by Annie Kim
Coffee plays such a huge role in our daily lives, especially as overworked college students. The warm cup of caffeine starts our day off with its cognitive-stimulating effects, it is our bread and butter as we pull all-nighters studying for tests and writing papers and it’s a mediating power as a symbol of social gathering. Due to the American diet that fits conveniently in to our busy schedule, the foods and drinks Americans regularly consume lacks the quality nutrients and antioxidants that we need to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, because of this, coffee is actually the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet.
I am sure you all have heard the news seeping through our technologically advanced world. The news is out: Drinking coffee is actually good for you. Studies have shown that the benefits of coffee can help our bodies physically and our minds psychologically. Drinking coffee helps beat the blues, decrease disease risks and prevent a variety of cancers. It has shown significant health benefits beyond simply acting as a mental stimulant. Coffee is the drink that definitely does it all.
The health benefits of coffee I have compiled in my column this week come from reliable sources such as Self Magazine, LiveStrong.com, Yahoo Health and a variety of living well and nutrition websites.
It beats the blues:
A study out of Harvard University shows that women who regularly drink caffeinated coffee have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers. Women who drank decaf didn’t show a similar reduction in depression rates. Coffee makes the world a happier place!
It lowers the risk of cancer and diseases:
Coffee contains an army of antioxidants that protect you from the toxic-free radicals, which come from an unhealthy diet, that start chronic diseases.
Fights off prostate cancer:
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Another study from Harvard University showed that men who drank six or more cups a day reduced their risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer.
Protects against head and neck cancers:
Regular consumption of coffee has been related to a lower risk for brain tumors, colorectal and endometrial cancer, and liver and cirrhosis cancer. A study from the University of Utah showed that people who drank at least four cups of coffee a day led to a 39 percent decrease in the risk of pharynx and oral cavity.
Scares off Alzheimer’s disease:
Several studies have shown that coffee helps keep the elderly mentally fit. Studies have shown those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day significantly reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease greatly. Researchers are still unsure why this works the way it does. They have a hunch that because coffee is a central nervous system stimulant, it may activate and renew parts of the brain that is connected with memory and cognition.
Enhances cognitive function:
The consumption of coffee is associated with enhancing cognitive function both in short-term and long-term. It triggers several neurotransmitters that are connected with mental alertness such as dopamine, glutamate, serotonin and histamine. Time Magazine recently reported a test where subjects took an intelligence test known as the Intelligence Quotient. People who drank several cups of coffee beforehand had scored higher than those who had no coffee at all.