink it too late, you could suffer from problems like insomnia. With that in mind, it's important to make sure that you don't start brewing a new batch of coffee any later than 3 pm. Of course, you can always pay close attention to the way your body responds to coffee and adjust your schedule accordingly.
2. Don't Add Any Artificial Sweeteners or Sugars
Crave something sweet with your coffee? You're not alone; there are plenty of people out there who like to enhance the flavor of their coffee by mixing it with sugar, sweeteners, and even flavored syrups. The problem is, packing your coffee full of sugar is a great way to diminish all the benefits this substance has to offer. Remember, sugar boosts your chances of suffering from problems like obesity and diabetes.
3. Choose an Organic Blend
The quality and type of coffee you choose can have a huge impact on how beneficial it is to your health. A freeze-dried ground coffee from your local store isn't going to deliver as many fresh benefits as whole-beans that you grind yourself at home. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is look for an organic coffee that comes packed full of delicious nutrients. Remember to make your coffee with filtered water too, to enhance the benefits you can get out of it.
Embrace your Coffee Fix Carefully
Coffee has a huge number of benefits to bring to the average person - but it's important to make sure that you're drinking it correctly. Your aim should be to take advantage of all the great things that coffee has to offer, and that means you need to make sure that you're drinking it for the right reasons. If you're using coffee as a crutch to help you cope with hectic work life and a poor sleep schedule - then you're going to need to make some lifestyle changes.
Bio: Caroline is a coffee lover and a health enthusiast who likes to spend her time researching the latest fitness and wellness studies related to the world of self-care. When she's not writing, Caroline can often be found with an espresso in hand, talking to friends or relaxing in front of the television with her kids.