Superfood Spotlight: Coffee

Superfood Spotlight: Coffee

Coffee is a superfood. Despite what you might believe people that regularly drink good quality coffee benefit from a wide range of positive health effects which I will elaborate on below. From weight loss to brain power the benefits of drinking coffee is something that 83% of Americans do every day amounting in a staggering 587 million cups of coffee consumed every day in the U.S alone! Coffee, and it's active stimulant caffeine really is the drug of choice for the modern day capitalist society we live in fueling more work, creativity, and less sleep! All great things for business. 

The Health Benefits of Coffee

But apart from coffee's ability to boost productivity and increase work capacity due to its stimulating effects what are the other health benefits which a simple cup of coffee can offer you? The answers may surprise you!

1) Coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants

Coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants we can include in our diets! Most people when looking to increase their intake of antioxidants reach for high sugar fruits with questionnable amounts of antioxidants but studies have shown that these popular antioxidant sources pale in comparison to a good quality cup of coffee when it comes to antioxidant content. Not only this but the active stimulant in coffee caffeine is a very potent antioxidant  which has been strongly linked with decreasing the risk of Alzheimers, a fantastic benefit of coffee! One piece of advice would be to get the best quality of coffee you can, freshly ground beans offer a much higher antioxidant content than instant as does choosing single origin coffee over blends- But you don't have to be a coffee snob like me, just get the best you can afford.

2) Coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer

That's right coffee consumption is linked with reduced risks of several conditions. These include a 50% decreased risk of getting type 2 diabetes for those who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day over the long term with more coffee further decreasing the risk. A similar consumption of coffee has been displayed in a study of 49,000 men to reduce a mans risk of getting prostate cancer by 20%  and drinking a few cups of coffee a day was strongly correlated with a 30% reduction in lethal prostate cancer. 

3) Coffee has several mental benefits

Coffee contains the stimulant caffeine which has strong links to increased mental performance including short term memory recall, attention span, vigilance, and reaction time, so I guess it's of no surprise that high achievers, productive business types, and workaholics can almost always be seen with a cup of coffee in hand! Be careful not to over do your coffee consumption if you are using it as a productivity tool as too much caffeine can leave you overstimulated and jittery, find the balance that works for you for optimal mental functioning. 

On top of these mental performance benefits coffee has been shown to make people happier and act as a mild antidepressent due to it's ability to stimulate the release of feel good chemicals like seretonin and dopamine. One study of American adults linked the regular consumption of coffee to reduce the risk of suicide by 50% which is a staggering number so If you are feeling blue maybe brew some of the good stuff and see how you do!

4) Improved exercise performance and fat burning

Drinking coffee or consuming caffeine before exercise improves exercise performance in most individuals regardless of whether the exercise was aerobic or anaerobic with links to increased power output. All individuals differ n their response to caffeine so be sure to test it out for yourself to see it caffeine can give you a performance edge. 

Coffee is a natural thermogenic meaning that it increases your metabolism which has been shown to aid weight loss in individuals following a healthy balanced diet. It isn't a miracle cure but those who drink coffee will benefit from an increased metabolism and therefore have an easier time losing weight should they desire, just remember it is an aid not a cure all effect!

5) The benefits go on..

Coffee's amazing benefits are almost endless and this article could go on forever so much is my enthusiasm for the health benefits of this superfood! Here are more benefits to convince you to drink coffee (if you needed them):

  • Reduced risk of strokes in women
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • The smell of coffee can reduce stress
  • You might talk alot. (This could be a disadvantage)

The bottom line

Coffee is the superfood that no one talks about and I hope that this article persuades you to consider coffee as one of the best things you can do for your health, productivity, and well being! Common sense rules apply as they should with anything but a couple of cups of freshly brewed coffee is completely safe and generally has a positive effect on most people. The science supporting coffee's long list of benefits is strong and so is the anecdotal evidence of how many people drink coffee to help them with their daily performance. 

This every day superfood has been unfairly portrayed in the media as unhealthy when the science says that coffee improves brain function, mood, exercise performance, and reduces the risk of several health conditions! I don't know about you but I know who I trust more. Drink coffee and open yourself up to a world of mental and physical well being.