Hiding your love for Joe? Everybody’s favorite Tall, Dark & Handsome has been getting a bad rap but now we’re giving you more than a few reasons to bring Coffee home to meet the fam.
1. Antioxidant Kick
In a study conducted in 2005, researchers at the University of Scranton found that the human body absorbs the most antioxidants from coffee. Analyzing the antioxidant level of more than 100 foods, study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., and his associates discovered that good ‘ole java provides a bigger antioxidant kick than popular trends like tea, milk, cranberries and yes, even chocolate. Vinson and his associates further found that, contrary to previous belief, coffee (both caffeinated and decaf) surpassed fruits and vegetables in antioxidant production as well. We’re not suggesting you replace your daily broccoli intake with a trip to Barnie’s, but a cup or two of coffee a day really will give you a boost.
2. Cancer Defense
Because of its incredible antioxidant production, coffee consumption has also been linked to lower cancer risks. Conducting a study that spanned 20 years, Brigham and Women’s Health Hospital along with Harvard University followed 112,897 men and women, finding that women particularly who consumed three or more caffeinated cups of coffee daily were much less likely to develop skin cancer than women who didn’t drink as much coffee. With beach season on the brink, it’s safe to say many of us gals will be trading our usual cooler cocktail for an iced Americano.
3. Cardiovascular Protection
Listen up Guys, this one’s for you! A Japanese study of more than 76,000 participants found that men specifically who drank one to two cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease-related death by more than 35%. While a cup of coffee doesn’t excuse you from an active lifestyle, if you want to boost your ability to maintain your gym membership, a cup of coffee a day may do the trick. On a related note, caffeine increases the amount of fatty acids in the bloodstream, allowing your muscles to burn more fat to fuel your mid-day workout.
4. Liver Love
Attention Weekend Warriors: according to a study published in 2006, which followed 125,000 people over 22 years, drinking at least one cup of coffee a day decreases your risk of developing liver cirrhosis by 20%. That’s right. The more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to succumb to an autoimmune disease brought on by excessive alcohol consumption; a disease that puts you at higher risk of liver failure and cancer.
5. Bye Bye Diabetes
Just one more reason to maintain your Starbucks Gold Membership is the impact coffee has on Type 2 diabetes. According to a study conducted by The American Chemical Society, drinking four or more cups of coffee daily can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 50%. You read that right. Your coffee addiction is literally cutting your risk in half. The study further found that each added cup of coffee reduces your chances of Type 2 diabetes by an additional seven percent.
6. Brain Boost
If you’re 65 and older, take note. Researchers from the University of Miami and the University of South Florida teamed up to study the effect coffee consumption had on brain health. What they uncovered is fascinating. Their study found that on average, individuals 65 and older with higher blood levels of caffeine postponed their susceptibility to Alzheimer’s by two to four years. That’s 730 – 1,460 more days to master sudoku and prepare yourself for the mental war called getting older. Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF, and co-author of the study, said, “We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”
7. Happy Hour
When you sheepishly admit that you feel a sense of euphoria in the morning when you’re hanging out with Joe, you’re not simply addicted to caffeine. Researchers at the National Institute of Health discovered that those whose daily intake of coffee surpassed three cups were ten percent less likely to struggle with depression than those who didn’t drink java at all. And the reason isn’t what you think. You owe your mental health to those trusty antioxidants and not your daily caffeine high. What other number significantly decreases when your happiness increases? The Harvard School of Public Health determined that suicide risk is 50% lower in men and women who drink at least two to four cups of coffee regularly. Why? Coffee acts as a mild antidepressant, aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
8. Stress Relief
Examining the brains of sleep deprived rats, researchers at the Seoul National University discovered that rats exposed to coffee aromas experienced actual changes in the brain proteins directly tied to that stress. This reaction once again directly correlates with coffee’s antioxidant boost. The coffee-sniffing rats in the study expressed brain proteins with healthy antioxidant properties proven to protect nerve-cells from stress related damage. Yes. Simply a whiff of your favorite bean may help reduce stress derived from lack of sleep.
So the next time a friend or family member expresses reservations about Java Joe, remind him or her of all the positive things Coffee does for you.
Remember to talk with your physician before making serious changes to your caffeine consumption, especially if you are at risk for caffeine related issues.