Why Coffee Should Be Your New Best Friend
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
Hopefully you’ll be enjoying this article over a good old cuppa Joe, because research into the benefits of coffee is growing as strong as a dark, Colombian roast.
If you’ve had your coffee consumption mocked in the past, with friends or colleagues wagging fingers and telling you the habit is just not healthy, ask them to take a look at the following.
Coffee can help you live longer
A large-scale British study examined the coffee habits of nearly 500 000 adults and found that there is an unmistakeable increase in longevity of life among people who drink lots of coffee. Overall, coffee drinkers were around “10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up.” (Associated Press)
Although the study has made the link between coffee drinking and increased longevity, it is not clear how exactly coffee affects longevity. As coffee contains more than 1000 chemical compounds, including antioxidants which help protect cells from damage, it has been difficult to pin point exactly what component in coffee is having this life lengthening effect.
Further studies supported these findings. Research funded by the American Heart Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine found evidence that every additional cup of coffee you drink drops your risk of heart failure or stroke by eight per cent. Further to this, a Spanish study found that drinking four cups of coffee a day led to a 64% lower risk of dying among study participants compared to non-coffee drinkers.
You may want to pause reading this article now in order to make yourself another cup.
Coffee can decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
This latest study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, links drinking more coffee with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The researchers were not satisfied with these findings, however, and wanted to delve deeper and find out exactly which chemical component was behind their findings.
Surprisingly, caffeine, coffee’s best-known ingredient, was not responsible. In fact, Dr Donald Weaver, co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute at the University of Toronto found there to be no difference in impact between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Instead, the secret ingredient with all the impact seems to be connected with a type of chemical called phenylindanes, which are created during the roasting process.
It seems that the darker the roast, the more phenylindanes are produced and thus the greater the power of coffee to stop the build-up of toxic proteins (tau and beta-amyloid) which have been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Co-author of the study, Dr Ross Mancini, wants to make clear that his study has not found the cure for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Although the study shows a compelling link between phenylindanes and the eradication of toxin build-up, Dr Mancini commented:
“It’s interesting, but are we suggesting that coffee is a cure? Absolutely not.” (Inc.)
Keep Calm and drink coffee
Although the links between coffee and brain health can’t give a complete causative connection, the research so far is certainly compelling and opens up opportunities for further research.
With other drinks, such as soft drinks and sports drinks, compiling evidence of an entirely different health nature, it seems coffee, whether caffeinated or not, is the way forward.
So the next time a colleague or friend tuts as you slurp down your fourth cup of the day, you can smugly ping this article across.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash