11 Reasons Why Coffee Is A Superfood | UMZU
By Sara Novak
We have been drinking coffee regularly in the United States for the past two hundred years and today it outflanks tea by large margins. Americans first adopted the beverage as a patriotic duty at the time of the Boston Tea Party when tea grew out of fashion because it was heavily taxed by the British.
- What Is Coffee And How To Drink It?
- How Much Coffee Should You Drink?
- 11 Reasons Why Coffee Is A Superfood
Today, we drink two cups on average daily to get the day started right and many of us drink way more than that. And with good reason, coffee is a natural stimulant that makes rolling out of bed an easier proposition and gives you a boost in more ways than you could imagine. Do you drink coffee? If you do not, here are a number of reasons why it might be the best way to start your day.
What is coffee?
Coffee is a brewed drink made from the roasted bean of the coffee tree and can be served hot or cold. Coffee is processed from roasting the seeds inside the berry or the fruit of the tree, often called the coffee cherry. While coffee now grows all over the world in tropical places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, and throughout Africa, the original coffee trees grew in Ethiopia. It was first discovered in 1753 by Swedish botanist, Carolus Linneaus. Then coffee spread to Europe and the Americas.
How to choose the best coffee
While it is true that coffee is good for you, there is a wide spectrum when it comes to quality. Ensure that the coffee you choose is organically grown with beans that are tested for toxins before they come to market. Choose beans that are fair trade and sustainably harvested by farmers that are treated well and paid a fair wage.
Best coffee preparations
If you want the best results from your morning pick-me-up, choose a coffee preparation that gives you the most bang for your buck.
- Use filtered water, for example, reverse osmosis or mountain spring water
- Add a dollop of ghee, MCT oil, and coconut oil for fat
- Sweeten with local honey, organic cane sugar, or agave
- Roast and grind your unprocessed coffee beans at home
How much coffee can you drink daily?
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults can drink up to 400 mg of caffeine safely a day, roughly the amount found in four cups of coffee. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor about safe consumption.The average American drinks 2.1 cups of coffee a day. That is nothing compared to Voltaire, who was said to drink 40-50 cups of coffee per day. Talked about getting amped! If you have an anxiety disorder, coffee may not be the best option for you. Yerba mate or organic decaffeinated options may be a better fit.
11 Reasons Why Coffee is a Superfood
If you are not one of the millions of Americans who drinks coffee everyday, maybe you should be. Here is why coffee is one of the best superfoods out there:
1. Chlorogenic acid
Coffee contains chlorogenic acid. Found in caffeine, chlorogenic acid increases insulin sensitivity to reduce blood sugar. It may also lower blood pressure, improve your mood, and reduce inflammation in the body. Research published in the journal Molecules Online found that “chlorogenic acid has shown antimicrobial activity against a wide range of organisms, including bacteria, yeasts, molds, viruses, and amoebas.” Another study published in Current Neuropharmacology found that chlorogenic acid may also be helpful for brain health. The authors wrote in a review of studies that it had “neuroprotective qualities" that are beneficial to the brain.
2. Fatty liver
According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee may be a treatment in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. “In studies of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), those who reported drinking two or more cups of coffee a day had less liver damage than those who drank little or no coffee.” Research published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology found that coffee significantly decreased the risk of NAFLD in those who didn’t have it while significantly reducing the risk of damage to the liver in those who already did. A review published in the journal Acta Scientiarum Polonorum found that “[t]he available data suggests that regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of NAFLD and its co- morbidities.”
This is an obvious benefit, but it is no less impressive. Coffee is a natural stimulant that gives you an immediate boost anytime you drink it. If you want an extra boost when you need it the most, consider drinking a cup o’ Joe at around 10 a.m. when cortisol levels in your brain are at their highest and as a result you may feel more depressed. The energy boost that you get usually takes about 15 minutes to take hold and the effects of coffee usually stay in your system for about 8 hours. Obviously, it is best not to drink coffee too close to bedtime because the energy boost could keep you up at night.
