Health benefits of coffee

Coffee has through the ages been blamed for various health problems and negativities. Historically coffee has even been banned. For example both King Gustav III in Sweden and Frederick the Great of Prussia banned coffee in the 18´th century. It was said unhealthy, while tobacco for example wasn’t. The ban didn’t help much though. In Sweden they still drank coffee during the ban and consume quite a lot of it today during their “fika”. Gustav III was even said to have tried to torture some of his prisoners by making them drink a lot of coffee.

We have been told that coffee causes heart problems. While the newer research finds no connection between coffee and the increased risk of heart disease and cancer. In old studies many other factors, such as tobacco and physical inactivity, weren’t taken into account, which probably affected the outcome of the studies. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even taken coffee off the possible carcinogen list and recognized that coffee is even linked with a lower risk of certain cancers.

In fact many of the newer studies have shown many possible health benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, uterine cancer and liver cancer, along with improving cognitive function and reducing the risk of depression. Moderate coffee consumption has even been linked to longevity.

Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants. But what are antioxidants? To explain a complicated phenomenon in an easier way, the cells in the body are constantly threatened by free radicals. Scientists believe that molecules called free radicals can contribute to the aging process. They can play a role in many different diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Antioxidants can help stop or limit free radical damage. Therefore, researchers believe that eating antioxidants can be healthy. 

Many eat different foods and drink tea and red wine because of the amount of antioxidants these foods/drinks contain. But actually coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants. We frequently hear about how tea and wine are rich in antioxidants, although coffee may contain even more. Both a cup of tea and a glass of red wine contain 150-400 mg /cup or glass of antioxidants, while a cup of coffee contains 200-550 mg /cup.

If you are asking yourself the question if you should belief in these studies you should keep in mind that coffee is one of the most heavily studied dietary components today.

If you are reading this, chances are that you already are a coffee drinker. So now you can at least stop worrying about your coffee consumption. Just know that it can actually along with the above mentioned benefits improve your memory, mood, mental function, boost your metabolic rate, improve your physical performance and potentially protect you from Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s not so bad.