Why you shouldn’t give up coffee for the New Year
Did you decide to give something up for new year? If so, the chances are it was one of the ‘big three’ – alcohol, chocolate or coffee. Most of us start the year with good intentions of going on a health kick, but giving up coffee doesn’t need to be on the list.
Clare Collins, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia recently reviewed the health benefits of coffee. She says it’s ‘crazy’ to give up coffee, as there’s clear evidence it can actually support health. Here’s how:
- Drinking one to two cups of caffeinated coffee a day can lower your risk of dying prematurely by 8 per cent
- Naturally occurring compounds in coffee can help to protect the liver from toxins. Each additional cup of coffee you drink a day can lower your risk of liver cancer by 14 per cent.
- Drinking three or more cups of coffee a day lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to non-coffee drinkers.
- There’s more good news as well – if you’re a coffee drinker, surveys of over half a million men show that your risk of developing prostate cancer reduces by 10 per cent compared to those who never drink it. In addition, for every extra two cups of coffee you drink a day the risk decreases again by 2.5 per cent a cup.
- It’s well known that drinking too much coffee, drinking it too strong or drinking it too late at night can stop you sleeping. Our bodies create a chemical called adenosine as a by-product of normal cellular activity, and throughout the day levels build up and create that sleepy feeling. When we sleep, our bodies purge the adenosine ready for the cycle to start again. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in our brain, muting the ‘sleep signals’, while at the same time boosting the flow of stimulant chemicals like dopamine. Although it will have no effect on your chances of getting the disease, this increased flow of dopamine can help those suffering from Parkinson’s.
With all those health benefits, perhaps giving up your daily caffeine dose might not be the health boost you were hoping for – time to revisit that list!
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