The Health Benefits of Coffee
There are many health reasons to drink coffee – if you need any other reason than the fact that it tastes good!
In 2018, Healthline provided a list of 13 benefits that coffee provides to us.
- A lot of the benefits this Healthline article mentions have to do with its most famous ingredient, caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why most coffee drinkers start their mornings with a cup of coffee. Caffeine also can increase one’s metabolic rate – which helps us burn fat. It increases our adrenaline levels, which means it helps provide energy when we’re ready to do some exercise.
- Coffee has some nutrients – Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, manganese and potassium, and magnesium and niacin.
- Studies have shown that people who drink a lot of coffee (pure coffee, not lattes) have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Studies also show that coffee may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and lower the risk of contracting Parkinson’s.
- Some studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Coffee is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidation – which causes rust on vehicles and causes bad things to happen to our cells!
Two of the thirteen benefits this article lists have to do with the liver.
How Important is the Liver?
The liver performs about 500 separate functions within our bodies. The major function of the liver, according to Johns Hopkins, is to “process blood and break down, balance and create nutrients, and metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier for the rest of the body to use.”
The liver can be damaged irreparably by excessive consumption of alcohol, resulting in cirrhosis of liver, or too much consumption of the wrong types of fats, which results in Fatty Liver disease (which in turn leads to cirrhosis to the liver – when the liver has been scarred so much that it no longer functions.)
How Does Coffee Help Keep the Liver?
Coffee has been demonstrated to help prevent cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Researchers are still trying to figure out the exact mechanisms of how coffee does that. There are over 1,000 chemicals in coffee (not all chemicals are man-made – the whole body is a chemical factory.)
WebMD refers to these chemicals as “pieces of the puzzle.”
Caffeine is converted into a chemical called paraxanthine – this chemical has been shown to slow the growth of scar tissue from a condition called fibrosis – and therefore helps against not only liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver caused by over-indulging in alcohol, fatty liver disease, and even hepatitis C.
Coffee has two chemicals called kahweol and cafestol – which show indications of fighting cancer.
There are acids in coffee that show some indications of fighting against hepatitis B (which is caused by a virus).
There’s No One Panacea
Although studies have shown that people who drink from two to four cups of coffee a day have less chance of contracting liver cancer or cirrhosis, coffee is in itself not enough to prevent all the ills of our bodies.
Eating a balanced diet, exercising on a regular basis, and drinking only a moderate amount of alcohol also help one live a healthy lifestyle – which can be made all the more enjoyable with the delightful aroma and flavor of coffee.