You know how it goes. You’re in the break room at work, pouring yourself a coffee from the community pot, when the chirpy little thing that occupies the cubicle next to yours takes a bag of Raspberry Zinger out of her purse, fires up the teakettle, and announces, “You know, you’d feel a lot better if you just gave up coffee.” You think that maybe you’d feel a lot better if you clocked her upside the head with your “World’s Best Entry Level Employee” mug, because she’s an insufferable, condescending know-it-all, but you need the job. It gets you thinking, though – what are the benefits of coffee? Are there any? Would you really feel better if you stopped drinking coffee?
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The fact is that the current research suggests that the benefits of drinking coffee far outweigh the risks. You probably won’t be able to convince your annoying co-worker that coffee is good for you, but if you’re looking for reasons not to give up on the brew – or even to drink more of it – you’ll find them here.
So what are the benefits of coffee? You might be surprised to know that there are 10 benefits of drinking coffee, all founded in science, and also a lot of other ways that coffee can benefit you that don’t involve drinking a single drop! Keep reading to learn more.
What are the Benefits of Drinking Coffee?
Are there benefits to drinking coffee? You bet there are! Here are 9 huge benefits to consuming coffee regularly.
1. Your Liver Loves Coffee!
The research is in, and scientific studies have shown that people who drink alcohol, and also drink coffee, have a lower risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer than those who forego coffee. Of course this doesn’t mean that drinking alcohol isn’t going to harm your liver – just that the harm is likely to be less if you drink coffee in addition to alcohol.
2. Your Post-Workout Body Also Loves Coffee!
Just two cups of coffee after your workout can work to significantly reduce muscle pain. If you’ve ever been to the gym, and wondered how you’re even going to be able to walk home after your workout, this is definitely information you can use!
3. Your Brain Also Loves Coffee!
Current research suggests that moderate doses of caffeine can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
4. More Coffee, Less Risk of Diabetes
If you really, really love your java, and you consume a lot of coffee, you might be relieved to know that sometimes, it’s not true that “less is more.” In fact, people who consume at least six cups of coffee per day have a significantly lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that 6+ cups per day reduces the risk of this form of diabetes by at least 22%, and could even lower the risk by 9% for each cup consumed. This is based on regular coffee, so you might be wondering, are there any benefits to drinking decaf coffee?
When it comes to lowering the risk of diabetes, decaf doesn’t pack quite the same punch as regular coffee. However, you can still expect to have your risk lowered by about 6% for every cup of decaf consumed. So if too much regular coffee makes you jittery, you can still reap significant health benefits with decaf.
5. More Coffee, Less Chance of Heart Disease
A Korean study has revealed that coffee drinkers who consume 3-5 cups daily are less likely to develop heart disease. This one comes with a caveat, though – don’t think that if you’re carrying a lot of excess weight and not eating a healthy diet, you’re going to get a pass on heart disease. Keep in mind that the Korean diet is typically different from ours in that it’s more focused on healthy vegetables and very little red meat. This being said, though, the study still showed that Korean coffee drinkers fared better when it came to the risk of heart disease than Koreans who didn’t drink coffee, so the connection does seem legitimate.
6. More Coffee, Less Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
Studies have shown that your risk of developing colorectal cancer decreases in inverse proportion to the amount of coffee you drink. In other words, the more coffee you consume, the less likely you are to develop colorectal cancer. Even if you only drink a cup or two in any given day, your risk can be lowered by an impressive 26%.
Studies have also been completed suggesting that coffee may be a factor in reducing the likelihood of developing numerous other cancers as well.
7. More Coffee, Less Likelihood of Multiple Sclerosis
Here is another case of “more is more.” If you drink at least 4 cups of coffee each day, you are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis. This is because coffee is believed to prevent neural inflammation, which has been linked to the disease. And if you already have MS, drinking coffee has been shown to ease the symptoms and also to lengthen the period between recurrences of the symptoms.
8. More Coffee, Fewer Dental Problems
Studies have shown that coffee can protect against gum disease. Of course if you’re going to drink your coffee with sugar, you could be more prone to tooth decay, but if you simply take it strong and black, it can actually kill harmful bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay.
9. Coffee Helps You See Better
Coffee contains a powerful antioxidant, chlorogenic acid (CLA). This substance is known to protect against the damage caused by free radicals, and has been determined to prevent retinal damage that can lead to problems with vision.
