Is Coffee Really Good For You?
There is an extensive list of blog posts, articles and reports surrounding the effects of
coffee on our health, which all seem to contradict one another and leave us with no
answer – however, the scientific research of the chemicals that actually go into coffee
suggests that it is improving our health in more ways than we are aware of.
The most eminent of all chemicals that go into your daily cup of coffee is caffeine – which has few negative side effects, despite some beliefs. While stimulating our nervous system, caffeine encourages our body into a state of ‘Fight or Flight’ – an instinctive physiological response to a threat or attack, which can cause an increase in blood pressure.
This potentially could be dangerous for people who ordinarily have a high blood pressure, however this seems to be the extent of the issues surrounding caffeine.
The more interesting aspect is the way in which caffeine works to keep us awake. It binds to adenosine receptors in our brain, adenosine being a naturally occurring chemical which begins building up within our bodies from when we wake up in the morning, to when we fall asleep. It essentially gives the brain the signal to make our bodies feel tired, so by binding to the adenosine receptors, caffeine acts as a blockade to stop it from getting through, thus keeping us awake.
However, the extent of the effects of caffeine are directly proportional to the amount we consume. For example, someone who regularly drinks coffee would be getting more of a group of compounds called polyphenols, found in many fruit and vegetables. They are more generally referred to as antioxidants, which are known for their ability to combat cell damage, and can defend the body against pathologies such as cancers and coronary heart disease. These polyphenols decrease blood pressure, leading researchers to believe that they could reduce the effects of dementia and the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Studies show that a regular coffee drinker could be getting as much as 1g of polyphenols a day, potentially having a significant impact on our health. The research of these chemicals proves that ultimately, coffee can considerably benefit our bodies, and with 70 million cups being consumed every day, it is important to know that what we are drinking is boosting our immune system, as well as keeping us alert throughout the day.