Personal resolutions have become a big part of the New Year’s process. This is the perfect time to reflect on the good and the bad in the previous year, and how we can make improvements in the coming 12 months. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday food gorging parties are over, making January first a great time to hit the reset button. Here in the US, many people land on health as their top priority. These new health initiatives usually come in two flavors: eating better or exercising more. Many times, people choose both. So, where does coffee come into the new year’s resolution process? What people don’t realize is coffee can help with overall health and exercise, so read on to see why you shouldn't kick your coffee habit to the curb. Leave a comment below on how you are using coffee to aid in your new year's resolutions!
Coffee has been the recipient of many studies showing its positive benefits on the human body. It also doubles as the perfect enhancement for those looking to exercise more. Let’s start with the health benefits.
It only makes sense to start with the coffee bean itself and then work outward to the benefits this bean provides to our bodies. One 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee provides:
11% of the daily Riboflavin needs, for the average adult. Riboflavin, a B vitamin, is a requirement for the proper development of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells and brain function. This nutrient also helps convert ingested carbohydrates into ATP, a necessary component of energy production.
6% of the daily value of Pantothenic Acid. This B5 vitamin is an essential part of the fatty acid metabolism process.
3% of Manganese and Potassium. Manganese plays many roles as a cofactor for several enzymes while we need potassium for proper kidney and heart functions, muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
2% of Magnesium and Niacin (vitamin B3). Like Manganese, Magnesium is a cofactor for over 300 enzyme systems. Niacin helps turn the food you eat into energy and also contributes to the development and function of the cells in our bodies.
May be the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western Diet
Luckily for us coffee drinkers, coffee may be one of the heathiest aspects of our western diet for its high quantity of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that have the potential to cause harm if their levels become too high in the body. With that said though, free radicals play important roles in the body, for example, your immune cells use free radicals to fight infections. When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it can lead to oxidative stress, which can damage your DNA and other important molecules in your body. Studies show that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. This means that coffee may be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet!
Overall health improvement
The BMJ journal performed an analysis on 220 coffee and studies and determined that 17% of coffee drinkers were less likely to die from any cause. 19% of those coffee drinkers were less likely to die of heart disease, while 18% were less likely to develop cancer over those who do not prefer coffee.
May lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Over the years, diabetes has proven to be a major health problem that affects millions of lives around the world. The good news for coffee drinkers, however, is that they see a slight benefit from the ingestion of coffee. Several observational studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A large review of 18 studies encompassing over 457,000 people showed that each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk to this disease. Other studies showed an even bigger benefit of 23-50% lower risk.
May protect you from Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer's unfortunately, is the leading cause of dementia worldwide, usually affecting those 65 and older with known currently known cure. With no known cure, we can try to do everything in our power to prevent this disease, and once again, coffee might come to the rescue. Several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer's!
May lower your risk of Parkinson's
Right behind Alzheimer's, one can find Parkinson's disease as the second most common neurodegenerative condition. Similar to Alzheimer's there is also no cure for Parkinson's. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of Parkinson's disease, with a risk reduction ranging from 32-60%. What's even more interesting is the fact that caffeine somehow plays a major role in the risk reduction, because those who consume decaf coffee did not have a lower risk.
May protect your liver
Your liver is vital to supporting your body by carrying out hundreds of different functions. Your liver can be targeted by diseases, which lead to cirrhosis. Those who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk of cirrhosis.Other studies have also shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.For those looking to increase their exercise in the coming months, the below section is your friend!
Can drastically improve physical performance
The caffeine in coffee stimulates your nervous system, which signals your fat cells to break down body fat. This body fat breakdown, frees up fatty acids to be used as fuel. Score! We haven't even gone to the gym yet and we are already getting some weight reduction help from coffee! Caffeine also increases your epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your blood, preparing your body for intense physical exertion. This is why you see coffee or caffeine in most pre-workout supplements. Although I'm sure there are some other beneficial ingredients in the pre-workout supplements, you could skip this expensive product and simply consume coffee before working out instead!
Can help you burn fat
To elaborate on the above details, caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement. It's one of the few natural substances proven to help in the fat burning process. Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11% and can increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
Grab your bag of locally roasted coffee to ensure you receive all the health benefits listed above!