10. The USDA Recommends Coffee!
Are there benefits to drinking coffee? The USDA certainly thinks so, and currently recommends that adults should drink 3-5 cups of coffee each day in order to reduce the risk of disease and improve overall health. Keep in mind, though, that they also advise taking your coffee “straight.” If you adulterate it with creamers and sugar or other sweeteners, the health benefits will be less, and depending on how much creamer and sweetener you use, could even be negated entirely.
So does coffee have benefits? It certainly looks that way. The benefits come from antioxidants that occur naturally in coffee beans. Antioxidants also occur in other foods, like oranges, raspberries, blueberries and grapes. However, just one cup of coffee contains significantly more in the way of antioxidants than typical servings of any of these other foods. The decaffeination process removes some of the antioxidants, but if you’re wondering, are there any benefits to drinking decaf coffee, the answer is still a resounding “yes. ” You will still get antioxidants – just not as much.
Are There Any Risks to Drinking Coffee?
As is the case with just about everything you put into your body, there can be a down side to drinking coffee. However, the risks are usually confined to bad coffee, and even then, they’re usually minimal. As long as you’re drinking a quality brew from a respected manufacturer, you should be perfectly safe. So stick with known brands, like Maxwell House, Folgers or Green Mountain. Brews made and sold by your favorite coffee shops like Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds and so on are also safe. If you don’t recognize the name, you’re probably better off avoiding the coffee – and stay out of the dollar stores when buying coffee! In the first place, you probably won’t recognize the brand, in the second you’ll have no idea how the coffee was made or what manner of pesticides could have been used in the growing process, and in the third, it could have been sitting on the shelf forever and could be rancid.
Bad coffee might not kill you, but it can make you feel sick, with an upset stomach or a headache, or just a general feeling of unwellness. Besides, life’s too short to spend it drinking substandard coffee!
Coffee can, of course, keep you awake and make you jittery. So if you’re prone to anxiety or having trouble sleeping, avoid the caffeinated variety. You should also keep your caffeine intake low if you’re pregnant or nursing – you should consume no more than a cup a day. Are there benefits to drinking decaf coffee if you’re pregnant or nursing? Yes! You can enjoy your favorite brew without worrying about caffeine getting to your baby. Be careful, though, because not all decaf is 100% caffeine-free – read the label!
Most things are best consumed in moderation, and coffee is no exception. In people that aren’t used to drinking coffee, for instance, it could cause a spike in blood pressure. Excessive consumption has also been linked to a decrease in bone density, so if you’re a heavy consumer of coffee or other caffeinated beverages, make sure that you have enough dairy in your diet. You can benefit from milk, cheese, yogurt and green leafy vegetables, and you might also want to talk with your doctor about the advisability of taking a calcium supplement. Also, if you’re drinking a lot of coffee, add water and other drinks to your daily intake – coffee is a diuretic and drinking it to the exclusion of other beverages could cause you to become dehydrated.
Consumed in moderate amounts, though, coffee is not likely to cause you any harm.
Can Coffee Be Addictive?
What are the benefits of coffee if you have an addictive personality? Are there any? Or should you just avoid coffee out of fear of becoming addicted?
Think of it this way – having an addictive personality doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be pre-disposed to every sort of addiction. There are plenty of alcoholics out there who have no interest at all in trying even soft drugs, more than a few drug addicts who don’t drink, and all sorts of problem gamblers who neither drink nor do drugs. So if you’re worried about becoming addicted to coffee because you have a problem with another sort of addiction, you are probably just obsessing needlessly.
Also, think back to the question, are there benefits to drinking coffee? Drinking coffee could actually work to mitigate the harm of other addictions. We’re not suggesting that you can hang out in bars every day, boozing your life away, and think that drinking coffee is going to keep you healthy, but if that’s your lifestyle, you need all the help you can get, and an “addiction” to coffee is, at least, not going to make matters worse.
Even if you are addicted to coffee, you’ll find it reassuring to know that you’d actually have to drink more than 5 quarts of caffeinated coffee each day to even come close to compromising your health. Most people would find this impossible, so on the scale of harmful addictions, coffee ranks pretty low.
Putting it simply, an “addiction” to coffee is only problematic if it’s interfering with your quality of life. If drinking coffee is making you feel miserable, but you can’t stop, then of course it’s an addiction like any other. Some people find that they’re constantly needing to increase their consumption of coffee in order to get the same effects that they once did from lower amounts. That type of need is consistent with addiction, so if you believe that you are a coffee addict, you can find help online in the form of a support group made up of like-minded people who have either fought the battle and won, or who are still fighting and can help you along the way.
Generally speaking, if you’re drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day, you’re probably not an addict, and you can safely assume that you’re getting the health benefits associated with coffee while avoiding any side effects that could result from taking in too much caffeine.
