Gotta' have your java? Coffee is a staple for so many people. You see a coffee shop just about anywhere you go and a home without a coffee maker feels like an alien planet. Some of us might even call it our “life blood.”
Regardless of how much you depend on coffee to wake up, focus on work, or relax after dinner, it’s a major part of an everyday routine for millions of people worldwide. As it turns out, coffee might be even more valuable and important than we thought.
Coffee Prevents Cirrhosis
Recent studies show that drinking coffee each day may help prevent the onset of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. A scarred liver is a damaged liver; over time, those scars become stiffer and lose function. Cirrhosis occurs slowly, over a long period of time, and can be measured by how “stiff” these scars become. The more scar tissue your liver contains, the more likely you are to head toward liver failure. Infections like hepatitis, chronic alcohol ingestion, and even chronic use of medications can all lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
Researchers studied diets (specifically how much tea and coffee people drank) and then measured how stiff each patient’s liver tissue was before and after regular ingestion. They found that people who drink 3 or more cups of coffee every day have significantly lower stiffness in their liver, and thus, achieve better liver function.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Studies have confirmed that coffee isn’t a bad thing for your heart, as many feared in the past, and can be quite beneficial for your heart's health. The key is not to to overconsume. Researchers found that coffee improves the function of endothelial cells that line your arteries, making for easier blood flow and thereby reducing the workload on your heart. It should be noted that most of the research that touts coffee's positive health effects does not account for the use of cream and sugar; if you use too much cream and/or sugar you could be reducing the benefits of the coffee.
Anything that releases dopamine into your system significantly boosts your mood. That’s why it’s called the “feel good chemical.” And when it comes to dopamine-boosting drinks, few do it as safely and reliably as your favorite brew.
Coffee has an almost immediate effect on feel-good chemicals in the brain, so for most people, it can and will help you prevent or fight off mild cases of the blues. Just be careful not to exceed more than a few cups a day or you could find yourself anxious from the caffeine.
So enjoy your coffee. It's one of those pleasures that doesn’t have to be a guilty one.