Your Coffee Habit Could Lower Your Risk of Death

7 minute read

Who doesn’t need coffee in the morning to get them going? Whether it’s to provide a continual stream of caffeine or simply because we like the taste, most people probably drink coffee throughout the day.

Whatever your reason for drinking coffee, you have likely heard people tell you to cut back. Coffee doesn’t have the best reputation out there, but there is a new study that shows we should be looking at coffee in a whole new light.

A study conducted in Spain found that higher consumption of coffee is connected to a lower risk of death. Of the 20,000 participants, those that drank at least four cups of coffee a day showed lower risk of death.

In fact, these individuals had a 64 percent lower risk than those who almost or never drank coffee. For individuals over the age of 45, drinking two additional cups per day was linked to a 30 percent lower risk of death.

| Related: Study Links Fried Potatoes to Increased Death Risk |

It looks like coffee may actually be a vital component to a healthy diet. For all the negativity it receives because of how addictive caffeine can be, there are some benefits that seem to outweigh this.

Laughing older woman in the kitchen

The beneficial antioxidants found in coffee can deliver powerful health benefits as part of your daily diet, as these compounds are notorious for lowering the risk of several serious diseases. And that’s not all the health benefits of coffee.

1. Increases Energy Levels

The main reason people reach for the coffee pot each morning is to get an energy boost. Caffeine does provide more energy and prevents you from feeling tired.

Caffeine travels through the blood to your brain and blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. This allows other neurotransmitters, like dopamine and norepinephrine, to increase, causing neurons to fire faster and more frequently.

| Related: Red Wine Compound May Slow Brain Aging |

What you experience is improved memory, mood, focus, and vigilance.

2. Burns Fat

Caffeine is used in numerous diet pills and programs because it has a natural ability to burn fat. Caffeine can boost your metabolism by as much as 11 percent, which means you can burn fat all day long.

3. Improves Performance

Caffeine gives you the energy boost you need by increasing fat breakdown as well as production of adrenaline in your blood. When you have excess fuel, you will see enhanced physical performance.

| Related: Regular Exercise Keeps Middle-Aged Mind Sharp |

The more physical you can be, the healthier your body stays, which helps to prevent many serious diseases.

Coffee fruit

4. Essential Nutrients

There are several important nutrients in coffee beans that your body benefits from. With each cup you get vitamins B2, B3, and B5, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

| Related: Recipe: Vitamin-Packed Baked Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups |

This is not to say that coffee should replace meals, but it does mean that drinking coffee as part of your regular diet supports healthy nutrient intake.

5. Diabetes Support

Diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide, and is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, but as long as you don’t add tons of sugar to your coffee, it can actually help your diabetes.

Individuals who drink more coffee have a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

6. Brain Protection

Some cognitive decline happens with age, but dementia is much more devastating. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, have no cure, but there are things you can do to prevent it from showing up.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help protect from dementia, and it turns out that drinking coffee can help, too. Regular coffee drinkers have a 65 percent lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, which is a pretty compelling reason to head to the coffee pot every morning.

7. Protects Your Liver

Your liver is a vital organ responsible for detoxification. Continual exposure to toxins puts your liver at risk for diseases, such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and even cirrhosis.

Drinking coffee can protect your liver from cirrhosis, which is when your liver has been replaced mostly by scar tissue, thereby keeping your liver in optimal condition.

Older couple enjoying a cup of coffee in their front yard with their dog

8. Fights Depression

Depression affects a large portion of the population and dramatically reduces quality of life for those people. Studies have shown that drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day lowers your risk of becoming depressed and is also linked to lower rates of suicide.

| Related: Probiotics Can Reduce Symptoms of Depression |

While there is no research regarding the effects of coffee on those already diagnosed, with depression, it certainly seems as though a cup a day can keep the blues away.

9. Lowers Cancer Risk

This uncontrolled growth and expansion of cells in your body is one of the scariest diseases we face, and it happens to be the world’s leading cause of death. Two cancers in particular seem to be connected to coffee drinking: liver and colorectal cancers.

Regular coffee drinkers have been shown to have a lower risk of developing both of these cancers.

10. Cardiovascular Support

Caffeine is often associated with high blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease. While this is true, it may only really affect those already suffering from hypertension.

A café latte with cinnamon

What studies have found is that drinking coffee has been linked to lower risk of stroke and heart disease.

11. Antioxidant Power

Given that the Western diet is not always the healthiest, drinking coffee regularly could save you. With fast and processed foods everywhere you turn, the Westerns diet contains a lot of toxins, sugars, and fats.

Coffee contains more antioxidants than any other beverage, and these help to protect your body from the free radicals that can come from unhealthy foods.

Some studies have even shown that coffee delivers more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables.

The Bottom Line

Coffee may have a bad reputation, namely because of its caffeine content, but research shows it delivers some important health benefits. And many of these benefits are from the caffeine, so it really cannot be all that bad.

When drinking coffee, it is important to note its diuretic (causes urination) status. Drinking coffee doesn’t do much to hydrate you, so water is still essential.

You should always check with your doctor regarding daily consumption of coffee, especially if you do have any health conditions. In general, your morning cup of Joe will do more good than harm, so you might as well enjoy it.

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