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of drinking coffee, and presumably answered the question “Are there benefits to drinking coffee” with a resounding “Yes!” let’s move on to discussing other ways that coffee can enhance your life.
Coffee as a Beauty Treatment
Coffee as a beverage can work to neutralize free radicals that can cause skin damage, but you’d be wrong in thinking that drinking coffee is the only way to use it as a beauty treatment. The fact is, there are products out there that contain coffee that can be applied directly to the skin in order to improve its appearance. Just as an example, there’s a really great coffee bean eye cream on the market that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles. You can also use caffeine as a treatment for cellulite, simply by moistening ground coffee and applying it as a body scrub to the affected areas. Brewed coffee can also be applied directly to the skin to repair damage caused by free radicals and UV rays, and can also be used as an astringent to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.
It doesn’t end with your skin, though – coffee shampoos are soaring in popularity because they’re believed to strengthen hair, and even reduce hair loss by stimulating the hair follicles. This isn’t a “put it on and wash it out” treatment, though – in order for it to be truly effective, you should allow your coffee shampoo to remain on your hair for at least two minutes before rinsing.
So, are there benefits to using coffee to improve your appearance? Most definitely! The following are some hot tips for how to incorporate coffee into your beauty routine.
1. Use Coffee as an Exfoliant
You know that when you take coffee into your body, good things happen. This is because coffee contains anti-oxidants that can protect against damage caused by free radicals. You can also benefit from applying coffee to the outside of your body, in the form of an exfoliating scrub.
Using coffee as an exfoliant sounds messy, but it’s worth the effort! For one thing, caffeine is known to help the production of collagen, which is a protein that keeps skin looking firm. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, and this can lead to skin that looks dry and saggy. What you want to do is slough off those old, dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new, healthy cells, and coffee can do just that!
When you brew up your morning coffee and drink it, you’re taking anti-oxidants into your body. But did you know that even more anti-oxidants are just sitting in your coffee filter, waiting to be used?
Here’s how you do it. First, get yourself some newspapers. Put them on the floor of your bathtub, and make sure that you have enough of them that you’ll be able to lie down and use your coffee exfoliant without making a huge mess that you’re going to have to clean up. Now, grab that full coffee filter and lie down in the tub. Scrub the grounds all over your body using gentle, circular motions. If your skin is exceptionally dry, you might want to add some olive oil or coconut oil to the grounds.
Continue scrubbing until your skin feels fresh and tingly, but not irritated. Then, get up and carefully crumple up the newspapers and throw them away. Now, turn on the shower so you can get rid of the remaining coffee grounds. In the interests of protecting your plumbing, it would probably be a good idea to put some mesh or cheesecloth over the drain first to catch as much of the grounds as possible. Follow with a nice, soothing body oilor lotion.
If you don’t brew your own coffee, you can always ask a friend to save their grounds for you – just make sure to use them as soon as possible, because they can get kind of nasty if allowed to sit for too long. In a pinch, you can also use instant coffee, although it won’t last as long as the brewed grounds if you blend it with oil – it will turn to mush and dissolve, so you’ll have to work quickly.
2. Use Coffee as a Facial Scrub
In addition to working as an exfoliant on your body, coffee can also be used as a facial scrub that will give you back your glow. All you need is coffee grounds and some Epsom salts. Use enough water to make a grainy mess, and then apply it to your face, scrubbing gently. Again, make sure that you stop when your skin begins to tingle – don’t wait until it feels hot or irritated. Rinse well, and follow with a good rejuvenating facial moisturizer.
3. Use Coffee as a Treatment for Tired Eyes
You have probably heard that cold teabags placed on your eyes can reduce puffiness, and that’s true. However, you can also use coffee, and it really doesn’t matter whether you use brewed or instant. All you need is some cotton makeup remover pads, and some cold coffee. Soak the pads in the coffee, and lie down with the pads on your eyes. Take it easy for 15 or so minutes. Then gently rinse the eye area. You might even find that this works well enough that you can eliminate the need for under-eye concealer!
If you want to switch it up a bit, take some ground coffee (about half a teaspoon), add a smidgen of black pepper, half a teaspoon of coconut oil, and just enough water to make the mixture spreadable. Apply it to the under-eye area. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, though – after all, it does contain pepper!
Leave the whole concoction under your eyes for about 10 minutes, and then swab it away using a makeup remover pad or a cotton ball. The rejuvenating properties of the oils in the pepper and the caffeine in the coffee will leave you looking bright-eyed and ready to start your day!
