Coffee stands at the second most consumed beverage on the planet, only beaten by water.
Humans love coffee. Within a couple of hundred years, the bean made it from Ethiopia to every continent on the planet. Yes, scientists in Antarctica love a good cuppa joe too! Coffee shops around the world have become popular, from the first Starbucks in Seattle to West Berkshire Roastery in the UK.
With so many people drinking these little beans, you’d assume it’s healthy for you, right?
Well you’d be assuming correctly. Coffee is considered to be a healthy drink by most organisations. With it’s high levels of antioxidants and micronutrients, a moderate amount of coffee drunk each day is deemed healthy.
So go put a brew on, and let’s dive into some of these health benefits.
The Important Nutrients
There are 100s of chemical compounds in a single coffee bean, and a lot of these end up in your brew.
One 100ml cup of black coffee contains:
- Manganese (0.05mg)
- Sodium (trace)
- Potassium (92mg)
- Magnesium (8mg)
- Niacin (0.7mg)
- Riboflavin (0.01mg)
These important nutrients are essential for optimum body function. They contribute to the process of converting food into fuel, metabolism of amino acids, bone formation, reducing inflammation, and a whole host of other things.
So when you’re sipping that first cup of coffee on a morning, not only does it taste beautiful, you’re also fueling your body with essential nutrients.
Improves Energy Levels
We’ve all heard of that all important stimulant called caffeine, the world’s most commonly consumed psychoactive substance.
When you drink coffee, the caffeine rapidly enters your bloodstream and makes it’s way to your liver, where it is broken down into its compounds. From here, it begins to have an affect on your body, mainly on your brain.
A neurotransmitter called adenosine is responsible for making you tired. Caffeine blocks the receptors of this neurotransmitter in your brain, stopping that feeling of drowsiness. Dopamine and norepinephrine levels increase, giving you the feeling of more energy too.
That is, until caffeine’s effect wears off, then you have what you might refer to as a ‘crash’.
As long as you’re not drinking a huge amount of caffeine every day, around 2 or 3 cups, then you shouldn’t really have a crash, but for the first couple of hours after that first morning brew you’ll feel more energised.
Help Reduce Risk Of Parkinsons Disease
It’s been well known for a long time that caffeine is a powerful aid at protecting the body against Parkinsons Disease. Seeing as though coffee contains quite a lot of caffeine, it comes at no surprise that this beverage has this benefit aswell.
Starting in 1968, there have been several studies showing that coffee drinkers were much less likely to develop PD. Plus there have been many epidemiologic studies to back this up.
Coffee also contains sugars, fatty acids, organic acids, and amino acids. A recent study on one fatty acid in coffee, with a name that I cannot pronounce, Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (or EHT), has provided some compelling insights into the biochemical protective mechanisms for a cup of coffee.
It showed that EHT and caffeine slow down the progression of the neurodegeneration associated with PD in mice.
To Sum Up
Coffee, when consumed in moderation, is an incredibly healthy drink that has been consumed by our ancestors for hundreds of years.
Not only does it have lots of essential nutrients, but it can also improve our mood and energy levels.