Many of us have read that coffee with its caffeine can have negative impacts on our health. Some effects include insomnia, heart palpitations and even symptoms of anxiety. Although much of that information is valid; there are numerous health benefits to coffee if you drink in moderation.
First, how many of you are aware that the coffee beans you purchase come from a fruit known as coffee cherry which is produced by coffee trees. The coffee cherries are harvested, seeds removed and they are dried and roasted. The coffee beans are ground and brewed producing a delicious cup of coffee.
It turns out there are a number of health promoting compounds that are found in coffee.
- Nicotinic Acid which is a B vitamin that helps with numerous enzymatic reactions in the body
- Tocopherols which is a form of Vitamin E and this is beneficial for our brain.
- Antioxidants including Melanoidins, Cholorgenic acid that help to neutralize free radicals. This is both an antioxidant and chemo-preventive compound.
- Diterpenes including Cafestol and Kahweol that contain anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial effects.
- Heterocyclic compounds which have potent antioxidant effects.
So with these numerous health promoting compounds; coffee can help
- Increase Insulin sensitivity. The chlorogenic acid in coffee is transformed into a compound called quinidines which lowers glucose levels. Coffee may also have prebiotic properties that modify the microbiome and digestion which positively affects Insulin secretion
- Boost to Brain Health The caffeine in coffee can have a neuroprotective factor that can help reduce the risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This comes from the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in coffee
- Protects the Liver. Coffee drinkers are more likely to have healthier liver enzymes and less likely to develop liver disease. Coffee enhances enzymes that aid in liver detoxification.
- Increased Heart Health. This seems to be related to a protein called P27 which is in our cells mitochondria (our energy producing part of our cells) which enhances heart cells function and allows the heart to recover more efficiently
All of the above add up to the benefit of longevity. Coffee is a wonderful tasty drink but it is important to remember the following
- The coffee you drink should be organic
- Having 1-2 cups a day increases health benefits but when coffee is consumed in larger quantities you can experience the negative effects of caffeine as a stimulant
- Stop drinking coffee by 1:00pm in the afternoon to avoid sleep disturbances.
- Having MCT oil or Ghee in the coffee is an added brain benefit with the good fats.
So if you enjoy coffee, consume in moderation. Remember the importance of incorporating other healthy lifestyle factors for your longevity including prioritizing sleep, movement, stress reduction and healthy relationships.