We tend to think of coffee as a drink that, though it may be enjoyable, isn’t actually that good for you. But next time you fire up the coffee machine in the kitchen, you shouldn’t feel so bad and worry that you have a caffeine addiction, because there are some real health benefits to drinking coffee which may surprise you.
Cheer up with a cup of coffee
Coffee can actually make you happier. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, drinking four or more coffees could make you 10% less likely to be depressed compared with people who don’t drink coffee. Interestingly, it’s not that you’ll be on a caffeine high, it’s the antioxidants in coffee that improve your mood.
Another study by the Harvard Public School of Health went even further than that, suggesting that men were 50% less likely to consider suicide if they drank two cups of coffee per day. This is because drinking coffee actually kick-starts the production of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, so it acts as a mild antidepressant.
We all know that fresh fruit and veg is good for us because it contains antioxidants, but so does coffee, and it is actually easier to absorb antioxidants from coffee than from other foodstuffs.
Coffee mixes well with alcohol
We all know that coffee goes well with certain alcoholic drinks – think Irish coffee or a ristretto – a coffee with a shot of alcohol like Cognac in it. However, a 2006 study also showed that drinking one cup of coffee a day could make you 20% less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that is caused by excessive alcohol consumption
And even if you don’t drink alcohol, coffee can help the prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. An international research team that was headed up by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School showed that four or more cups of coffee each day may help prevent the progress of this disease.
So, there you have it, three great reasons to combat any negative comments other people might make about you drinking a couple of cups of coffee during your busy day!
Photo by jamesjoel