Coffee is all too often regarded as "bad"' for our health and hardly ever glorified for it's beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, which help us to prevent a whole host of nasty diseases. This globally-praised beverage is also an excellent way to boost your brain function and help step-up your work-outs.
True, drinking excessive amounts of coffee (as consuming anything in abundance) can have negative effects on your health, shadowing the advantages of a steaming brew.
But here at sofeminine, we're determined to shake off the common misconceptions of this taunted superfood and highlight just how spectacular a few modest cups of coffee can actually be. So we got chatting to NutriCentre's Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist & Naturopath, Elouise Bauskis, to help us divulge some of coffee’s little known health benefits.
For most of us, it's a definite hero buy. And with 18,000 studies and 10 years of evidence to back it up it will be hard to disagree...
1. It's a natural way to beat cellulite
Good-bye dimply legs! Hello gorgeous pins. The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee help diminish pesky dimples making our skin appear smoother and more toned. Try slathering ground coffee with olive oil on your cellulite - it can temporarily banish it. Hurrah.
2. It fights diabetes
Studies show that those who drink coffee regularly (four cups or more/day) had a decreased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Elouise says, "It has been suggested that the antioxidant phytochemicals in coffee such as chlorogenic acid and quinides may increase the cell’s sensitivity to insulin, thereby regulating blood sugar levels."
3. It can help lower your risk of a stroke
If you a have a few cuppas throughout the day, don't worry, you're probably doing more good than bad. Evidence shows that those who drink a moderate amount of coffee (one-three cups/day) have a lower incidence of stroke compared to non-coffee drinkers.
"The antioxidants in coffee may help to protect the arteries from the damage of inflammation. But be aware that an excessive coffee consumption of five cups or more has been linked to higher heart disease risks," says Elouise.
4. Coffee can help prevent dementias
Research suggests that enjoying one-five cups/day may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
"The antioxidants in coffee increase the effects of neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function. These antioxidants may prevent damage to brain cells."
5. It strengthens your brain function and energy
Two Java jolts a day can help kick-start your memory helping to increase your intelligence whilst also boosting your energy levels.
"Caffeine has a stimulant effect on the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called, Adenosine. This results in enhanced levels of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, increasing the ‘firing’ or neurons. Coffee improves moods, energy levels, reaction time and cognitive function in general," says Elouise.
6. It helps boost your work-out
If you're looking for an added edge in the gym then coffee is your answer. This energy drink is the perfect complement to your work-out, dramatically boosting your physical performance by 11-12% on average.
Elouise says, "Coffee will increase your energy prior to a workout, whilst also strengthening endurance. By releasing fatty acids from the fat tissues for the body to use as ‘fuel’, and by increasing adrenaline levels in the blood, coffee makes our bodies ready for physical exertion."
7. Coffee helps burn more fat
Burn away the pounds with your fave booster beverage. Caffeine can boost your metabolism by up to 3-11%, which can help melt away the fat in no time.
Elouise adds, "It has also been shown to increase fat burning, by up to 10% in individuals who are obese, and 29% in those who are lean (but this effect may decrease over time as your body becomes used to the caffeine)."
8. It will make you happy
It's not just in our heads - your daily cup o' joe does make you more cheerful. Coffee can make you happier whilst warding off depression (all thanks to the 'happy' chemical, dopamine). According to a 2011 report (from Archives of Internal Medicine) women who drank two-three cups/day were 15% less likely to develop depression, increasing to 20% for those who consumed four cups.
9. It reduces your risk of cancer (and your man's)
Further evidence has come to light in recent years that our daily dose of Java may actually lower the risk of certain cancers.
Elouise says, "Women with a family history of oestrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer, drink coffee in order to postpone the onset of breast cancer altogether. Furthermore, a recent Harvard study recommends men drink either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee daily in order to lower their risk of prostate cancer."
10. It's the key to longevity
Coffee may help you add more years to your life. Studies have shown that people who drink a modest amount of coffee per day have longer life expectancies. Coffee's positive effects on health and brain function can help avoid death from heart disease, respiratory problems, strokes, diabetes and infections. Viva longevity!
We'll never look at coffee in the same way again. A guilty pleasure? Pfft.
If you're looking for a way to beat the January blues then pop into your local Starbucks for a little pick-me-up. Fetch your fave morning latte for only £1.50 from store opening until 11am, every Monday until 27 January (we're there).
Did you find yourself surprised by any of these coffee facts? Tweet us @sofeminineUK