The Little-Known Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Ah, coffee. Who can resist the aroma and the energy that it gives? Some cannot start the day without brewing and sipping a cup of hot coffee, and others even cannot function productively in a day without it. No wonder coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. 

When you hear about coffee, you always think about caffeine, the substance that perks you up and something that makes sipping soothing. But is drinking coffee good for you?

Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, research nutritionist, says that besides caffeine, coffee has antioxidants and other active substances that can reduce internal inflammation and protect the body against diseases. However, the question would be, what type of coffee contains those health benefits?

Healthy coffee is not the same for everyone

a man on a sofa, sipping a cup of coffee, and a cat

The best coffee for you won’t be the same for your mother, who has diabetes. If you want to lose weight, a calorie-free coffee is good for you. Shanta Retelny says that plain, unadulterated coffee has no calories, but it can become a high-calorie and not-so-healthy drink when adding sugar, cream, whipped cream, and flavorings.

There are some reasons why adding sweeteners and creamers to your coffee lessens its health value. Research in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that milk reduces polyphenols from coffee that the body takes in. In other words, your creamer might hinder your body’s ability to absorb coffee’s heart-healthy antioxidants.

Meanwhile, for someone who has anxiety and heart problems, decaf coffee is safer to consume. However, a diabetic person can enjoy sugar-less coffee without worries. For someone who are fighting disease through an anti-inflammatory diet, the healthiest cup of coffee might include turmeric or a soothing cinnamon.

Whether you want it hot or cold, a healthy coffee can give you various health benefits as long as you consume it in moderation. 

Here are some of the little-known benefits of coffee that you might not have heard of.

Lose Weight

a cup of black coffee, and coffee beans

There are slimming coffee sold in the market. Can coffee truly help lose weight?

Caffeine alone won’t speed up weight loss, but it can help in boosting weight-loss efforts or help prevent weight gain by suppressing appetite, burning calories, and even burning fats. Most beverages and every commercial fat-burning supplement contain caffeine — and for a good reason. It’s proven to aid fat burning. Many studies show that caffeine can boost metabolic rate by 3–11%. Meanwhile, other studies suggest that caffeine can increase fat burning by as much as 29% in lean people and 10% in obese individuals.

Contains Essential Nutrients

A single cup of brewed coffee contains the following:

Manganese and potassium: 3% of the RDI

Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI

Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI

This may seem small amounts, but most people don’t just stop in just a cup but a few cups of coffee in a day, especially on a busy day when energy and alertness are needed.

Lowers Risks of Heart Failure

If you have a weak heart having difficulty pumping enough blood to the body, drinking cups of healthy coffee can help you. Drinking coffee may help ward off heart failure. Studies show that people who drink more than one cup of coffee in a day had a lower long-term risk of heart failure.

The Framingham and Cardiovascular Health studies suggest that those who consume a cup of coffee in a day drop the risk of having heart failure by 5%-12% than those who didn’t drink coffee.

Another study from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study states that only those who drink two cups of coffee a day had a 30% lower risk of heart problems. 

Lowers Risks of Developing Parkinson’s disease

Caffeine is not directly linked to lowering the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease, but it may help people with the condition to better control their movements.

An experiment among 77,713 women who were followed up for 18 years, showing that for those not taking postmenopausal hormones (PMH), coffee was as protective against Parkinson’s disease (PD) as in men. Among women taking estrogen, the risk for PD was like in men with low coffee consumption but significantly increased four-fold in women drinking six or more cups of coffee a day compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes worldwide health problem. Studies observe that people who drink several cups of coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Another study showed a reduction as high as 67%. In addition, a review of 18 studies comprising a total of 457,922 people who consume a cup of coffee daily was linked to reducing the risk to 7%.

Decreases Risks of Having Alzheimer’s Disease

Among Americans, people who have Alzheimer’s disease are hugely women. Some studies suggest that two cups of coffee a day may provide significant protection against developing the said condition to lessen this number. Researchers even found that women aged 65 and older drinking two to three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop dementia in general.