Most of us start our day with it—coffee. Some of us may even recharge with more coffee throughout the day—for an afternoon pickup or perhaps before a workout. While you know, obviously, that caffeine perks us up and you may have also heard that it does improve concentration and focus….there are some other great benefits in that cup of energy that you may not know about.
It’s a no-brainer – Lifelong caffeinated-coffee drinkers may be less prone to develop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Coffee’s antioxidants may tamp down cell damage linked to Parkinson’s. And caffeine blocks inflammation in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer’s.
Sip for your smile – Caffeinated java has anti-bacterial and anti-adhesive powers, so it may keep cavity causing bacteria from eating your enamel. And drinking a cup daily has been shown to slash oral cancer risk by half. Also, compounds found in coffee may limit cancer cell growth and DNA damage.
Coffee’s a bosom buddy – Premenopausal women who downed four cups of regular coffee per day experienced a 38 percent reduction in their breast cancer risk, a study in The Journal of Nutrition finds. Coffee unleashes phytoestrogens and flavonoids that may stifle tumor growth. But drink up: Those who had less than 4 cups didn’t benefit.
Stop stones – Gallstones grow when mucous inside your gallbladder traps cholesterol crystals. Xanthine, found in caffeine, may reduce mucous and risk for deposits. Two or more cups daily may help.
Save your skin- Two to five cups of regular coffee daily may help lower your risk for non-melanoma skin cancer by up to 17 percent. Caffeine may spur skin to kill precancerous cells, and it also inhibits tumour growth.
Dodge Diabetes – People who sip 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf coffee a day are 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid may help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor of the disease.
Now, if you like your coffee with a couple of dollops of cream and several teaspoons of sugar or as a frappuccino with caramel and whipped cream…you’re basically turning it into dessert and drinking a crème brûlée.
This is okay as a treat once in a while, but I certainly don’t recommend this everyday. With all the extras – sweeteners, flavours, cream and whipped cream, you are adding tons of extra calories, fat, and sugars that your body doesn’t need and it definitely counter-acts your efforts in the gym.
To get these benefits, and your caffeine fix, opt for straight, black coffee.
But if you must, choose skim milk and sugar-free syrups instead. Also, select a lighter roast; its milder, so you need less milk and sugar to cut flavour.