Studies Find Coffee Can Be Good for You
I don’t know about you, but the heat of summer doesn’t quash my need for coffee. On the contrary, when the lazy days of summer kick in, I can drink more than ever — iced cold with a splash of almond milk and vanilla, please. Not only is it refreshing, but it keeps me awake when the days get hot and afternoon siestas seem like the best idea ever.
Happy liver, happy life
Thankfully, research supporting health benefits of coffee keeps rolling in! Just this week, a Mayo Clinic study published findings that regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of PSC, a rare degenerative liver disease that leads to cirrhosis and liver failure. It’s not just PSC, though — a study published in Popular Science reports coffee drinkers are up to 80 percent less likely to get cirrhosis and 40 percent less likely to develop liver cancer.
“But caffeine,” I can hear you insisting. “Caffeine is a drug, it’s so bad for you!”
Relax and drink your caffeine
While caffeine is a powerful stimulant, it’s silly to ignore how beneficial a moderate amount of caffeine can be for your body and mind. Caffeine acts on the brain in such a way to increase the firing of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine (which makes you feel good when you do something right) and norepinephrine (which is responsible for making you feel awake and ready to go). Combined, these actually have been shown to improve mood, brain function and response time.
In addition to brain function, caffeine is a powerful appetite suppressant, metabolic stimulant and fat burner. Not to mention the mental boost of caffeine can improve exercise performance by 12 percent on average.
Part of a balanced breakfast … or whenever!
Far more than just caffeinated brown stuff, coffee contains high values of B vitamins and potassium! While it’s only about 5-15 percent of your RDA, most of us enjoy several cups a day, packing a real punch. Coffee is also a greater source of antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable in the typical Western diet. Antioxidants are more than just a buzzword — they inhibit untimely cell death, potentially stopping the development of cancer and heart disease right in its tracks!
So don’t let your desire to be healthy stop you from enjoying your morning cup, or your afternoon iced coffee indulgence. Cruise through the summer bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and health-conscious!
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.