Coffee has been enjoyed by people around the world for hundreds of years. The average American consumes at least three cups of coffee every day. In addition to providing that energizing morning lift and great aroma, coffee has some surprising health benefits that will have Paleo dieters pouring a second (or third) cup!
Coffee decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25 percent. Accordingto a study published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), moderate coffee consumption of three to four cups daily results in lower sugar and insulin levels than those who drink less or none. For each additional cup of coffee consumed, the risk of type 2 diabetes lowers at least by 5%. Certain compounds in coffee stop the aggression of a polypeptide tied to an increase in a risk for diabetes.
Coffee may ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have up to a 65% lower risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Basically, caffeine inhibits the production of a protein (beta-amyloid) that builds up on the brain of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee stimulates the metabolization of this protein.
Coffee helps the liver regulate itself. It seems that coffee is protective against liver disorders. The beverage lowers the risk of liver cancer by over 30%. Coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis, an autoimmune liver disease that leads to liver failure. Heavy drinkers who drank just one cup of java per day were 20% less likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis.
Coffee eases depression. Studies have shown that four cups of coffee a day can lower depression by 20%, particularly in women. The antioxidants in coffee are thought to be the reason for the mood lifts. Caffeine’s effects include increased sensations of well-being and general happiness. Researchers point out cause and effect has not been proven. In other words, drinking coffee in copious amounts will not prevent depression. It will simply lower your risk for depression or act as a protector against it. Caffeine stimulates brain receptors in the basal ganglia, which is an area linked to depression and Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee boosts your mental ability. Some might argue that coffee makes you smarter, but the fact is that your brain performs better when stimulated by caffeine. It boosts your mental concentration and short-term memory as well as your brain efficiency. Studies show that the reaction time of subjects improved when they were given water spiked with caffeine. Coffee seems to improve the efficiency of chemical reactions involving neurons, and prevents fatigue and while improving memory.
The studies mentioned confirm that decaf coffee simply does not offer the same health benefits that caffeinated coffee does. Health professionals warn that the overconsumption of coffee can lead to nervousness, anxiety, heart palpitations and increased heart rate. The bottom line for Paleo dieters? Drink two to three cups of coffee per day for maximum health benefits without the risk of overdoing it.