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Another cup of coffee? A daily habit that benefits your overall health

March 9, 2022

By Mayra Coelho

We all know that coffee is a beloved beverage for many people around the world. As the second largest commodity traded on a global scale, coffee is part of the quotidian for most of us depending on a daily cup to get the day started. Its stimulating properties that boost energy levels, reduce sleepiness and increase focus are well known, but there’s much more about the benefits of coffee consumption to our health.

The history of coffee dates back to the first millennia A.D. From the ancient coffee forests in Ethiopia to the Arabian Peninsula, where it started to be cultivated, the dark aromatic brew has made its way all over the world. The first public coffee houses, originated in the Middle East, were not only sites for social gathering, but also important centers of knowledge exchange, ordinarily called ‘schools of the wise’. Once it reached Europe, the peculiar Arabic drink quickly became popular and coffee houses sprung up throughout the continent, also serving as social meeting places for stimulating conversations and political debates. The invigorating effects of coffee contributed to its popularization, replacing fermented alcoholic drinks as the common breakfast beverage.

The energetic properties of coffee are mainly attributed to its rich source of caffeine, but the grain also brings complex phytochemistry with over 1000 components, such as antioxidants and acids, that impart several health benefits. The effects of coffee consumption on human health are so vast that since 2011 an international multidisciplinary journal was released to support investigations on caffeine, the Journal of Caffeine and Adenosine Research, which covers biomedical, behavioral, social and clinical sciences.

Recent studies have revealed that moderate coffee consumption – quantity of cups may vary according to body mass and genetic predisposition – shows protective effects against diverse diseases such as diabetes mellitus, various cancer lines, cardiovascular infirmities, liver and kidney chronic illness, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee compounds have been proved to inhibit tissue growth factors, playing a role in the fibrotic remodeling of various organs, and, ultimately, minimizing the progression of carcinogenesis. Moreover, its antioxidant compounds ameliorate oxidative stress, protecting the body from the hazardous effects of free radicals and helping to prevent or postpone the onset of degenerative diseases.  

As more research focuses on unveiling the benefits of coffee intake, findings reveal that the world’s favorite hot beverage might be beneficial for the prevention of several of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Caffeine reduces glucose storage and insulin responses, which lowers the risk of diabetes mellitus, an illness that affects 442 million people and provokes 1.5 million deaths annually. The antioxidants present in coffee are also helpful in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death at the global level for the past two decades.

With a growing number of noncommunicable diseases reaching the top of death tolls, the need for preventive health care becomes evident and your daily cup of coffee might be contributing to protecting your body. The World Health Organization, for instance, has reversed its long-established position that adverted coffee as possibly carcinogenic and in a 2016 announcement has endorsed studies that evidence coffee intake as reducing the risk of liver and uterine cancer, although it still warns that ‘drinking very hot beverages probably causes cancer of the esophagus in humans’. 

There is still much research in progress when it comes to the health benefits of coffee. Overall, with the available information, for most adults, with no sensibility to its components and no history of psychological problems such as anxiety, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, consuming coffee moderately has been associated with several health benefits that outweigh the risks. To maximize the benefits of your daily cup, it is suggested to drink it under 65 degrees and instead of adding sugar, opt for a naturally derived low-calorie sweetener like stevia or a dash of cinnamon or cardamom for flavor. 

Shall we have a cup of coffee?


P.S.: If you have any medical condition you should consider talking to your doctor for specific advice on coffee consumption. Avoid excessive drinking. Pregnant women or those with postmenopausal problems should also be cautious when consuming coffee as it interferes in hormone production.