Coffee has been touted as an unhealthy drink. Well, there is good news to all the coffee lovers! This highly popular caffeinated beverage is now slowly breaking all the myths and emerging as a super drink. Apart from caffeine, coffee contains a lot of beneficial anti oxidants and micronutrients that have high nutritional significance.
Coffee is a well known energy booster. It contains good amounts of caffeine that is a nervous system stimulant. This facilitates release of certain hormones in your body that keep you alert and active. Also it gives you a sense of happiness and calm, and has proven effects in lowering depression by elevating mood. Coffee has also been proven to be effective in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s. It improves other brain functions like memory, reaction time and cognition. So we can call coffee the brain’s best buddy.
These hormones that coffee stimulates, also controls the flight-fight response in the body. This improves your physical performance and also signals increased fat cell breakdown. Drinking coffee also increases metabolism by three-11 per cent. Together these responses help with fat loss. Having coffee before your workouts can help improve your performance and can facilitate more effective fat burning.
A cup of coffee may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes by 25-50 per cent. It also has the potential to reduce risk of cardiac illness and stroke.
Among its health benefits the most fascinating one is its magical effect in preventing progression of liver disease. Coffee can halt the progression of disease and aid in healing the damaged liver. Hence is known to prevent cirrhosis and liver cancer. So it is time to switch from being alcoholic to being
Coffee is a very good source of certain B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins play an important role in the metabolic cycles of the body. It also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium and manganese. Research on the natural properties of coffee show that it is a potent protective antioxidant potion. Especially flavanoids present in coffee has been reported to possess antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumour activities.
Though it has many health benefits, it also has a flip side. Moderation is the key when it comes to consuming this hot beverage. Three to four cups a day is safe. Avoid having coffee with other foods as caffeine will hinder absorption of other nutrients in food. Also, avoid caffeinated beverages post 5 pm as it might hinder your sleep and keep you awake and alert through the night.
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The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic