There is no doubt that coffee is an indispensable part of the daily diet of a large part of the population. Not only its delicious flavor, but also its smell, its temperature and its components, have made drinking a cup of coffee one of the things we most desire when we wake up. Even for many people, coffee has become so essential that we often hear or say phrases such as: “until I drink my coffee, I can’t…” or “I’m like this because I haven’t had coffee today”.
After all, what better than a cup of coffee to boost our energy, to meet someone for an afternoon or to warm us up in this cool autumn?
Historically, several studies have shown that abusing caffeine can cause us more serious problems than benefits. It is true that drinking coffee in excess can cause tachycardia, difficulty sleeping, dependence or anxiety. But studies in recent years by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) and other research organizations worldwide (IARC, WHO), have found important benefits that we can have by consuming between 1 and 3 cups of coffee daily. Good news for lovers of this delicious beverage.
1. It is a powerful antioxidant
During the 24 hours of the day, our organism is producing free radicals, defined in a few words as unstable molecules that easily become unbalanced and can cause damage in our body, accelerating aging and producing chronic diseases. The good news is that the attacks produced by free radicals are combated by antioxidants, included in a wide variety of foods and beverages, which protect and prevent cell damage.
Coffee has been shown to contain more antioxidants than many vitamin supplements. Antioxidants such as polyphenols and hydroxycinnamic acids, which provide important nutrients that slow down the natural degeneration of DNA and prevent irreversible diseases.
2. Mortality risk is reduced
A study by the UMH (Miguel Hernández University of Elche, in the Valencian Community) analyzed for 18 years the mortality rates of 1,567 participants over 20 years of age, taking into account the type of diet, quality of life and the usual relationship between all of them: daily coffee consumption.
The research, published in the journal Nutrients, affirms that those who consume between 1 and 4 cups of coffee daily have between 27% and 44% lower risk of premature mortality than non-coffee drinkers.
The scientists concluded that the non-exaggerated consumption of this powerful beverage can protect human beings, increasing their years of life as well as their quality of life.
3. Coffee is not a friend of cancer
If you are one of those people who, while enjoying your cup of coffee, feel a little guilty and believe that you are drinking an almost toxic substance that will cause cancer in the long term, this could not be further from the truth.
According to a recent investigation by the IARC, no relationship has been found that can determine that caffeine produces or increases cancer cells in our body. At the same time, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has discovered that the regular consumption of coffee reduces the probability of some types of cancer appearing unexpectedly, such as endometrial, prostate or liver cancer, among others.
On the other hand, although caffeine has been shown not to be an ally of cancer, this same study affirms that drinking coffee or any other beverage consumed at temperatures of more than 65°C can be a cause for concern.
4. Reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
Another recent study published in the journal BMC Neurology has yielded encouraging results for people with early Parkinson’s disease.
In the analysis, the majority of male coffee-drinking participants had less frequent tremors than non-consumers. “Coffee consumption and tremor severity are inversely related in male patients with de novo [Parkinson’s disease],” the researchers published.
In addition, the relationship between age and gender has also been analyzed, presenting greater benefits for coffee consumers of the male gender, in the initial stage of the disease, and of younger age than those of more advanced stages.
5. Prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
Thanks to the fact that coffee is a natural anti-inflammatory, new research from the University of Illinois, approved by the WHO, has shown that these effects can also positively combat neurological inflammation. This is because it blocks adenosine receptors, which slows down the activity of nerve cells in neural pathways, promoting brain inflammation.
In this analysis they saw how, at the same time, caffeine prevents the formation of amyloid plaques that concentrate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, accelerating cognitive deterioration.
In addition, the brain deflation produced by coffee can be so beneficial that the researchers said that caffeine improves long-term memory.
6. Source of energy and sports supplement
As we well know, and the reason why many of us consume it, coffee is one of the best daily energizing beverages. It increases the production of dopamine in the body and accelerates brain activity.Likewise, the connection between coffee and sports can be very beneficial, as it reduces exhaustion and helps burn fat quickly. As long as its consumption is not abused, its energizing properties also prevent fatigue after physical activities and stimulates the nervous system by optimizing the body’s reflexes.
In this latest study on the complementary pros of sport, several researchers recommend that coffee-loving athletes consume it on an empty stomach before physical activity so that its positive nutrients are absorbed more quickly. At the same time, they assure that drinking it at a cold or warm temperature is more beneficial for a good digestion and avoids the deterioration of dental enamel.
It is no secret that coffee in all its forms, black, with milk, slush or iced, among others, is one of the favorite beverages of many people. And now, thanks to these recent studies, we can enjoy it even more than we already do, knowing that controlled drinking has benefits for our organism.
Remember that caffeine is not recommended for people with hypertension and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult your doctor before drinking amounts of coffee that may affect your body.
- Nutrients | Free Full-Text | Coffee Consumption and All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality in an Adult Mediterranean Population (mdpi.com)
- Why coffee could be good for your health – BBC Future
- Is Coffee Good for You? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Coffee and IARC: What are the facts? – Coffee and Health
- IARC Monographs Volume 116: Evaluation of drinking coffee, maté, and very hot beverages – IARC (who.int)
- Carcinogenicidad de beber café, mate y bebidas muy calientes – The Lancet Oncology
- Café y ciic: ¿Cuáles son los hechos? – Café y Salud (coffeeandhealth.org)
- ¿El café causa cáncer? Guía Actualizada 2021 (aiber.es)
- Gender-dependent effect of coffee consumption on tremor severity in de novo Parkinson’s disease | BMC Neurology | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)
- El café disminuye los temblores de Parkinson en los hombres, sugiere un estudio (parkinsonsnewstoday.com)
- Coffee and Diabetes – Benefits of Coffee & Effect on Blood Sugar
- Cafeína y adenosina – Cafeína y dopamina | HowStuffWorks