Coffee may be undeniably delicious and irresistibly aromatic, but it often gets a bad rap in the press as far as health is concerned. In fact most of the ill effects associated with coffee are simply a result of drinking too much. All good things are best in moderation. Keep your intake under six cups a day and far from being bad for you, coffee could have some remarkably positive effects.

Boosting your brain power

As well as giving you more energy, coffee directly stimulates your brain, increasing the amount of neural activity and keeping you alert for longer. Studies have shown that it can improve short term memory and speed up your mental reactions, as well as sharpening your logical abilities and stimulating general cognitive function. It’s particularly useful if you don’t generally get enough sleep, as it blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter we produce more of when we’re overtired and which tends to stop us thinking clearly.

Helping your mental health

Coffee doesn’t just make you smarter, it also improves your mood. People who drink at least four cups per day have been shown to face a lower risk of developing depression, whilst drinking two to four cups can halve the risk of suicide. Over the longer term, coffee appears to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by as much as 65%. It may also significantly reduce the chance of Parkinson’s disease occurring.

Keeping you trim

If you’d like to lose weight but you just can’t resist snacking, coffee can help. Acting as an appetite suppressant, it can simply prevent you from feeling the urge. It will also make you fidget, which might be considered poor etiquette in some circles but which science increasingly suggests is good for you, burning calories and keeping your muscles toned. Most significantly, when combined with exercise it helps your body to burn stored fat that can be hard to shed under other circumstances.

Delicious and nutritious

Increasing its utility as a dietary aid, coffee is packed with useful nutrients that can help to keep you in good health even if you’re eating less food. It’s a great source of B vitamins and is also rich in potassium and manganese as well as antioxidants that help to protect against DNA damage. The bad news is that it does contain a substance that can increase LDL cholesterol, but there’s a simple way to counter this – just run your coffee through a filter paper.

Coffee Roasting

Reducing the risk of a stroke

Many studies and trial have now conclusively proved that moderate coffee consumption will reduce the risk of having a stroke. In one study of 83,000 female nurses who have never smoked, the risk was reduced by over 40%.

Fending off type 2 diabetes

The antioxidants in coffee have another useful function. They increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and decrease glucose absorption within the intestines. This has the effect of reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by around 25%. It also means generally improved health, giving the body better control over energy levels. As long as coffee consumption is not excessive and is spread out throughout the day, coffee drinkers enjoy a more consistently energised feeling.

Fending off cancer

Drinking coffee appear to be helpful in tackling three types of cancer: uterine cancer, skin cancer and liver cancer. Again, this would appear to be related to the action of antioxidants, and its effect in reducing the risk of obesity is also a likely contributory factor. Just three cups a day seem to be enough to help ward off basal cell carcinoma and reduce the risk of liver cancer by as much as 40%.

Looking after your liver

Coffee also helps to protect the liver in other ways. It is known to reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases generally and, in particular, those that affect the liver. It can also reduce the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, which is particularly useful for those who also enjoy drinking alcohol.

2 other benefits

Coffee also has the effect of helping patients suffering with cellulitis and can reduce dark circles under your eyes, fair enough that’s a cosmetic benefit rather than a health one.

Overall, coffee consumed in moderation can significantly increase our chances of enjoying a long and healthy life. It is associated with a lower risk of dying from any major health-related cause in any given year. What’s more, it tastes delicious and is the perfect pick-me-up, so why not enjoy it? For maximum health benefits, take it black and sugar-free, but whatever your preferences, it has the potential to do you a lot of good. It’s time to drink to your health