Many people love (and rely upon) their morning cup (or multiple cups) of coffee to wake up and get them energized for the day. Compared to tea, coffee doesn’t always get the healthiest reputation, but there are still plenty of good reasons to keep coffee in your life.
Here’s a look at the potential health benefits of coffee and how to make your coffee habit a bit healthier every day.
Research About the Benefits of Coffee
It’s no secret that coffee can improve your energy levels, but studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee is also linked to improved memory and mood. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Many fat-burning supplements that are being marketed today contain caffeine because it can be effective in boosting the body’s metabolic rate and perhaps burning fat as a result.
There are certain nutrients in the actual coffee beans that add up over time if you’re a regular coffee drinker. These include potassium, manganese, magnesium, riboflavin, and niacin. Coffee is also high in antioxidants, which help the body fight disease. Other studies have looked to coffee as a possible way to help lower a person’s risk of Type-2 diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and depression.
Health Risks of Coffee
But for every research study touting the health benefits of coffee, there’s a different study that looks at the potential risks of coffee consumption. These include possible links between coffee and elevated blood pressure that can contribute to cardiovascular problems. There isn’t definitive proof that coffee will cause disease in the body or seriously harm your health, but you might experience troubling side effects, such as insomnia, feeling jittery, and heart palpitations if you drink too much of it in a day.
Making Coffee a Healthier Beverage
Coffee isn’t a magical cure-all for diseases, but in moderation, it may add a few health benefits to your life. To maximize these benefits and minimize the risks, there are a few things you can do to make your coffee habit healthier.
Keep sugar and high-calorie creamers out of your coffee so that you aren’t getting added ingredients that your body doesn’t need. Instead of sugar, try adding cinnamon to your coffee for a touch of flavor and spice. Adding unsweetened cocoa to your coffee will also give it a great mocha flavor and a nutrient boost without sugar. A bit of almond milk is a better alternative to highly processed artificial creamers with questionable ingredients.
Choose organic ally produced coffee to reduce your daily exposure to pesticides through food. Make your own coffee at home instead of getting takeout at Starbucks to control what’s in your brew and save money too. Along with your morning coffee, make sure to drink water to counteract coffee’s dehydrating properties. And finally, make sure to also eat a healthy breakfast with fruit and protein instead of just grabbing quick coffee and running out the door.