Coffee is an antioxidant that’s been proven to add years to your life. Research published in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care found that coffee consumption reduced all cause mortality and reduced risks of heart failure, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and some cancers. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology followed 10,000 men and found that those who abstained from drinking coffee increased their risk of early death over a lifespan. Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods looked at how coffee consumption worked in the body to promote longevity. Researchers found that in women, coffee increased levels of adiponectin, which is known to control metabolic processes in the body related to heart disease and diabetes.
5. Increased metabolism
Coffee consumption has also been shown to increase metabolism and aid in weight loss. It is a great tool for boosting your metabolism daily. Researchers publishing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 2,100 study participants who had lost weight and found that those who consumed coffee on a daily basis had an easier time maintaining their weight loss. Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that drinking four cups of coffee per day reduced participants’ overall body fat by 4 percent. Researchers think that the body fat loss “may be due to the caffeine in coffee increasing the drinker’s metabolism, which may burn more calories and cause a decrease in body fat.”
6. Iron/heavy metal chelation
Research has also shown that coffee has heavy metal chelation properties, containing substances that bind to heavy metals and extract them from the body. Chelation therapy, for example, is a treatment where similar substances are injected into the bloodstream to remove heavy metals or an overabundance of minerals, like iron, from the body to avoid heavy metal poisoning. According to the FDA, chelation therapy has been approved for the treatment of heavy metals for its ability to “grab” heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper, iron, arsenic, aluminum, calcium, and others and push them out of the system by way of the kidneys. The benefit of drinking coffee is that each time you enjoy a cup, these same substances occurring naturally in your morning beverage may bind to excess heavy metals before they can contaminate you.
7. Brain health
Coffee has also been shown to make you more alert and to improve brain function. Research published in the journal Revue Neurologique found that a diet rich in foods like fruits, fish, wine, cacao, coffee, and tea was shown to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia with age. Additional research published Nutrition Bulletin found that coffee improved mood. The study found that between 1 and 8 cups of coffee daily “maximized the benefits for cognitive function, mood, physical performance, and hydration.”
8. Improves workout
Coffee has also been shown to improve your physical or workout performance. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that coffee improved endurance testing on athletes. Another study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that coffee reduced the perceived exertion during a workout which subsequently improved workout performance.
9. Contains important nutrients
It is less well known that coffee contains a number of essential nutrients that are important for human health. Just one cup of coffee contains 11 percent of your daily allowance of riboflavin. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is responsible for converting carbohydrates into glucose, which produces energy for the body. Coffee also contains 6 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, which is important for making red blood cells and is also crucial for making energy. It also contains manganese and potassium. Manganese is a trace mineral that is vital to helping the body in blood clotting, bone formation, and reducing inflammation. Potassium is a mineral and also an electrolyte that is important for carrying hydration to the cells. And finally, coffee contains magnesium and niacin, two other trace minerals with equally important responsibilities. Magnesium runs over 300 enzymatic activities in the body and niacin is a B vitamin that turns the calories you consume into energy. As you can see from the nutrients listed above, it is not just the caffeine that gives you wings, it is the energy created as a result of electrolytes, trace minerals, and ample B vitamins.
10. Lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes
There is ample research to back up the notion that coffee helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that it seems to increase insulin sensitivity and overall metabolic function in the body. Research published in the journal Diabetologia finds that “drinking coffee or tea is associated with a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes. Total consumption of at least three cups of coffee or tea per day may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.” Another study published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition finds that increasing coffee consumption reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in participants of European descent. It was also found to reduce the risk of diabetes in a study published in The Lancet. “Coffee consumption was associated with a substantially lower risk of clinical type 2 diabetes,” wrote the authors.
11. Reduces depression
If you are feeling down in the dumps coffee can help. It is known to make you happier and to reduce your risk of depression. In a large study out of Harvard, researchers followed 5,100 U.S. women who were free of depression and found that increasing coffee consumption seemed to lower their risk. A study published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design found that caffeine is responsible for much of the anti-depressant effects of coffee. It seems that coffee not only provides the energy that helps reduce depression, it also increases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which reduces your risk of depression. Women who drink coffee are 20 percent less likely to end up depressed and 56 percent less likely to commit suicide.
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