By Renee Jacques
There really can’t be any adult in this great big world that has never tried coffee. It’s consumed everywhere, and judging by the amount of Starbucks locations in the United States alone, (in 2012, there were 10,924!) we love our caffeine.
And that’s fine. In fact, there are many advantages to being one of the 54 percent of Americans over 18 who drink coffee everyday. Coffee can be pretty amazing for your brain, your skin and your body. Read on to discover 11 reasons you should wake up and smell the coffee…
1. Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anything else.
According to a study done in 2005, “nothing else comes close” to providing as many antioxidants as coffee. While fruits and vegetables also have tons of antioxidants, the human body seems to absorb the most from coffee.
2. Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed.
Researchers at the Seoul National University examined the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation and discovered that those who were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress. Note, this aroma study doesn’t relate to stress by itself, only to the stress felt as a result of sleep deprivation. Now, we’re not entirely sure if this means you should keep a bag of roasted coffee beans on your nightstand every night, but feel free to try!
3. Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
ScienceDaily reported in 2012 that drinking coffee may help people with Parkinson’s disease control their movement. Ronald Postuma, MD, the study author, said, “Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, but this is one of the first studies in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease.”
4. Coffee is great for your liver.
A study published in 2006 that included 125,000 people over 22 years showed thatthose who drink at least one cup of coffee a day were 20 percent less to develop liver cirrhosis — an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer. Arthur L Klatsky, the lead author of the study, told The Guardian, “Consuming coffee seems to have some protective benefits against alcoholic cirrhosis, and the more coffee a person consumes the less risk they seem to have of being hospitalised or dying of alcoholic cirrhosis.”
Studies have also shown that coffee can help prevent people from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School revealed that drinking four or more cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing the progression of NAFLD.
5. Coffee can make you feel happier.
A study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched the java. And apparently it’s not because of the “caffeine high” — Coke can also give you a caffeine high, but it’s linked to depression. Study author, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, told Prevention.com that the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is because of those trusty antioxidants.
6. Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent. The proposed reason is because coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
7. Coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer (if you’re a woman).
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed 112,897 men and women over a 20-year period and, apparently, women who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are much less likely to develop skin cancer than those who don’t.
8. Coffee can make you a better athlete.
The New York Times reports, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.” Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel, therefore saving the body’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later on in the exercise.
9. Coffee could reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Coffee also lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study from The American Chemical Society. The study’s researchers found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. Subsequently, with every additional cup, the risk gets lowered by 7 percent.
10. Drinking coffee could help keep your brain healthier for longer.
Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine. Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF, and co-author of the study, said, “We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”
11. Coffee may make you more intelligent.
You usually drink coffee when you are sleep-deprived, right? Well, that much-needed jolt not only keeps you awake, it makes you sharper. CNN reports that coffee allows your brain to work in a much more efficient and smarter way. TIME reporter, Michael Lemonick, says, “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence.”
Moral of the story? COFFEE IS THE BEST THING EVER. KEEP DRINKING IT.