Many centuries ago, Ethiopian legend has it that Kaldi, the goat herder, saw that his goats behaved strangely when they ate berries from a particular tree. They would get so excited that they would stay up all night, frolicking around, bleating, and doing whatever it is goats do best. And so, Kaldi thought it wise to report his findings to the abbot of the local monastery.
The abbot made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert during the long evening prayers. He'd struck gold! He moved to share his discovery with other monks at the monastery, and news of the energy-boosting berries began to spread. Today, we know this energy-boosting berry as COFFEE. Interesting backstory. But coffee does much more than keeping one alert and energized.
Benefits of Drinking Coffee
1. Improves Physical Performance
If you plan to hit the gym early in the mornings and need a pick-me-up to kick you out of bed, a cup of coffee will do the trick. Known to improve physical performance by 11-12%, coffee contains a natural stimulant, caffeine, which helps fat cells break down fat into fatty acids to serve as fuel. It also increases epinephrine levels in the blood. Epinephrine is the fight-or-flight hormone that preps your body for some intense physical activity.
2. Keeps the Liver Healthy
Your liver performs many vital functions, from blood purification and blood clot regulation to storing a large percentage of the body’s Iron. Unfortunately, unhealthy habits like excessive alcohol consumption, eating heavily processed foods, and even the lack of physical exercise can overwork the liver and cause it to develop diseases like fatty liver disease, hepatitis, etc., which eventually lead to a fatal liver condition — Cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is an irreversible condition that results from the degeneration of the liver cells and the scarring of its tissues. Coffee can protect your liver against liver diseases. A recent study even proved that consuming 2 or more cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of death from cirrhosis by 66%.
3. Reduces the Risk of Certain Types of Cancers
According to science, drinking coffee can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers. One study revealed that coffee can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer in women by 25% and prostate cancer in men by 20%. Another study showed that people who drank 4-5 cups of coffee a day showed a 15% reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer. So if you are looking to hamper cancerous growth in your body, coffee might just be the answer.
4. Protects the Brain from Neurodegenerative Diseases
Coffee can help improve vital cognitive functions such as focus, creativity, learning, and memory. Science says that elevated caffeine levels in the blood can help protect your brain functions and reduce the risks of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkison’s disease. Safe to say that a cup(s) of coffee a day could keep brain diseases away.
5. Boosts Mood
Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Did your boss put you in a bad mood the moment you stepped into the office? Are you feeling down and tired for no reason? If nothing seems to cheer you up, drink a cup of coffee to boost your mood naturally. Coffee is even capable of warding off depression. Harvard researchers found that women who drank at least 4 cups of coffee per day had a 20% reduced risk of developing depression. Little wonder why Kaldi's goats couldn't contain their excitement after having a taste of unprocessed coffee.
Our Final Thoughts
The next time you make yourself a cup of coffee and indulge in its rich taste, recall that it delivers several impressive health benefits, from improving physical performance to protecting against cancers to boosting mood. Oh, and its interesting backstory too.