The average American drinks over two cups of coffee a day—and that's just the tip of the iceberg. However, some coffee drinkers drink much more than that. In any case, coffee is so popular that almost all restaurants and cafes serve it. What's the bottom line on whether coffee is healthy or not? With the world drinking 1.5 billion cups a day, we can hope that it is indeed good for us.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends consumers drink up to three cups of coffee per day. This limit is based on the fact that the main ingredient found in coffee is caffeine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from over 50 plant sources. Meanwhile, any risks associated with consuming too much caffeine are outweighed by all its advantages.
The Known Benefits
Healthy coffee drinkers have been shown to have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, and less chance of getting gout.
It is also associated with a reduced risk of liver disease and even Parkinson's disease. The caffeine in coffee has so far been proven to increase the speed of brain activity, help the body burn excess fat, reduce the risk of some cancers, including those that affect the breast, colon, endometrial, prostate, and liver.
Research has also shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, both of which are risk factors for the aforementioned conditions.
Coffee as a Weight Loss Agent
So why does coffee seem to be so effective at aiding in weight loss? When you look at the overall research, some fantastic facts emerge. One of the primary reasons is that coffee can aid in the increase of energy expenditure. This means that coffee helps the body to burn additional calories.
We all know that coffee can give us a boost in energy and how it also can make us feel more alert. This is because coffee increases the level of circulating epinephrine, which is a hormone released by the adrenal gland. The heightened activity of epinephrine has been shown to increase the rate of energy expenditure.
Another thing that coffee drinkers have been shown to have is higher amounts of the satiety hormones GLP-1, which is known to suppress appetite. Coffee drinkers also present higher levels of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that aids in decreasing hunger.
Another ingredient abundant in coffee is theobromine, which is a stimulant and a diuretic. The combination of theobromine and caffeine gives coffee drinkers an added energy boost and helps the body achieve a higher level of hydration.
So what is the verdict for the health community? Well, it seems that coffee is a healthy option as long as your caffeine intake doesn't go over 400 milligrams a day, which is the equivalent to four cups of coffee. However, it’s important to consider how different blends can affect your body.
The next time you feel the urge to grab that extra cup of coffee, remember that you might be assisting your body in losing that excess weight with the right product. Now isn't that a great way to start your day?
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