No one needs to be convinced of the benefits of coffee. It jolts your brain into action in and is the main way that humanity functions during those early mornings (or late nights) spent working away. Caffeine is the lifeblood of culture, and the good news for coffee drinkers, it may actually help save your life too. Recent research explores the potential cancer-related benefits of coffee and gives us all just another reason to sip this liquid gold daily.
One recent study looked at “the anti‐proliferation and anti‐migration effects of six potentially active types of coffee compounds, including kahweol acetate, cafestol, caffeine, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and trigonelline hydrochloride…using human prostate cancer cells.” Essentially, the aim of this research was to determine the effectiveness of coffee against prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death for U.S. men. Though you may not think of it, there is a high possibility that you or someone you know could be affected by this rampant disease. Fortunately, this new research has produced promising results and could be the key to slowing down and even preventing the development of these cancer cells.
The study, published in The Prostate found that the synergistic combination of kahweol acetate and cafestol had an inhibiting effect on the proliferation and migration of prostate cancer cells. Plus, they also noticed that this combination had a unique ability to actually induce the death of cancer cells. As if you needed any more reasons to drink coffee, right?
Other benefits of coffee
Can improve energy levels
Anyone who has ever had a cup of coffee could attest to this fact. Even the smell has a singular ability to wake you up and get you going like nothing else. Science backs this up too, showing just how effective appropriate amounts of caffeine are for stimulating your mind and increasing energy levels.
Great source of antioxidants
Coffee can help eliminate free radicals in the body and may be the greatest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. Since many people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, which are the most common source of antioxidants, coffee has taken the top place as the most frequently consumed antioxidant-rich substance.
Can protect your brain
Drinking coffee could help protect your brain from age-related mental diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
Help fight depression
Coffee has been shown to be an effective deterrent for depression. This is a serious mental disorder that often requires treatment and medication; however, coffee could help counteract the effects of mild-to-moderate depression and act as a preventative tool.
You could live longer
Because coffee intake has been linked to a reduction in a number of conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease, a daily dose of coffee could help extend your life and keep you healthy.
As we always say, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much caffeine can lead to an increase in anxiety, raised blood pressure, negative cardiovascular effects in compromised individuals, and insomnia when ingested too late in the day. Though standards vary, it is usually safe to drink between three and four cups of joe each day.
Remember, it is never a good idea to rely solely on caffeine to get you through the day. Make an effort to cultivate a healthy sleep schedule and bedtime routine where you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep. Drink plenty of water, exercise daily, and strive to live healthier wherever you can.
A note about quality:
Though it should be obvious by now, a sugar-laden caramel frappuccino from Starbucks isn’t the same thing as a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a splash of half and half or oat milk. The former is full of nasty processed ingredients, loaded with sugar, with barely any traces of actual coffee. The latter is loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that wake up your mind and set you on the path of productivity. If you need a little extra sweetness, try adding a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.
-Susan Patterson, Certified Health Coach, and Master Gardener