Your morning cup of Joe may have much more benefits than you could have ever imagined! Not only does it wake you up at the break of dawn… it also affects you positively both physically and mentally.
Nutritionist Maria Baghdoyan sheds light on the associated benefits of its moderate consumption (yep, that equates to around 3-4 cups daily) on our mental and physical health.
COFFEE AND HEALTH
Coffee, which continues to be one of the most consumed and popular beverages in the world, is naturally rich in antioxidants that help protect body cells from harmful molecules. Science today shows that there are many health benefits to consuming coffee in moderation and that there may be components limited to coffee intake that will contribute to these benefits.
Black coffee contains several micronutrients, particularly Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin and has a low Sodium level and it’s almost calorie free. (2 Kcal per 100ml).
Coffee is widely known for its caffeine content. This mild central nervous system stimulant has also been shown to contribute to reducing the probability of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Caffeine is found naturally in around 60 plant species of which cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves and coffee beans are the most well-known.
Coffee helps you work, learn and exercise better:
Perhaps one of the most common myths attached to coffee consumption is the effect of caffeine on health. Current scientific evidence shows that moderate intake of caffeine can provide several benefits associated with mental and physical performance:
- The caffeine in coffee helps restore and maintain alertness; improving mental performance and concentration, enhancing your mood; and, thus, it facilitates productivity among workers and students alike. In addition, it boosts energy for better sports performance in endurance athletes and can also reduce post-workout muscle pain and feelings of fatigue during the last minutes of work-out.
Moderation, however, is key in making the most of the caffeine benefits. It is also important to take into consideration the caffeine present in sources besides coffee, such as soft drinks, tea, energy drinks or dark chocolate
But how much is "moderate"? Maria explains: "Caffeine content in a cup of coffee may vary depending on the origin or composition of the blend, method of brewing, and strength of the roast. However, experts advise coffee drinkers to limit their daily caffeine daily intake by less than 300 mg to 400 mg, which is equivalent to 3-4 cups of soluble coffee."
Coffee naturally contains a variety of phenolic compounds that display antioxidant properties which help protect the body from damage to its cells. And by doing so, it may contribute to protecting your body from the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 20-25%*, heart disease, cancer and premature aging.
Studies show that consumption of caffeine-containing beverages, as part of a normal lifestyle, does not lead to excess fluid loss and have no adverse effects on hydration.
COFFEE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
There is plenty we can all do as individuals to reduce the impact our coffee has on the environment. Buying a reusable cup, recycling packaging and only boiling as much water as you need each time all help in their own small way.
“For all the above reasons, there is a lot more to your coffee than what meets the eye! So, experiencing the revitalizing benefits of a refreshing cup of coffee while enjoying its exquisite taste and aroma, is also an occasion to get together with family, friends and work associates every day,” concluded Maria.
* Huxley R, Ying Lee CM, Barzi F, Timmermeister L, Czernichow S, Perkovic V, Grobbee DE, Batty D, Woodward M (2009) Coffee, Decaffeinated coffee and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine 169(22): 2053-2063