Lots of people consider drinking coffee to be a bit of a naughty habit, a few cups out of the office vending machine will help get you through the day but probably isn’t very good for you. In actual fact, more and more research is showing that coffee intake might actually be beneficial for you, for a number of reasons. So get brewing!
1. Preventing cancer
Research conducted at the American Association for Cancer Research suggests that the risk of developing some cancers is reduced in people who drink coffee. Drinking coffee may also reduce your risk of death from oral or pharyngeal cancer by about 50%, established in a huge study known as the Cancer Prevention Study II in which over 1 million participants have been studied over 30 years.
2. Fighting depression
A team at the Harvard School of Public Health think that women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day will have a 20% lower risk of developing depression than those who don’t drink it at all. Regular coffee drinkers were also less likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure or diabetes.
3. Improving hair and skin
According to research published in The International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine stimulates your hair follicles too. The acidity of coffee seems to constrict pores, making skin look firmer and helping to prevent acne. Caffeine also constricts blood vessels, making it potentially useful for treating rosacea.
4. Improving mental health
Caffeine has been linked to enhanced brain function and a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s, up to 65% in those drinking 3-5 cups a day. Other research shows that coffee may interact with the gene GRIN2A to help stop Parkinson’s developing. In simple tests of reaction time, verbal memory, and spatial reasoning, people who regularly drank coffee performed better, with a positive relationship between test scores and the amount of coffee they regularly consumed.
5. Reduced risk of gallstone disease
Drinking caffeinated coffee on a regular basis has been correlated with a lower incidence of both gallstones and gall bladder disease in studies carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health. And it seemed to be the caffeine doing the trick the reduced risk wasn’t seen in those drinking decaffeinated coffee. Researchers believe that the caffeine stimulates the natural gallbladder contractions and also lowers the cholesterol content of the bile it produces. Bu something else must be at work too, because other caffeinated beverages didn’t show the same effect.
6. Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
Regular coffee drinkers – those drinking over 3 cups a day – were found to be less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in later life than those not consuming the beverage: the amount of coffee drunk the lower the risk. Other studies have found that caffeine can also help those who already have the disease, by improving movement. After six weeks, Parkinson’s patient taking caffeine supplements showed a five-point improvement in severity ratings on average.
7. Improving cognitive performance
We all know that coffee helps us function in the mornings, and gets us through a tricky meeting, but studies are proving that drinking coffee genuinely does improve our cognitive abilities and short-term recall. Tests of reaction time, verbal memory, and Visio spatial reasoning were all performed better by people who regularly drank coffee. The effect was largest for older people.
Gout is regularly brought on by excessive alcohol intake, but it sounds like coffee might be better than just treating the resulting hangover. In men over the age of 40, a definite reduction in gout is brought about by drinking coffee, as shown by a study of over 45,000 men over a 12-year period. The trick seems to be moderate to heavy consumption of four or more cups a day.
9. Liver protection
Coffee can reduce the incidence of liver cirrhosis and cancer of this vital organ. In a study following 125,000 people, the risk of developing cirrhosis fell with each cup of coffee drank per day.
10. Prevention of dental cavities
Coffee may protect teeth from decay. In lab tests, some of its compounds stopped bacteria that cause cavities taking hold on dental enamel. The compounds were chlorogenic acid, nicotinic acid and trigonelline.