4. Use Coffee for Tired Feet
No matter how fresh you are when you start your day, at the end of it, you could be tired and cranky, and your feet could be killing you. Are there benefits to coffee when it comes to aching feet? Yes!
You can use coffee as a foot scrub. Most people like to do this in the shower, because cleanup is easy. You can do the same as you would for a full-body exfoliation, using brewed grounds with a piece of mesh or cheesecloth in the drain. You could also just go with instant coffee, since it will dissolve and go down the drain without harming your plumbing.
You can also use coffee as a soak. You’ll need about three cups of brewed coffee that you’ll put in a basin big enough to hold your feet. You can use hot coffee if you like, and then add enough cold water to cover your feet, or you can use cold coffee (maybe left over from your morning pot?) and then add warm water. You can also add a few drops of vanilla extract, or a cinnamon stick, to give you a nice aromatherapy effect. Now, cue up Netflix or grab a good book, and get ready to soak for about half an hour. If the water begins to cool, you can add more hot. Once you’re done, finish off by drying with a fluffy towel and applying a pampering foot cream.
5. Have Fun With Your Hair!
We’ve already talked about the benefits of coffee shampoo for improving the health and growth of your hair, but would you believe that playing with coffee can be a ton of fun when it comes to changing the appearance of your hair? It’s true!
You’ve probably heard that rinsing with chamomile tea can really bring out the highlights in your hair if you’re blonde. But what if you’re brunette? Is there a way to make your hair look more vibrant without resorting to harsh dyes?
Try this trick – make a pot of coffee. Let it cool, and then pour it into the sink. Saturate your hair with it. Then just towel-dry, and leave the coffee in your hair overnight. You can shampoo it out in the morning if you like. You’ll probably find that your hair looks a good deal darker, and that it’s shinier. You can do this as many times as you like without harming your hair, and you’ll find that each time your hair gets darker and richer-looking. If you want something a little less dramatic, you can just add some instant coffee granules to your conditioner, leave it on for five or so minutes, and then rinse it out.
If you’re just starting to go grey, you’ll probably find that the coffee treatment works just as well to cover the grey as commercial dyes. It also costs less, and is chemical-free. The absence of chemicals in the coffee treatment can be very important if you’re pregnant, since it’s believed that the compounds in hair dye could be harmful to the fetus.
As is the case with all good things, though, there’s a caveat here – don’t try the coffee treatment if you’re blonde and wanting to go darker. No matter how long you leave the coffee in your hair, you won’t end up as a brunette – your hair is just going to end up looking like rat fur. If you’re blonde and want to be brunette, sadly, your only option is going to be a dye job from your stylist, or a commercially available hair product.
So now you know that coffee is very good to drink, and also good to use on the outside of your body as well! Now, let’s talk about another way to use coffee.
The Benefits (?) of Coffee Enemas
Yes, you read that right – coffee enemas. We’re not sure how we feel about this method of using coffee, but we’ll talk about it in the spirit of offering you all the information you need about all the different ways to use coffee.
There are a lot of people who actually swear by coffee enemas. And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like – the process of delivering coffee up into your butt.
You might be surprised to know that coffee enemas have actually been around for a long time – as early as 1600 BC. They’re documented in medical texts from ancient Egypt, and they’re still in use today.
So what are the benefits of coffee enemas? Well, they’re credited with improving your energy level, reducing anxiety, easing the symptoms of PMS, improving digestion, and enhancing mental clarity. They’re also believed to improve the auto-immune system and to help with weight loss.
The theory behind coffee enemas is predicated on the belief that we encounter toxins everywhere – in our water, our food, and even in the air. For that reason, the theory goes, we need to detox, and one of the most effective methods of detoxing is to have a nice enema.
But why coffee? Well, the idea is that once coffee hits your colon, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream and then taken to the liver, where it enhances the production of glutathione – an enzyme that’s known to remove toxins.
Of course then the toxins need somewhere to go. And that’s where the enema comes in, and does, um… well… what enemas are supposed to do. It dumps the garbage. Or helps you to dump it, for want of a better phrase.
Here’s where it gets really nasty. It really doesn’t matter whether you see a practitioner for a coffee enema, or get a coffee enema kit online to use at home, the procedure is going to be essentially the same. It’s going to involve firing a solution up into your rectum, and then trying to hold it inside for at least 3 minutes – and preferably 15! This can be difficult. It can also be very, very messy if you haven’t had a good bowel movement before undertaking the coffee enema – to put it bluntly, anything that’s up there before you have the coffee enema is also going to come out. And if you splatter – well, it’s going to be more than just coffee that you’re cleaning up.
