The Joy of Coffee: 10 Awesome Reasons You Should Start Your Day with a Cup of Joe
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I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a coffee fanatic. It’s the first thing I need when getting up in the morning and it’s also my go-to in the afternoon when I need a bit of a boost. But, it’s not just the caffeine content that I love. Talk to any barista that has dedicated years of their life to coffee, and you’ll start to understand how this humble bean can root itself in your memories, relationships and your creative pursuits. I say this not to pontificate, but to draw attention to the fact that coffee is much more than just a quick buzz.
But when talking to friends and family about my love of java, I try not to go so in-depth and instead share the benefits of coffee that are more practical and relatable. After all, it can be amazing for your health, brain, skin and more. And these days, great coffee is so easy to make at home, there is no excuse not enjoy some from time to time. So read on to discover why brewing yourself a cup of coffee is one of the best ways to start your day!
Improves Short-Term Memory
Researchers have discovered that when participants involved in a caffeine study received an amount of caffeine equivalent to a strong cup of coffee (about 100 milligrams), a noticeable uptick in brain activity was observed through an MRI machine while they performed a variety or memory-oriented tasks. When the researchers compared the performance of the caffeinated participants to the placebo group (meaning they got nothing but didn’t know it), reaction times were also improved. The researchers concluded that caffeine acts on areas of the brain that are involved in memory and concentration.
If you are looking to loose some weight, coffee might be able to help you in your fat burning efforts. Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee has as stimulating effect on your nervous system, which can then it turn send enhanced signals to your fat cells when in your body is in a caloric deficit.
Additionally, caffeine has a performance enhancing effect, which is going to mean more productive workouts and more calories burned during those sessions. Instead or pre-workouts loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners, try a nice espresso shot next time you are heading out to the gym.
Packed with Nutrients and Antioxidants
Whether it’s with multivitamins or other over the counter supplements, everyone is trying to get the nutrients they need to feel their best. Well, most people don’t realize that coffee has a great essential nutrient profile and is packed with riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, niacin, magnesium and manganese.
And, as an added bonus, it also contains a ton of free radical fighting antioxidants. So much so that many studies have concluded that it’s the most popular sources of antioxidants in the American diet.
Over the last 20 years, diabetes has become a huge problem across the world with over 400 million humans affected by it on some level. A few well-known studies have actually shown that people who consume four cups of coffee a day are at a much lower risk of developing Type II diabetes. If you are currently at risk, or diabetes runs in your family, this is a huge deal.
Don’t let the four cups a day keep you from receiving some of the protective benefits, as other studies have shown as little as 1 cup can make a difference. Newer single serve coffee makers can be great for this, just make sure to limit the sweeteners and creamers!
May Prevent Liver Disease
It doesn’t matter if you drink alcohol or not, many of the foods and drinks we consume put stress on our liver. It acts as a filtration system of sorts for our body and depending on your lifestyle, the liver may take quite a beating. Studies into a few of coffee’s ingredients have shown that they can protect against cirrhosis of the liver, a particularly nasty liver diseases that leave your liver filled with scar tissue instead of healthy, normal tissue. The causes of cirrhosis are varied (infections and obesity are some of the most common), but drinking coffee regularly has been shown to help detox the liver and protect against the onset of the disease.
Protection from Alzheimer’s and Dementia
If you aren’t familiar with Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s a tragic condition that results in loss of memory, behavioral problems and reduced mental clarity. As we age, your risk for Alzheimer’s increases steadily, and if you have ever known someone that’s suffered from it, you can attest to how devastating this condition can be.
Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee (around 3-5 cups per day) was associated with a significantly decreased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s later in life. The study focused on the consumption of coffee in people 40-60, but the other health benefits of coffee discussed here are probably worth considering even in your younger years.
Lowers Risk of Depression
Depression is a mood disorder that can have a huge impact on your daily life, yet millions of Americans deal with it every year. The good news is that a study performed in 2011 showed that an increased consumption of coffee will decrease your risk of depression. The researchers aren’t exactly sure how or why this works, but they suspect it has to do with the caffeine content and it’s mood-enhancing effects. I know after my first cup of coffee in the morning, I feel awesome and am ready to attack the day!
May Lower the Risk of Stroke
A stroke is an event that occurs in the body when a blood vessel that transports blood to the brain is either blocked or bursts completely (not so pleasant, I know). Scientists have discovered that people who drank as little as one cup of coffee per day have a lower risk of experiencing a stroke (about 20%), compared to those people studied who rarely, or never, drank coffee. When the researchers looked closer, coffee was found to protect even better against less common types of strokes to the tune of about 32%
Reduces the Risk of Skin Cancer
When the National Institute of Health (NIH) looked at certain type of melanoma, they found that a higher coffee intake was associated with a decreased risk of dealing with skin cancer at some point in your life. While coffee is certainly no replacement for common sense and sunscreen, adding some to your daily routine may help you in the long run.
Helps Improve Circulation
Did you know that all it takes is a 5-ounce cup of coffee to improve your blood flow up to 30%? This is a pretty large number in terms of what’s generally seen in these types of studies and is some of the strongest evidence we have when talking about the health benefits of coffee. Increased blood flow will result in better oxygenation of all your body’s tissue which itself has a number of life-improving benefits.
It’s pretty easy to see that no matter your age, gender, or amount of coffee you drink daily, there is at least one good reason to start your day with coffee. Plus, more and more research is coming out every day uncovering new, and even more incredible health benefits.
Ready to take your cup of coffee on the road? With BookCulinaryVacations.com, you’ll have the opportunity not only enjoy but also to learn how to create various delicious food and beverages through the wide selection of culinary vacations on offer! Want to read more of Remy’s posts? Be sure to head on over to her blog Miss Mamie's Cupcakes! She can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.