6 Reasons Coffee Is Good For You

Coffee drinkers, rejoice! You can now be completely happy while sipping your morning cup of coffee without worry that this traditional American beverage is bad for your heart or will exhaust your adrenal glands.

New medical studies are reporting that moderate coffee consumption can protect you against heart attacks and subsequent heart failure. Recent evidence has also indicated that coffee consumption can reduce your risk of stroke.

Why would this be true?

Most likely, it’s because your heart is absolutely dependent on getting enough antioxidants so it can use much needed oxygen. And coffee is loaded with the antioxidants. In fact, it’s the greatest source of antioxidants in the American diet.

It’s the complex phytochemistry of the coffee bean that does more than just provide antioxidants though. Over 1000 compounds are found in coffee, including polyphenols, minerals, enzymes, and chlorogenic acid, plus caffeine. The polyphenols are perhaps the most important ingredients.

All the ingredients work together to offer you healthy benefits to your heart and other organs. This is why taking caffeine pills often don’t work to give you health – and in fact, are dangerous to your health and heart. Too much caffeine can cause a heart attack.

Coffee Contains Vitamins and Minerals

Here are some interesting facts about the nutritional composition of one cup of coffee:

  • 6% of the RDA for pantothenic acid
  • 11% of the daily requirement for vitamin B2, riboflavin
  • 2% of the RDA for vitamin B3, niacin
  • 2% of the RDA for vitamin B1, thiamine
  • 3% of the RDA for potassium
  • 4% of the RDA for manganese

You might say, “Well, that cup of coffee doesn’t even contain 25% of any one nutrient so it’s really all that nutritious…” but this logic overlooks the complex antioxidants and polyphenols found in coffee. There aren’t any recommended daily allowances for those phytonutrients yet! The greater amount of polyphenols and phytonutrients a food contains, the more beneficial that food is to your body.

Other Health Benefits Explained in Studies

With coffee, researchers are not only seeing benefits for the heart, but also finding that coffee is good for the brain, the breasts, female reproductive organs, throat, and the liver.

In April 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published a startling discovery – nearly 15% of Americans over the age of 70 suffer from dementia. It took a long time for researchers to run epidemiological studies but the evidence is in right now – and they’re finding that those who drink coffee are protected from developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

As you already may know, these two disorders are very difficult neurological disorders to deal with if you have a family member who has them.

Specifically, drinking coffee cuts the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease up to 74% and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and decline of intellectual functions by up to 51%.

Studies looking for the reason why some people are still healthy in their 90s have consistently found one thing: those who do live that old and are still healthy have the coffee habit. Of course, they are also blessed with good genes.

Coffee is Not Linked to These Cancers

And two types of cancer that women might get – uterine and breast cancer – are also affected positively by coffee. One to two cups of coffee consumed daily reduces the risk of developing uterine cancer by 39% – and the risk is lowered by 62% if a woman drinks three cups or more.

With breast cancer, scientists are still trying to make up their minds about the connection, favoring a 2% lowering of breast cancer risk for every 2 cups coffee. Canadian doctors are reporting that high coffee consumption of five cups a day may prevent post-menopausal breast cancer.

Throat cancer is another cancer that responds to the polyphenols in coffee. Scientists found a reduction in the risk of getting this cancer by 60%. That’s pretty significant!

Coffee connoisseurs will be ecstatic to know that they can drink anywhere from 4 to 12 or more cups of coffee a day – and still decrease their risk of the most common liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma by 44%.

Coffee even protects you from developing liver cancer when you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C if you drink at least 3 cups a day. And although all the evidence isn’t in yet on the link between colorectal cancers, scientists are tending to believe that coffee is good for preventing this type of cancer, too.

Coffee Consumed Another Way Even Has a Benefit!

And here’s a shocker about coffee – now doctors are publishing research that finds that coffee enemas could be an alternative for those who need to clean out the colon for endoscopy tests that use a video camera inside the body.

This research comes out of Korea where doctors found that compared to the standard way to clean out the colon, coffee enemas were just as good. The coffee enemas stimulate bile excretion, which is one of the most important keys in preparing for this type of procedure. What this means is that it’s possible you may forget those horrible tasting drinks to clean you out – get a coffee enema instead!

Prevent Tooth Loss from Periodontal Disease with Coffee Bean Extract

Even dentists in India are finding a use for coffee. They studied the antimicrobial activity of pure green coffee bean extract. They concluded that it’s so good against bacteria which cause periodontal disease that it could be useful in those with the problem.

Recommendation on the Best Benefits from Coffee

It’s actually a combination of one or more cups of coffee and 2 or more cups of tea drunk throughout the day that seems to offer superior protection against disease than either one alone. What’s amazing about green tea is that it stimulates the alpha waves of the brain – allowing you to get a full night of sleep – but still keeps you alert during the day.

If you have been restricting your coffee intake, now is the time to change your paradigm about coffee. If you’re sensitive to coffee like some people are, then substitute green tea instead. But if you’re not sensitive to it and love the taste, include it in your daily arsenal of disease prevention. Look for polyphenol-retaining coffees on the market, and rest assured that all the benefits you will experience are demonstrated by studies from around the world.

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Sources
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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24668519
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  3. Lowcook, E.C., et al. Coffee intake, but not caffeine, is associated with reduced estrogen receptor negative and post-menopausal breast cancer risk with no effect modification by CYP1A2 genotype. Nutr Cancer 2013; 65(3): 398-409. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23530639
  4. Kim, E.S., et al. Coffee enema for preparation for small bowel video capsule endoscopy: a pilot study. Clin Nutr Res 2014 Jul; 3(2): 134-41. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136541
  5. Bharath, N., Sowmya, N.K., and Mehta, D.S. Determination of antibacterial activity of green coffee bean extract on periodontogenic bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans: An in vitro study. Contemp Clin Dent 2015 Apr-Jun; 6(2): 166-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26097349
  6. Downey, Michael. Discovering Coffee’s Unique Health Benefits. Jan 2012. Life Extension Foundation (www.lef.org) http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2012/1/Discovering-Coffees-Unique-Health-Benefits/Page-02
  7. Vinson JA. The potential health benefits of antioxidants. Presented at the 230th meeting of the American Chemical Society. August 28, 2005. Washington, DC.
  8. Lopez-Garcia, E., et al. The relationship of coffee consumption and mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2008 June 17; 148(12): 904-14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18559841
  9. Pulido, R. , Hernandez-Garcia, M., and Saura-Calixto, F. Contribution of beverages to the intake of lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants in the Spanish diet. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003 Oct; 57(10): 1275-82.

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About the author

Dr. France Carpentier

Dr. France Carpentier has over forty years of experience as a healthcare professional. She started as a Registered Nurse in Quebec, Canada, which was followed by over thirty years as a Chiropractor in Florida. She has always had a focus on nutrition using a holistic approach to health and wellness.