7 Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee is a drink with a lot of antioxidants and other stimulating nutrients, such as caffeine, for example, which helps to prevent tiredness and other diseases, such as cancer and heart problems. In addition, it has also been found that coffee helps fight depression by improving mood and ensuring mood.

However, it has been seen that caffeine can increase blood pressure in people who are sensitive to it, who smoke or who have high levels of stress or anxiety. Therefore, it is ideal that it is consumed in moderate amounts.

1. Fight fatigue

Because it is rich in caffeine and other bioactive compounds, coffee helps to combat tiredness, improve memory, alertness and perception, in addition to increasing the ability to concentrate to perform simple tasks, hearing, time visual retention and decreased sleepiness.

In addition, it increases energy levels, since it promotes the increase of some hormones that help to activate neurons, being necessary to ingest 75 mg of caffeine (1 cup of espresso), at least, to have these effects.

However, it is important to know that the effects vary from person to person, as it depends on the ability that each one has to metabolize caffeine and eliminate it from the body.

2. Avoid depression

Moderate consumption of caffeine helps prevent depression because it positively affects mood, mood and cognitive performance due to its stimulating effect on the central nervous system.

In addition, coffee consumption is also linked to social living habits, which stimulate coexistence with other individuals and increase personal well-being.

3. Prevent cancer

Some studies show that coffee helps prevent certain types of cancer, such as breast, ovary, skin, liver, colon and rectum, as it contains antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, caffeine, tocopherols, melanoidins and phenolic compounds, for example, which protect cells from free radical damage and decrease inflammation in the body.

4. Prevent and improve headaches

Coffee helps to decrease and prevent headache, as it promotes the contraction of arteries in the brain, preventing pain. Some studies indicate that the therapeutic dose in these cases should be at least 100 mg per day.

You can also find in the pharmacy several painkillers that contain caffeine, since it increases the effect of the drug and, together, it combats more effectively the different types of headache, including migraine.

5. Stimulate weight loss

Some studies show that coffee consumption favors weight loss, as it contains several active substances that can affect the metabolism and stimulate it, such as caffeine, theobromine, chlorogenic acid and theophylline, for example.

These bioactive compounds cause the body to spend more calories and burn more fat, favoring weight loss.

6. Improve endurance in athletes

The consumption of caffeine increases the levels of adrenaline in the blood, improving endurance and coordination in racket and high-intensity sports such as running, swimming and rowing, for example.

Some studies suggest consuming 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight 1 hour before exercising.

7. Protect the heart

Coffee is potentially rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects, components that help protect cells from free radical damage and reduce insulin resistance, thereby protecting the heart and decreasing the risk of heart attack.

In addition, it favors the increase of good cholesterol, HDL, which is considered cardioprotective, and a decrease in bad cholesterol, LDL.

The best way to consume coffee

The best way to consume this drink is strained coffee, as boiled coffee contains greater amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a substance that favors changes in the DNA of cells and the appearance of cancer. This is because boiling coffee powder extracts more of these carcinogenic substances, making this boiled drink contain 5 times more of these substances than strained coffee.

Thus, the ideal is for the coffee to be made into a strain, passing the hot water through the filter with the coffee powder, because in addition to the carcinogenic substances, the filter also eliminates most of the compounds that cause cholesterol to rise. In addition, instant coffee also poses no health risks and can be consumed in moderate amounts to avoid insomnia and heart palpitations.

How much coffee to consume per day

For healthy adults, the recommended amount of caffeine is 400 mg per day, however that amount varies depending on the type of coffee being consumed, since the content may be different. A cup of espresso can contain about 77 mg of caffeine and a normal coffee, 163 mg, for example.

In the case of pregnant women or women planning pregnancy, caffeine consumption per day should be between 200 to 300 mg. In the case of pregnant women, excessive consumption of caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage or delay in the baby’s development, especially when more than 600 mg is consumed. This may be due to the fact that caffeine is eliminated more slowly from the body compared to a normal person and, therefore, drinking coffee several times a day can cause the amount of caffeine to increase more and more.

In addition, for women who are breastfeeding, the recommendation is to consume a maximum of 200 mg of coffee per day, as caffeine can be passed into breast milk and peaks about 1 hour after consumption. Therefore, if the mother has had coffee, it is recommended that breastfeeding be done soon after, so that the body has more time to eliminate this substance before breastfeeding happens again.

People with cardiovascular problems or increased blood pressure should limit their consumption, as the amount recommended for these situations is not certain, requiring further studies.

Does coffee + nap surprise sleep and increase concentration?

An excellent strategy to combat drowsiness right after lunch or mid-morning, for example, is to drink 1 cup of black coffee and take a 20-minute nap right after. These two strategies together is called Coffee NAP, and it favors brain functioning, leaving the nervous system more rested and active for another working day. This is because caffeine and rest will eliminate excess adenosine accumulated in the brain, which is what causes tiredness and difficulty concentrating. 

Although just 1 cup of coffee is enough to make you feel more active and focused, when you are very tired, more coffee may be needed. In addition, it is not recommended to sleep longer so as not to fall asleep, because if there is no possibility of sleeping for at least 90 minutes, the person will wake up even more tired. See 8 easy steps to sleep faster.

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