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Stop feeling guilty about drinking coffee – it’s good for you.
About 150 million Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, this equals to 140 billion cups each year.
Coffee is actually a very healthy beverage. It’s amazing that something that tastes so good is not bad for you. However, many people regard coffee as a villain.
Coffee is the source of much discussion and contention in daily life. Why would the most popular beverage in the world be the topic of so much debate?
Well, for one it is because of pseudo-science, which attempts to twist anything having good effects into a negative light, outlining all of the potential downsides, and discrediting the good.
One thing that I learned very early on in my academic career is that you always have to look at the credibility of your sources. (Or maybe I learned it from watching too many lawyer TV shows). Who says coffee is bad for you? Your uncle Phil? The guy at the 711 who says you shouldn’t be drinking that?
How about looking at some credible information. Well, you can toss your doubts.Why? Because numerous real, scientific studies have been concluded on coffee and its benefits, and one thing screams through time and time again- is that coffee is good for you!
We’re in no way advocating you drink coffee as you would water, but a few cups throughout the day will improve your well-being and leave you better off!
Studies Show Coffee Improves Depression In Women
Depression is a silent killer. It does not necessarily manifest symptoms, as it is easily hidden by a fake smile. But the effects it can have on an individual is catastrophic, in worse case scenarios leading to the unfortunate suicide of that person.
As many as 16 million people are diagnosed with depression each year, with an unbalanced distribution of more women being diagnosed that men.
The reasons are not clear why, but may be attributed to hormonal changes that occur during menstruation, pregnancy and more.
Amazingly, everyone’s favorite beverage, good old coffee can reduce the risk of depression, as was chronicled in a study conducted by the Harvard School Of Public Health and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Lucas et al. 2011).
The findings of that study include:
Reduced Risk Of Depression By 20%
This study followed over 50000 women of average age 63, all free of depression at the study’s inception in 1996. The researchers followed study subject’s consumption patterns over a period of ten years of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, along with chocolate consumption.
Upon analysis of results after its closure, 2607 cases of depression were diagnosed, with women consuming 1 or less cups of coffee per week having the higher risk of depression. The women that consumed the highest amount of coffee (4 or more cups per day) had the lowest risk.
While the results are intriguing, and the sample size is relatively large, the fact is that using a cross section of women who were all nurses may not reflect society as a whole, although similar studies have been conducted on men as well with corresponding results.
However, coffee’s benefits on mood do not end there. A prospective study initiated in 1980 and lasting for a period of ten years also reflected a reduced rate of suicide in women who consume more coffee. This study followed a total of 86,626 female nurses, and was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Kawachi et al. 1996).
There were 56 cases of suicide upon completion of the study, with each person being studied on average for 9.6 years. The results indicated a strong inverse relationship between coffee consumption and suicide risk, being lowest in women who consume 2-4 or more cups per day.
Possible Mechanism Of Action
In large part, coffee’s beneficial effects on mood and depression are attributed to caffeine’s ability to easily enter the brain and modify neurotransmitter levels here. While caffeine primarily acts to block adenosine receptors in the brain, (adenosine acts here to make us sleepy), its benefits on mood are due to effects on other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine serotonin and acetylcholine.
By promoting transmission of dopamine, caffeine enhances motivation and reward feelings, making just the break of dawn an experience. This is extremely beneficial in people suffering from depression who are not easily motivated or have lost the drive to succeed and achieve something.
On the other hand, by also increasing transmission of serotonin, caffeine and coffee is able to relieve depression, boosts energy levels, and alertness, and can relieve headaches and pain. Depression is related to depletion of one or more of these neurotransmitters, thus modalities to increase transmission of them result is favorable benefits.
Coffee and caffeine consumption has beneficial effects on preventing or reducing the risk of depression significantly in at risk populations. Coupled with the fact that risk of suicide is also reduced inversely to coffee consumption, it makes it a no-brainer to consume more. Aim for 3 cups per day, to experience its numerous benefits!
