Is Caffeine a part of your Daily Grind? Three Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
In the UK, we drink around 70 million cups of coffee each day. Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world and we're often reminded of it's downsides. From withdrawals to indigestion to anxiety, we're aware of the associated risks that second or third cup of coffee poses to our health, but are there any benefits to enjoying that extra Americano on your break?
1.) Coffee is rich in Polyphenols
Coffee is rich in a group of compounds called polyphenols that naturally occur in plants, a form of defence against insects. Foods that are rich in polyphenols are coined as 'superfoods' by the media. Those of you coffee-lovers who drink three cups on average a day are in luck, as you may be getting as much as 1g of these compounds a day simply from hot beverages. (Which is a lot, apparently.)
But why are Polyphenols so raved about? They have been proven to decrease blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke, and increase blood supply to the brain, possibly offering additional protection against dementia.
2.) Coffee can help you lose weight
There's a reason why caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement. In several studies, it has been proven to raise the metabolic rate by 3-11%, stimulating thermogenesis and burning fat. The best time to drink coffee for weight loss is in the morning, to kick-start the day but take heed! Like all substances, our bodies can become immune to the fat burning benefits if we drink too much. You really can have too much of a good thing!
3.) Coffee may prevent liver disease
A British Liver Trust report, ‘Coffee and the liver – the potential health benefits’ confirms coffee is beneficial to health.
The report evidences that regularly drinking moderate amounts of coffee may prevent liver cancer – the World Health Organisation has recently confirmed this reduced risk after reviewing more than 1,000 studies in humans.
Coffee also lowers the risk of other liver conditions including fibrosis (scar tissue that builds up within the liver) and cirrhosis. Drinking coffee can also slow the progression of liver disease in some patients.
Positive effects have been found however the coffee is prepared – filtered, instant and espresso.