Something we like and is good for us: five benefits of coffee

Our daily cup of coffee may do more for us than give us a morning boost.

The health benefits of coffee have long been a hot topic, with proponents praising its antioxidant activity and ability to boost the brain, and others detailing its downsides such as insomnia and increased blood pressure. But as science evolves, so does information.

There is evidence that brings a wealth of good news for us coffee lovers. Here are five reasons why drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought.

  • 1

    Packed with Antioxidants

    When we talk about antioxidants, we hear about green tea and dark chocolate cocoa, two antioxidant superstars. Did you know that a cup of black coffee has more antioxidant activity than these two things? They identified about 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process.

  • Wavebreakmedia Ltd

    Wavebreakmedia Ltd
    2

    Provides a memory boost

    Caffeine appears to affect particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, thereby boosting short-term memory. It is not known how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.

  • fatchoi/thinkstock

    fatchoi/thinkstock
    3

    Improves exercise performance

    Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the perception of muscle pain and increases fatty acids in the blood, which promotes endurance.

  • 4

    Curbs depression

    In one study, heavy coffee drinkers appeared to have the lowest risk of depression, up to 20%. Researchers don’t yet know how coffee seems to ward off depression, but caffeine is known to activate neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin.

  • George Rudy/thinkstock

    George Rudy/thinkstock
    5

    Our liver loves coffee

    Scientists have discovered an interesting relationship between coffee consumption and blood levels of liver enzymes. High levels of liver enzymes usually reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee the subjects drank, the lower their enzyme levels. In addition to reducing the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been associated with a lower incidence of cirrhosis, particularly alcoholic cirrhosis.

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