Coffee is Do It Fluid – Coffee Fires Up Your Brain
There is evidence that coffee (or some form of caffeinated stuff) was used since the days of Indian civilization in South America and the Caribbean, whereby warriors would consume the leaves of the cacao plant to get mentally and physically primed to do battle.
Of these groups, the Caribs were the most prolific warriors, and as you may have guessed, most consistent users of the cacao. In our modern day tame livelihoods, coffee can help get your brain primed to do REPETITIVE tasks.
So, if you job involves doing the same thing over and over again, you will become an efficient machine unlike any other. However, if your job required intricate thought, caffeine and coffee may provide a counterproductive buzz as you do not necessarily increase executive delegating. In addition, if brain power is what you are after, coffee also reduces your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
How About This? – Coffee Prolongs Life
The way coffee prolongs life is numerous and multi-faceted. However, to put it simply, it does this by reducing your risk of chronic diseases that sap away life, such as heart disease, cancer and more.
The one basic purist of almost all humans is to live as long as possible, in good health, and when it boils down to it coffee may really help you achieve this goal. On average, coffee drinkers have a 20% reduced mortality rate compared to non-drinkers, when compared over an 18-24 year period.
Coffee Ups Your Physical Performance
One of the keys to living a long and fulfilling life is by exercising frequently. By doing this, you help keep muscles and connective tissue in good working order, so that age related changes to bone do not negatively impair your mobility. If you’re younger, this is great too, as it means you will be able to work out longer in the gym, translating to greater gains to muscle size, or enhanced fat loss resulting from exercise.
Coffee Is Loaded With Nutrients
This is one many people do not know. Most people just assume coffee is a quick pick me up type of beverage with no real nutritional value. However, coffee contains a wide range of B-vitamins and minerals, and is actually one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants in our everyday diet. Yes, this exceeds even the anti-oxidants we get from our daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, and is a lot less unpleasant to force feed that the aforementioned two!
Coffee is a godsend to mankind. Almost anyone who drinks it will receive benefit of some sort, and while there are possible negatives from excessive consumption, many people never experience any such symptom.
Keep in mind, drink your coffee black or at the very least with little sugar or cream, as those added calories really do add up.
Coffee Lover’s Accessories:
Here are some gift ideas to help make your coffee experiences richer. We selected these gifts based on practicality and usefulness any coffee lover would appreciate.
Zevro Indispensable Coffee Dispenser, Silver – 1/2 PoundOzeri Pronto Digital Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant BlackZoku Grey Iced Coffee Maker, Travel Mug – Hot Coffee In – Iced Coffee OutCup Holder Desk Clip Silver – Durable, Portable, and Foldable!
1. Ground Coffee Dispenser. No need to measure every time.Designed to measure one tablespoon at a time, the dispenser can be used to place ground coffee directly into coffee makers or espresso machines. It is constructed to keep ground coffee fresh for maximum flavor, and the included base keeps counter tops clean of ground coffee spills. Holds up to half a pound of ground coffee. Click & Check it out here.
2. Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale An accurate scale is a must for precision coffee making and coffee bean roasting. This is a top seller. Precision Tare Button calculates the net weight of your ingredients by automatically subtracting the weight of any bowl or container.Runs on 2 AAA batteries (included) that automatically power-off after 2-minutes to preserve battery life. Click & Check it out here.
3. Grey Iced Coffee Maker – Travel Mug Pour hot coffee in – get iced coffee out. Make chilled iced coffee or tea in as little as 5 minutes, no ice needed and it works with any brewing method, including single cup machines, drip, and pour over methods 4 designer colors to choose from. Click & Check it out here.
4. Portable Cup Holder With Clamp – Durable, Portable, and Foldable! This is not cheap plastic – it is aluminum with great clamping power. It fits many sizes of cups and appears safe and secure when holding a 32oz filled cup, a mug (up to 3″ in diameter), a thermos, a water bottle, or a soda can. Click & Check it out here.