When you switch on your coffee machine for the second or third time of the day, do you feel like you shouldn’t? Coffee has long had a bit of a bad press around it vis-à-vis caffeine dependency, but recent studies have shown that coffee may actually have some real health benefits.
Firstly, it is full of antioxidants, specifically flavonoids. These can be beneficial for blood-thinning, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory purposes. Although we’ve long heard the benefits of drinking green tea for its antioxidant levels, it seems that coffee might be even better in this regard.
Drinking coffee has also been linked to improving a person’s mood, as the antioxidants in coffee encourage production of serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine, all of which prevent depression setting in.
A couple of cups of coffee a day could also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as long as you have a reasonably well-balanced diet and a lifestyle that includes regular exercise. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition carried out a study of 43,000 people and it noted that regular coffee drinkers had a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
And if you’re concerned about the possibility of developing a condition like Alzheimers in later life, research in the Missouri Journal of Medicine suggests that drinking coffee could help lower the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimers or Parkinsons.
So, when the kids have woken you up at 6am and kept you on the go since then, there may be some truth in that feeling you get halfway through the morning, when you think ‘I could really do with a coffee.’ The answer, it seems, is not to fight it, and just enjoy one of your favourite blends, as it may actually be beneficial for your overall health.