Coffee is one of the most favourite and beloved drinks worldwide, for this reason it is considered to be a commodity. Around 25 million small-scale producers make a living growing this crop and over 2.25 billion cups are consumed every day worldwide. Therefore, we may wonder what has got us all so hooked to coffee? Let’s have a look at the science behind a good coffee brew its potential health benefits.
Energy Booster and Brain function improvement: thanks to “caffeine“, the main stimulant component of coffee, after you drink coffee this caffeine is absorbed by your system through the bloodstream and from there it goes right to the brain and here, caffeine inhibits the neurotransmitters adenosine and benzodiazepine which are believed to slow down the brain’s activity. By blocking these neurotransmitters caffeine boosts brain activity making us feel more energetic. Furthermore, studies have found that controlled caffeine consumption by means of coffee can also improve different areas of brain function such as enhancement of auditory vigilance, visual reaction, memory and overall cognitive function.
Protection against heart disease: it has been argued that caffeine increases blood pressure but this increase is very small. However, several studies, including one by the Sun Yat-sen University in China, have demonstrated that caffeine through habitual moderate coffee drinking is actually associated with a lower risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) in women. It is important to note that the best coffee beans containing the most chemicals related to lowering the risks of CHD are robusta beans.
Protection against type-2 diabetes: several studies have claimed that those who consume a regular intake of coffee per day (6 cups) can actually lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It is believed that the reason behind these facts is that coffee contains minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants which act against the manifestation of this disease. A study carried out by Harvard University showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Moreover, a further study at Harvard University showed that decreasing coffee consumption by as little as 1 coffee cup per day increases the risk of type-2 diabetes whereas those who drink more than 3 coffee cups can indeed reduces their chances of developing this disease by up to 50%.
Protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: Alzheimer’s disease is currently the first most common neurodegenerative condition and Parkinson’s the second and as a cure hasn’t been found for either disease the focus of studies and research for both diseases are continuous. A study in the US by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease. Likewise, new research in Sweden revealed that coffee intake lowers the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors affect the person. A further study found that drinking at least 4 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s and lower the effects of the disease on those who already suffer from the disease. As per Alzheimer’s disease, studies have revealed that coffee drinkers have a significant 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, a new study from Krembil Brain Institute in Canada found that “coffee consumption seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease“. During the coffee roasting process, a component group known as phenylindanes prevent or inhibit both beta amyloid and tau, two protein fragments found in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s. A higher roasting process leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, thus the darker the beans the more protective the coffee will be against theses diseases.
Coffee and Longevity: it has been proved that coffee is rich in antioxidants, which help our body in the battle against cell damages, and it is believed that our bodies can absorb coffee antioxidants better than in any other foods. A study published on the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that women who drink coffee showed a lower risk of developing cancer, heart disease and other diseases thus reducing the chances of dying prematurely and promoting a longer lifespan.
For these and many other reasons we should consider the importance of coffee in our lives as well as the lives of the farmers who work hard in order to bring your daily coffee cup. Through our projects, you will be able to aid coffee farmers, make sustainable choices, support a good cause and ensure the intake of your daily coffee to guard you against many diseases and keep you healthy!