If it is not obvious, we at CBC love coffee. Whether it is our green coffee beans, or if they’ve been ground and brewed up, it doesn’t matter, our love for coffee runs deep. While it’s not particularly hard for us to find another reason to love coffee, after doing some research, we found a few more reasons to love coffee even more. In addition to tasting delicious, the health benefits of black coffee are just as impressive.
From preventing Alzheimer’s, curbing depression, or adding just that little extra boost before your workout, black coffee benefits are nearly miraculous and just as varied. Let’s dive a bit deeper and discover what other health benefits of coffee has.
Outside of giving you a little pep in your step in the morning, coffee was shown to have other mental and mood improvements.
A meta-analysis (or a study that collects multiple studies to aggregate the findings) done in 2016 by researchers from Qingdao University Medical College collected 15 separate studies to illuminate a possible correlation between coffee consumption and depression.
Their findings suggested there was nearly an 8% reduced risk of developing depression per average cup of coffee consumed. While they did not illuminate the exact reason this occurs, they did establish a correlation between the two.
Depression, while still thought to be the by-product of low serotonin levels, has incurred a new hypothesis that suggests that it is also an immune reaction that causes inflammation within the brain.
The researchers speculate that coffee’s antioxidant combination may alleviate this inflammation in addition to coffee’s already known psychostimulant effects of wakefulness.
In addition to coffee’s unknown anti-depressive properties, coffee has also shown to be a protective factor against both dementia and Alzheimer’s. While it's known that coffee has short-term stimulant effects on one’s nervous system, the fact that coffee can have long-term effects is amazing as well.
In the CAIDE study cited, researchers found that drinking on average three to five cups of coffee a day during one’s midlife was associated with a 65% decreased risk of both dementia and Alzheimer’s in one’s late life.
On top of decreasing the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s, coffee has also been shown to slow down the neurodegeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease since at least 1968!
Since that time, multiple other studies have confirmed this connection between the two.
A recent study involving mice found that specifically the caffeine in coffee alongside another compound; fatty acid EHT, were shown to work together to protect against further worsening Parkinson’s symptoms.
While people often associate the added sugars and creamers people add to their morning coffee to exacerbating or predisposing themselves to develop Type 2 diabetes. However, a 2009 meta-analysis of 18 different studies that ranged from 1966 to 2005 found this wives’ tale to be just that.
The study itself found that an inverse relationship between developing Type 2 diabetes and coffee consumption existed. The study concluded that for every cup of coffee consumed a correlated 7% decrease in the excess risk of diabetes was found.
In the preceding years since then, more studies had occurred such as this 2012 study as well as a 2014 Harvard study, which still found that coffee consumption was correlated to a lower risk of developing type diabetes
While the exact why and how coffee reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is still unknown, it’s an interesting facet into just how amazing the humble coffee bean can be.
Other Black Coffee Health Benefits
In addition to reducing the risks of developing diabetes, depression, and preventing dementia and Alzheimer's, consuming coffee has innumerable other health benefits. Without belaboring you with an exhaustive list, we selected some of the most surprising (and perhaps living saving) health benefits of black coffee.
These life-lengthening health benefits are just the tip of the iceberg in a vast sea of other benefits that can improve one’s overall quality of life. From reducing the likelihood of a stroke to “preventing” one’s DNA from breaking, the humble coffee bean possesses benefits that belie its size.
On top of not only improving one’s mental state, providing a variety of health benefits, and help decrease one’s risk of Type 2 Diabetes, your morning cup of coffee also possess immense nutritional value for its small size.
While adding various creamers or sugars to your cup of coffee while skewing the nutritional value, taken plain and black, coffee would make a fine drink for those looking to count their calories. The traditional single serving size of 8oz possesses only 2 calories while having zero grams of protein, fats, carbs, fiber, sugar, or sodium – making black coffee a nice choice for a drink, albeit a nutritional lacking one.
However, drinking black coffee would make a great substitute for a pre-workout drink given that it has been proven to boost one’s metabolic rate, but also increase the production of adrenaline in one’s nervous system, helping you reach your fitness or weight loss goals in no time flat.
While not being very nutritionally dense, coffee is rich in antioxidants and often consists of the biggest source for them in more “Western” diets. More specifically, the antioxidants that coffee has an abundance are vitamins b2 and b3, of which coffee has nearly 11% of one’s daily recommended dose.
On top of these B vitamins, coffee has large amounts of both magnesium and potassium too. However, because of coffee’s diuretic nature, the B2 vitamins present within coffee are expelled quickly.
Finally, in addition to providing much needed b2 vitamins, a meta-analysis performed across 12 studies found that higher coffee intake to be associated with a reduction in obesity, particularly for men, and if used in conjunction with both a healthy diet and lifestyle, coffee can be an additional “supplement” of sorts as part of your overall nutritional goals.
For its small size, the large amount of coffee bean’s health benefits are incredible. Its nutritional value, its mental improvement capabilities, to the bean’s multiple other health benefits, a cup of black coffee is more than just your morning pick-me-up, it’s a life-extending elixir!