Have you ever felt withdrawn in the morning only to feel compelled to engage after a few cups of coffee? If you answered yes, we get you. We've been there, and while we often hear people say that they’ll be happier once they drink coffee, it perhaps isn’t just a mere expression!
We come with good news: coffee drinkers are less likely to fall into depression, according to a new Harvard Medical School research. Here’s everything you need to know about this fantastic news:
A professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Alan Leviton, recently published a study that explains how coffee and caffeine affect our overall mood throughout the day. According to his findings, coffee may not only give you a lift in the morning, but it may also help you prevent severe depression.
With today’s onslaught of terrible news headlines, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a blanket of uncertainty that grips the world, it’s no surprise that we see a rise in depression and suicide rates all over the world.
With that said, America's favorite choice of beverage may be of assistance. According to Dr. Leviton's research, coffee drinkers may feel less depressed than non-drinkers. Coffee drinkers benefit from caffeine the most when they drink at least 13 oz per day.
Coffee Is Medicine
Dr. Leviton believes that a variety of factors contribute to coffee's mood-boosting properties. Coffee, for example, has a lot of antioxidants. Depressed, non-coffee drinking individuals have higher stress-related oxidants in their systems and are mostly consuming antioxidant-deficient diets. Fortunately, the antioxidants found in coffee may help compensate for this deficiency.
Anti-inflammatory properties have also been linked to improved mood. Because inflammation has been related to depression and suicidal ideation, some of the coffee’s antidepressant qualities are likely due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Caffeine and Gut Health
Of course, we won’t forget the vital component: caffeine. Caffeine raises the amount of adenosine, which is a molecule found in the blood. Depressed people have lower adenosine levels than non-depressed people, and one study found that depression influences adenosine levels. If you want to reap the full benefits of drinking coffee, you may want to steer clear of the decaf option.
According to Dr. Leviton, while some of the coffee's mood-boosting qualities are in the mug, others are only released when coffee interacts with our bodies, such as how it interacts with our gut. In light of gut health, you may be familiar with probiotics. However, prebiotics and postbiotics, like probiotics, give health benefits, too.
Gut microbes quickly absorb prebiotics, such as those found in brewed coffee. Our brains release happy hormones like serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA, and dopamine when one’s gut health is optimized, making you happier and more fulfilled.
Whether you’re a coffee lover or not, you simply can’t deny the benefits of drinking coffee on the regular. So whenever you’re feeling down or lonely, go back to this article and remind yourself that happiness may just be a cup of coffee away! Thanks to this study by Dr. Leviton, you’ll be convinced to grind some beans, fluff those filters, and brew a new pot of fresh coffee beans.
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