Java: Health Benefits in Your Cup?

J is for Java.

Coffee, for centuries, has been the item of trade, money, and most recently, keeping you awake.

Java, also known as coffee, is referred to the bean that is grown on Java, an island in Indonesia, and is touted for its rich, sweet flavor.  But did you know that drinking that sweet pick me up in the morning (or during the day) can have some health benefits to it as well?

Top 3 Health Benefits And Possible Downsides of Coffee

But did you know coffee just isn't for that quick pick me up, it also has some great health benefits too.

1.  Fat Burning

Coffee is a stimulant that revs up the body's metabolism due to its caffeine content.   By stimulating the body to speed up its metabolism, it increases its fat burning potential.  

     Downside:  If you are a "seasoned" coffee drinker (meaning you drink coffee on a daily basis), you may drink more than one cup of coffee in order to increase your metabolism enough to actually burn fat.

2.  Nutrients in Coffee

Coffee isn't just water and flavor from ground up coffee beans - it actually has some nutritional benefits, such as:

  • Vitamin B12:  11% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5:  6% of the RDA
  • Niacin: 3% of the RDA
     Downside:  Even though there are some nutritional benefits, there are also some things you may want to consider before making coffee your source of nutrition:

  1. Not everyone drinks their coffee black.  In other words, most will put some type of sweetener or milk product to make the coffee taste better or have a different flavor.  The addition of these "additional ingredients" can counteract the nutritional benefits of coffee by increase the amount of sugar, fat, calories and even unwanted and unnecessary chemicals.
  2. The addition of sugar and creamer in coffee may make you feel fuller longer, but can also hinder you from feeding your body with proper, nutrient dense foods that it needs.
  3. Coffee has been known to be a diuretic, meaning that is can be dehydrating, robbing the body of other nutrients it needs on a daily basis.

3.  Lower Risk of Type II Diabetes

Studies have shown that by drinking coffee can decrease your chance of getting Type II Diabetes by at least 7%.  

     Downside:  In terms of decreasing your chance of getting Type II Diabetes, there really is no downside.  However, in order to possibly decrease your change of getting Type II Diabetes, these same studies concluded that :

  1. You have to drink at least 6 cups (8 ounces each) of coffee daily.
  2. The coffee has to be black, which means no adding of sugar or cream.
  3. It must be caffeinated coffee - no decaf, which, for those that cannot handle high amounts of caffeine, this may be big downside for this particular benefit of coffee.

Downside to Consider: Impact on Sleep

While is seems that most studies focused on caffeinated coffee rather than decaf, too much caffeine can be bad for you as well.  This is particularly true if you have had a cup of caffeinated coffee too late in the day so that you are not able to fall asleep or sleep well.  The lack of good quality sleep has been shown to have negative side effects on your health as well.

So as you can see, coffee has some health benefits to it, but also some downsides to consider when pouring yourself another cup.  How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?  Have you seen any health benefits to drinking it on a daily basis?



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1 comment

  1. Very interesting. I drink three cups most days, and I drink it black so I'm avoiding the downsides related to sugar and cream. I sometimes have a half-caf around dinner time, but not very often. It's usually all fully caffeinated for me.


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