4 health benefits of coffee
Coffee doesn't only energize you for the day. It can be beneficial for your overall health!
After waking up in the morning, what's the first thing on your mind? Caitlin Rogers, director of dining and nutrition services at Sunrise, says most people want to reach for a fresh cup of coffee, and it's often because it's a comforting way to set the tone for the day.
"There's something about the ritual of a cup of coffee in the morning that's satisfying and comforting like few other things," Rogers says. "The smell of the beans, the sound of the coffee brewing, the warm mug … these things signal the start of a day with new possibilities."
With National Coffee Day right around the corner, now's the perfect time to appreciate a freshly-brewed pot and learn about the health benefits that come with it. Here are a few of the many reasons why you should start every day with a cup of a coffee:
1. It's full of antioxidants
Did you know that coffee is loaded with several powerful antioxidants? In fact, Rogers says the average American gets more antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. The hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols help to neutralize free radicals and prevent various chronic conditions and diseases.
2. The smell alone can help you de-stress
A study conducted by researchers at Seoul National University found that rats that were previously burnt out from sleep deprivation were less stressed after being exposed to the aroma of coffee. That morning cup might be able to help you feel at ease before it even touches your tongue!
3. It's great for your liver
A systematic review published in the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics Journal found that drinking two cups of coffee each day could lessen your risk of developing cirrhosis, a disease caused by consuming too much alcohol.
4. It can reduce your risk for Parkinson's disease
Research led by Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that consuming four to five cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of Parkinson's disease by half in comparison to those who had little to no coffee.
How can I reap the benefits without drinking coffee?
If you're not a coffee drinker, don't worry! Rogers has a few suggestions on how you can reap the benefits without consuming a cup of joe in the morning - and in dessert, nonetheless!
"Ground espresso and instant coffee have a very fine grind, making them appropriate for adding to desserts," she said. "Try using brewed and chilled coffee in place of some of the liquid in chocolate cake or brownie recipes. Coffee goes especially well with chocolate."
But don't forget, consuming caffeine before bed could keep you from sleeping peacefully throughout the night. The National Sleep Foundation said the effects from caffeine generally take several hours to die down, so it's suggested to avoid coffee close to bedtime.
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