With all the studies, facts, statistics and health scares being thrown at you, it can become almost impossible to determine what is genuinely beneficial for your health.
Can coffee be detrimental to your wellbeing or is it a vital part of a healthy diet?
In this article we are going to answer this, as well as giving you the benefits of this beverage backed up by scientific evidence.
We will also tell you how to use it to improve the appearance of your skin and fight signs of ageing. (hint – it’s not through drinking it!)
Is Coffee Bad for You?
In the past, coffee beans have been given a bad name for affecting our health in a negative way.
Some claimed it contributes to heart disease and increases your risk of cancer.
Luckily, this is not true.
Mayo Clinic tells us that new research has generally shown no connection between coffee and these health risks and that it may actually have some health benefits.
But, why was coffee ever accused of being harmful?
This was because researchers didn’t take into account the unknown high-risk behaviours such as smoking, drinking and physical inactivity, which tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers.
Now we have advanced knowledge of health risks and damaging activities, it is easy to pin point what specific affects coffee has on our bodies.
Is Caffeine Bad for You?
Caffeine is usually a topic of debate, as there are different opinions as to whether caffeine is good for you or not.
The main thing to remember is: moderation.
Caffeine can have many health benefits when consumed in moderation. Some of these benefits include:
- It can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function.
- It can increase metabolism and increase oxidisation of fatty acids.
- Can help to improve memory.
- It is great for after an intensive work out to relieve some muscle pain.
- Studies have shown it can help to protect against Parkinson’s disease.
- It has also been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s.
To read a full guide on the positive and negative effects of caffeine, what it does to your body and to find out the difference between decaf and naturally caffeine free, you can read our guide to decaf here.
What are the Health Benefits of Coffee?
Yes, there are many proven benefits to drinking coffee, including decaf coffee. Here are the top ones:
- Diabetes – those who drink coffee regularly may have an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- A Lower Risk of Stroke – a large study showed that those who drank several cups a day had a lower risk of stroke.
- Heart Attacks – Coffee can help to keep your blood vessels flexible and healthy, which may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attacks.
- Nutrients – This beverage contains many nutrients which are great for our immune systems and functions in the body. These nutrients include:
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
- Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
- Liver Disease – It has been shown to help protect the liver against disease.
- Depression – in 2011, Harvard conducted a study which a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed in women who drank 4 or more cups every day.
For more information, read these 16 Health Benefits of Coffee.
So, Do I Need to Drink Lots of Coffee to Feel the Benefits?
No, this is not the case. Moderation is really important when it comes to caffeine consumption.
Drinking too much could lead to health issues or give the opposite effects of the desired benefits.
400mg of caffeine a day is recommended to be healthy for the average adult, which equates to around 4 cups.
Does Coffee Help You Live Longer?
As coffee has been proven to help protect against so many illnesses and diseases, it is no surprise that it could most likely help you live longer.
But, are we right to make this assumption?
In this huge study that took place from 1986 – 2004, it was proved that coffee may extend the lifespan of some people.
The results showed a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% lower risk of death in women.
Is Coffee Good for Your Skin?
Not only is it good for the inside of your body, it is also great for the outside.
Coffee is packed full of antioxidants which are wonderful for the health and appearance of our skin. It can help to strengthen your skin barrier and protect against harmful elements of the outside world.
Not only can it protect, but it can also help to improve the appearance of skin by fighting signs of ageing, buffing away dead skin cells and giving a healthy glow.
Drinking it can help, however applying it directly to the skin is the best way to feel the benefits. There are many coffee scrubs on the market, but for a more budget-friendly alternative here is a DIY recipe from Swanson Vitamins:
Mix 30g of ground coffee, 120g of Sugar, 120ml of Olive Oil and 1 Teaspoon of Honey into a bowl and mix. Adjust the recipe to create the desired consistency. You can store the mixture for up to 2 weeks in a closed plastic container.