You should definitely avoid a coffee enema if you’ve been constipated. It could be ineffective at best, and painful at worst. So definitely, clean out your bowels beforehand.
Experts also recommend that you don’t use hot coffee when giving yourself a coffee enema – gee, why could that be?
Experts also advise that when doing a coffee enema, you should use a dark roast. Apparently it contains more of the natural oils that encourage the production of glutathione.
Now, if you’re worried about the effect of all that coffee suddenly slamming into your liver, and wondering if you’re going to get a huge case of the jitters, that’s one area, at least, where we can put your mind at rest. Most people who have had coffee enemas say that there are no jitters, and in fact they feel very relaxed following the procedure.
It’s generally believed that for coffee enemas to have maximum effectiveness, they should be used in conjunction with a binder, like activated charcoal. This absorbs “bad bile” and prevents it from going back into your system. You should also drink as much water as you can before and after you have the enema, and even during, if you can manage it.
So what are the benefits of coffee enemas? Theoretically, they can remove a lot of toxins from your body and leave you feeling very refreshed. Our take on it is that even though this procedure can be done at home, there can be inherent dangers any time that you’re pushing something up into your rectum. We’d leave it up to the pros.
So now that you know the answer to the question, what are the benefits of coffee, be it consumed as a beverage, smeared on various body parts, or even delivered rectally, let’s take things a step further. Believe it or not, coffee can actually have other uses in and around your house. So what are the benefits of coffee other than those you’ll reap from consuming it? Here’s a question we bet you’ve never thought to ask – what house plants benefit from coffee grounds? Keep reading!
What Are the Benefits of Coffee for Plants?
Okay, let’s get one thing out of the way – that idiot in your office who’s pouring coffee into the plants? Maybe it’s the one who told you that you’d feel so much better if you gave up coffee, but she’s fine with feeding it to the plants? Make her stop.
Seriously, unless she’s only unloading pure, black coffee into the plants, she’s not doing them any favors. It might not cause much trouble in the short term, but if the coffee she’s unloading into the plant pots contains sugar, milk, coffee creamer or any other additives, eventually the roots of the plants are going to get clogged, they won’t be able to take up water, and the plants will die. Black coffee is fine, though.
Coffee can actually do plants a lot of good. It’s been proven, for instance, that coffee (and tea as well) can be very healthy for plants, providing nutrients and anti-oxidants that improve growth.
As well, coffee grounds can make great mulch and fertilizer for your house plants and in your garden as well. It’s best not to use too much, though, since the grounds can gum up and prevent air and water from circulating. This is one of those situations where less is more!
The plants that are most likely to benefit from coffee when used as mulch and fertilizer are acid-loving species like roses, blueberries, tomatoes and evergreens. This is because coffee grounds contain a lot of nitrogen that aids in plant growth, and are also somewhat acidic. Coffee grounds also foster the growth of acidic bacteria, which improves the soil’s nutrition.
You can also use a coffee solution to protect your plants from snails and slugs. Just dilute brewed coffee (about one part coffee to five parts water) and spray it on your plants. Of course you can also buy organic pesticides that will do the same thing, but why spend the money when your morning coffee is just sitting there, waiting to be thrown out?
A word of caution here – don’t use any grounds that have “gone off” – in other words, that have rotted, fermented or become moldy. They can release compounds that will harm your plants.
If you don’t have coffee grounds – maybe because you drink instant coffee – you can always find them. Your neighbor might have some for you, or you could take them home from the office at the end of the day.
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What are the benefits of coffee? Why, they’re almost too many to mention! When you drink coffee, you’re not just enjoying a stimulating, hot drink – you’re taking in valuable anti-oxidants that could protect you against any number of diseases and conditions. And unlike with many other substances, no matter how much coffee you consume, you’re not likely to become truly addicted.
In addition, coffee can have benefits when it comes to caring for your skin and hair, and can even help your indoor and outdoor plants to stay healthy!
If you’re not convinced by now that coffee is very good for you, in ways that you might never have thought of, here’s a final thought to leave you with – coffee might actually help you get along better with your co-workers! A study has shown that if you drink coffee with your co-workers, you’ll view them in a more positive light, and feel better about yourself as well! So next time you see Chirpy Smurf in the break room, resist the temptation to let her have it. Instead, just sit down, sip your coffee like the civilized human being you are, and just hope that eventually she’ll see the error of her ways and dump her Raspberry Zinger in favor of a nice hot cuppa Joe!
Last update on 2019-08-25 at 13:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API