A good cup of coffee is a wonderful thing. People all over the world rely on it as a morning pick-me-up and to fuel them through difficult days, hangovers and sleep deprivation.
There have been countless studies into the nutritional benefits of coffee, which have consistently found numerous ways in which it’s an all-round good guy in terms of keeping you healthy. Pour yourself a cup of joe, here are 5 nutritional benefits of coffee you might not have heard about.
It can boost your metabolism
Several studies have suggested that the caffeine present in coffee can increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – how many calories your body burns while resting. Some research has found that caffeine can increase the rate by 3-4%, whereas in other studies this went as high as 11%. This means that even without exercise, there is evidence to suggest that drinking coffee can help you burn more calories.
A 2004 study also found that caffeine intake also stimulated lipid mobilisation; the process of fatty acids being released and used for energy, and fat oxidation; where the energy is released from the fatty acids.
So there is evidence suggest that drinking coffee can go someway to helping you burn fat more quickly and more efficiently. Obviously the addition of milk and sugar will affect this process, so if you can stomach it, take it black.
It’s high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances which prevent cell damage as a result of our cells being oxidised by toxins, chemicals and inflammation. For this reason, it’s suggested that a diet high in antioxidants could help fight off disease, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but studies have so far been inconclusive.
Nonetheless, the human body needs antioxidant vitamins for a healthy diet, and coffee is a great way to get a dose. Coffee contains large amounts of several powerful antioxidants, including hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenols. Hydrocinnamic acid is good at neutralising “free radicals” (molecules which cause cell damage) and polyphenols may help to prevent a number of diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
It’s good for your brain
People the world over proclaim to not be able to wake up without a dose of caffeine, but coffee really is proven to be an effective energy and mood booster. When you drink coffee, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and travels up to your brain where it kickstarts and fires up neurons that can improve mood, cognitive function and memory. This study found that 0.3 to 4 cups of coffee a day would administer a dose of caffeine effective enough to promote this kind of increased function.
It’s also been suggested that coffee generally enhances the flow of blood to the brain, which helps with alertness, motivation, concentration and decreases the risk of mental fatigue. So that person you know who’s crabby and basically useless before they’ve had their morning coffee? They’re not just making excuses!
It can improve your physical performance
As we mentioned above, caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat. Not only this, it also increases the levels of the hormone Epinephrine (also known as “adrenaline” or “fight or flight”) in the bloodstream. This makes our bodies more ready for intense physical exertion. Because of this, it’s been found that caffeine can improve physical performance by around 11-12%. A cup of coffee around half an hour before you head out to the gym or for a run should help you do more for longer. Bin that Lucozade!
It contains essential nutrients
Coffee beans are packed with vitamins and nutrients, many of which make it into your cup even after you ground them and whacked them through a filter. It’s particularly rich in B vitamins, which are important for cell metabolism, functioning of the central nervous system and the formation of red blood cells.
One cup of coffee, made from grounds and brewed with tap water, contains:
- 11% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- 6% of the RDA of Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- 2% of the RDA of magnesium (which is needed in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function)
- 3% of the RDA of potassium (helps to prevent stroke, lower blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders)
Starting the day with a cup of coffee or two will get you well on your way to getting many of the vital nutrients your body needs to function, and function well. Obviously you’ll need more than just coffee, but who knew getting vitamins could be this tasty?
Coffee is the way forward
We think there’s some pretty compelling evidence out there that coffee is really good for you. So why not hire Basso Barista for your next event? You’ll be able to give your guests vital nutrients, boost their mood, and help them burn fat! It’s a win-win!