Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

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According to legend, the first cup of coffee was made by an Ethiopian man who noticed that his goats had become hyperexcitable after eating certain berries. Fast forward many centuries, and this popular beverage has created a multibillion dollar industry. Coffee not only gives you a much needed kick in the morning but it is also beneficial to your health. Here is a list of some of these health benefits:

Headache relief- Have you ever looked at the ingredients listed on your aspirin bottle? One major ingredient in the aspirin pills is caffeine. Caffeine produces a pain relieving effect by causing vasoconstriction of cerebral vessels. Drinking a cup of coffee may work wonders at easing a throbbing headache. 

Increased mental alertness- Caffeine is classified under a group of pharmacologically active substances known as xanthines, which are central nervous system stimulants. Caffeine antagonizes the effects of neurotransmitters (adenosine specifically) that inhibit brain activity. This consequently increases the transmission of neural impulses in the brain. An increase in impulse transmission leads to an increase in alertness, allows for memory synapse consolidation, and increases cognition.

Makes you leaner– Coffee increases fat metabolism in your body in three ways. Its active ingredient caffeine signals the brain to suppress the appetite and cause a feeling of satiety. Caffeine also increases the beta-oxidation of fatty acids, so that there is less fat to be stored in the body. It causes an increase in the fight or flight hormone (epinephrine).

Elevates your spirits-It is difficult to completely escape the stresses of life. Stress not only dampens your spirits but it has also been shown to cause depression (an estimated 1 out of 10 people will experience depression in their lifetime). In depression, one of the major hormones that has been shown to be significantly decreased is dopamine. Caffeine elevates your spirits by spiking the dopamine levels in your brain.

Anti-carcinogenic-Scientists say that a cup of coffee may have more antioxidants than fruits. Antioxidants are important because they remove free radicals from our body. Free radicals are injurious agents that damage body cells and are a major cause of cancer. Because of the high antioxidant level in coffee, coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of getting hepatic and colonic cancer.

Decreases the risk of neurodegenerative disorders-The loss in muscle and cognitive function seen in Parkinson’s disease is caused by the progressive loss of dopamine releasing neurons. Caffeine decreases the chances of Parkinson’s by increasing dopamine levels. Research has also shown that coffee lowers the risk of the dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevents insulin resistance-Diabetes is caused by insulin resistance or absence of insulin. Insulin reduces the level of sugar in the blood. One ingredient of coffee is potassium, which helps release insulin from pancreatic cells. Caffeine also elevates epinephrine levels , this also increases the release of insulin.

Helps you exercise- A cup of coffee before your routine workout will increase nourishment to your muscles by increasing deposition of glycogen and increasing breakdown of fats. Both actions provide energy to your muscles.

It’s good for your skin-The presence of antioxidants in coffee help protect your epithelial membranes from free radicals. This keeps your skin younger and even helps reduce the risk of developing melanomas(skin cancer).
James Christopher, Creative Writer