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Coffee and Health

Coffee and Health: 13 Interesting Benefits of Coffee

Coffee, which stands out with its worldwide influence from ancient societies to modern societies, is a drink that many of us enjoy in our daily lives. We all know the sleep-inducing and energizing effects of coffee, which is an important part of the culture, economy and history of many countries. But are the effects of coffee on our health limited to these? How much do we know what the benefits or harms of coffee are? How consciously do we consume coffee? In this article, we tried to present you the effects of coffee on our health and the beneficial aspects of coffee by using scientific research.


Is Coffee Beneficial or Harmful?

Have you ever thought about whether the coffee you drink is beneficial or harmful for you? Although the effect of coffee, which people enjoy in the morning, on human health generally remains in the background, this issue has been the focus of scientific research and discussions for a long time. For example, coffee, which was initially thought to be more harmful, was added to the list of possible carcinogenic substances by the World Health Organization in 1991. However, scientific research conducted to date has generally shown that coffee is beneficial to human health in many ways. From this perspective, we can easily say that coffee is beneficial to human health as long as it is not consumed excessively. Let's examine the benefits of coffee.

 

1. Coffee Supports Fat Burning and Weight Management

According to research, coffee may be beneficial for weight management by supporting the burning of fat cells. For example, one study concluded that greater coffee consumption may be associated with a decrease in body fat, especially in men . Another study found that increased coffee consumption was linked to a decrease in body fat in women .

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  • Additionally, people who drink one to two cups of coffee per day have been found to be 17% more likely to reach recommended levels of physical activity than those who drink less than one cup per day. Higher levels of physical activity support weight management. On the other hand, another study supports the fact that coffee can increase the fat burning rate with exercise by 3% to 10%.

     

    2. Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

    Research suggests that regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the long term. While caffeine consumption increases blood sugar levels in the short term, long-term studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-drinkers .


    An analysis of more than 45,000 people with type 2 diabetes who were followed for up to 20 years found an association between increased coffee consumption and a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Compared to non-coffee drinkers, there was a reduction in risk from 8% with 1 cup per day to 33% with 6 cups per day.


    Another analysis found that people who consumed more coffee had a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not. This rate was observed as 20% in decaffeinated coffee.

     

    3. Increases Your Energy and Attention Level

    Coffee brightens the mind and increases energy levels thanks to the caffeine it contains. When caffeine reaches the brain, it triggers the secretion of hormones such as dopamine and noradrenaline, which leads to an acceleration of neurotransmission and therefore an increase in brain activity. One small study found that caffeine consumption increased time to fatigue in cycling exercise by 12% and significantly reduced fatigue levels in participants.


    Additionally, coffee consumption can provide significant increases in attention, memory and reflexes. Tests show improvements in such mental functions after drinking coffee.

     

    4. Coffee May Increase Lifespan

    Many studies reveal that coffee consumption extends life. This effect is thought to be due to coffee's protective properties against diseases and the nutritional components it contains.


    According to a large-scale study examining 21 studies with a total of more than 10 million people, consuming one cup of coffee a day, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, reduces the risk of death by 3%, while three cups of coffee increases this rate to 13%.


    A study that followed more than 200,000 participants for 30 years determined that moderate coffee consumption reduced the risk of premature death from various causes, especially heart diseases, suicide and Parkinson's disease, by 15%. However, researchers suggest that the bioactive compounds in coffee may protect against disease development by reducing inflammation and insulin resistance .

     

    5. May Support Brain Health

    The effects of coffee on brain health have become the focus of many scientific studies in recent years. Research points to the possible protective role of coffee, especially in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. For example, it has been found that regular coffee consumption may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease and reduce the risk of developing the disease.


    In terms of Alzheimer's disease, it has been observed that those who consume three to five cups of coffee a day in middle age have a lower risk of developing the disease years later compared to those who consume less. Although more research is needed on the effects of coffee on these issues, the findings suggest that coffee may not only offer instant pleasure but also be a drink that can protect our brain health in the long term.

     

    6. Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Depression

    The natural polyphenols contained in coffee may provide neurological benefits and act as an antidepressant in some people. Consuming fewer than 6 cups of coffee per day has been associated with a reduced risk of depression and suicide. However, in sensitive individuals, high amounts of caffeine consumption may cause problems such as anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. Sudden cessation of caffeine intake can cause effects such as headache, fatigue, anxiety and low mood that can last for a few days and up to a week.


    According to a study that reviewed seven studies, it was observed that each cup of coffee drank per day corresponded to an 8% lower risk of depression. Another study found that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of death by suicide . Findings from such studies support the positive effects of coffee on depression and suggest that coffee consumption in appropriate amounts may reduce the risk of depression .

     

    7. May Reduce the Risk of Stroke

    Recent studies show an interesting relationship between coffee consumption and stroke risk. For example, a large-scale survey study found that women's coffee consumption tends to reduce their risk of stroke. Similarly, a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that drinking coffee reduced the risk of death and, in particular, the risk of stroke .


    In addition to these findings, a study conducted in Japan revealed an inverse relationship between increased consumption of green tea and coffee and the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke .


