Coffee is loved by many for its uplifting taste and energising benefits. However, this sought-after beverage offers more than just a caffeine kick as research reveals a host of other health benefits including improving brain function, boosting gut health and facilitating weight loss.
Read more to discover the surprising health benefits that your humble cup of coffee can deliver.
1.Loaded With Antioxidants
Coffee provides a rich source of polyphenols, also known as antioxidants, which play a crucial role in protecting your body against oxidative stress, consequently reducing risk of chronic health issues such as heart disease and other inflammatory conditions.
2. Better Brain Health & Cognition
Caffeine, the natural stimulant found in coffee, is linked with boosted alertness, enhanced concentration, and improved cognitive function. Additionally, research has shown that drinking coffee may have a protective effect against neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
3. Improved Gut Health
Coffee regulates bowel movements by acting like a laxative, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with constipation. A positive link has also been found between coffee consumption and the health of our microbiome as it facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, while reducing the levels of potentially harmful bacteria like Clostridium and Escherichia coli. Interestingly, coffee also increases the production of stomach acid and other digestive juices, like bile, which play a key role in maintaining a balanced gut microbiome and enhancing the digestive process.
4. Boosted Metabolism & Weight Loss
Thanks to its natural caffeine content, coffee can temporarily raise your metabolic rate. This means that your body burns more calories at rest, possibly facilitating weight management. It has also been found that caffeine prompts the body to use stored fat as an energy source, which could speed up fat loss and positively impact overall body composition.
5. Good For Your Mood
Consuming caffeine has been linked with having a better mood and reduced risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as it enhances the activity of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
How Much Coffee You Should Be Drinking
Consuming three to five regular cups of coffee on a daily basis is associated with health benefits and is considered safe for most adults. However, certain individuals may not deal well with such a high caffeine intake and may experience symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, or trouble sleeping. In this case, decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas may be a suitable alternative for those who are sensitive to caffeine.
Best Times To Drink Coffee
For most people, it’s advised to have caffeine between mid to late morning as cortisol levels will be lower during this time. Cortisol is a hormone that increases alertness and improves concentration, with its highest levels approximately 30-45 minutes after waking and gradually reducing throughout the day. To reap the benefits from your body’s cortisol cycle, try waiting at least 90 minutes after waking up before consuming caffeinated beverages.
Enjoying coffee in moderation can be a beneficial addition to your daily routine. However, as with most things in life, moderation is key and excessive coffee consumption can result in undesirable side effects. Personal responses to coffee and caffeine can vary dramatically. It’s important to monitor how your body reacts and adapt your consumption accordingly for maximum health benefits.
Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley
DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC
Email: [email protected]