    Although the exact mechanisms behind these findings are not yet fully understood , the caffeine and antioxidants in coffee are thought to be effective in regulating blood pressure and improving vascular health .

     

    8. Coffee is a Source of Antioxidants

    Coffee is rich in polyphenol antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid and hydroxycinnamic acid. These antioxidants protect cells against DNA damage and oxidation. Coffee stands out as an important source of antioxidants, and chlorogenic acid is critical in this role.


    Antioxidant activity is affected by the chemical composition of the coffee and the degree of roasting. In this regard, it is important to know that medium roasted coffee shows the highest antioxidant activity .

     

    9. Beneficial for Intestinal Flora

    Gut flora is a complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive system and play a critical role in our overall health. Rich in fiber and polyphenols, coffee has stood out with its positive effect on intestinal health. Tim Spector , a leading expert in the field, emphasizes the importance of variety in our diet, suggesting that coffee can act as a source of extra fiber and nutrients, like a vegetable.

     

    10. Coffee is Rich in Nutrients

    Coffee contains important micronutrients such as magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamins B2, B3, B5 and potassium . Interestingly, coffee is an important source of dietary fiber for many people and contributes to the recommended daily intake for humans. This property is particularly important in societies where fiber intake is generally low and highlights coffee's role in promoting digestive health.

     

    11. Positive Effects on Liver, Kidney and Gallbladder Health

    Coffee is known for its supportive liver health and protective effects against various liver diseases. Research shows that regular coffee consumption can play an important role in preventing diseases such as liver cancer, fatty liver and cirrhosis . For example, drinking four cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cirrhosis by 80%. Additionally, the risk of death from chronic liver disease has been found to decrease with increased coffee consumption.


    Coffee, which also has positive effects on kidney health, may help reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease . Additionally, the components contained in coffee can promote greater contraction of the gallbladder to prevent the formation of gallstones, thus preventing cholesterol from accumulating in the gallbladder. Long-term studies on men and women have shown that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing gallstones .

     

    12. Good for Heart Health

    Research on the effects of coffee on heart health reveals mostly positive results. A number of studies have shown that consumption of three to five cups of coffee per day reduces the risk of heart disease by 15%. Additionally, a study involving more than 21,000 people concluded that increased coffee consumption significantly reduced the risk of heart failure .


    However, because the amount of caffeine in coffee can have an impact on blood pressure, people with hypertension may need to limit or moderate their caffeine consumption. Additionally, unfiltered types of coffee, such as French Press and Turkish coffee, contain diterpenes, which can increase LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Despite this, large-scale studies suggest that regular coffee consumption may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

     

    13. May Protect Against Cancer

    Research reveals that the compounds contained in coffee may provide protective effects on some types of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and reducing inflammation. It has been observed that the risk of liver cancer decreases especially in those who drink both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee . Additionally, it has been determined that women who consume 4 cups of coffee daily have a 10% reduced risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. In addition, it has been found that women who drink three or more cups of coffee have a 20% lower risk of colon cancer compared to those who drink less or no coffee. These findings provide important clues about the protective potential of coffee against cancer.


    What are the Side Effects of Coffee?

    Although coffee has many benefits for our health, it can cause negative side effects, especially for some individuals with caffeine sensitivity. These adverse effects are often the direct result of high coffee consumption and may vary from person to person:

    • Sleep Problems: Coffee may decrease sleep quality or increase existing sleep problems. To prevent this situation, caffeine intake should be stopped 6 to 8 hours before bedtime.
    • Increased Anxiety: Especially in individuals with anxiety, coffee consumption can increase anxiety levels.
    • Palpitations and High Blood Pressure: Coffee has a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system. This can cause problems such as palpitations and high blood pressure in some people.
    • Tremors in Hands: The effect of caffeine on the nervous system can cause involuntary movements such as tremors in the hands when consumed in excess.
    • Fatigue: Ironically, the "caffeine crash" that follows caffeine consumption can cause fatigue and low energy. To prevent this, it is important not to drink your coffee in the first hour of waking up.

    Although coffee has many positive effects on health, the negative effects mentioned above show that coffee is not suitable for everyone. Individuals with high blood pressure and pregnant women, especially, should limit their caffeine intake. If you are sensitive to caffeine, decaffeinated coffee may be a good alternative, offering similar health benefits. Additionally, while enjoying coffee consumption, it should not be forgotten that added substances such as extra sugar and cream may reduce the positive effects of coffee on health.


    As a result, the effects of coffee consumption on health have positive aspects supported by various studies. Weight management, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, increasing energy and attention levels, extending lifespan, supporting brain health, reducing the risk of depression, decreasing the risk of stroke, functioning as a source of antioxidants, beneficial to the intestinal flora, rich in nutritional content, liver and bile It provides many benefits such as its positive impact on bladder health, its benefits on heart health and its protective effects against cancer. However, considering the possible side effects of coffee consumption, it is important to consume it in accordance with personal health conditions and tolerance levels.


    In this article, we have presented the effects of coffee on health and 13 interesting benefits to help you in your quest to become a more conscious coffee consumer. With conscious consumption, coffee can be more than just a delicious drink for you, it can also support a healthy lifestyle. Then what are you waiting for? Make a coffee now and say hello to a healthier life.

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