How could I ever say “no” to a fellow coffee lover? I could not possibly! I can’t let you miss out on the latest bit about how coffee affects our health! After all, I have written about how to make coffee a healthier habitbefore as well as things to add to your cup to make it even more mind-blowingly-healthy. So, of course, I want to let you in on some recent research that Austin Baines (fellow coffee nut) has gathered for us to see how each cup of java could possibly affect how we tap into our mind as well as fend off disease!
AUSTIN BAINES, THE COFFEE GURU
Let me tell you just a bit about Austin, our coffee expert today before he enlightens us on three big ways coffee may affect our brain:
Over the last few years, coffee has risen from its former status as just a popular and delicious drink to a veritable superfood. Recent studies, and the hundreds of pop-science articles that follow claim that coffee even helps to extend our lifespan.
What’s more interesting to us, though, is what coffee might be able to do for our brains. Let’s take a look at what some studies have found out about some of the effects that your cup o’ Joe is having on your mind and the health of your noggin’!
1. Coffee Improves Your Memory & May Help You Learn!
This applies to memory consolidation, and not retrieval, meaning that it’s great for learning new things, not for helping you recall something that you learned before. This seems to be due to the stimulant effects of caffeine, though further research is needed.
What it means for you is that you should put the coffee on when you sit down to study or learn, not just right before the test or the big presentation at work.
2. Coffee Might Fight Some Diseases.
Here are two diseases that coffee may help fend off:
The study measured average coffee and tea consumption by specific populations and compared those against the incidence of brain tumors and rate of progression of those brain tumors. Coffee and tea consumption correlate to a lower incidence of tumors, as well as slower tumor growth.
The scientists weren’t able to determine how coffee can reduce your risk of brain cancer, but both the caffeine and antioxidant properties of tea and coffee are likely culprits.
Mice that were fed significant amounts of caffeine from young adulthood on were protected against memory impairment as they aged, and had lower levels of the beta amyloid proteins that form plaques and cause Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Even better, mice that exhibited Alzheimer’s symptoms experienced reduced levels of beta-amyloids, memory restoration, and improved cognitive function within 1-2 months of beginning the trial.
Alzheimer’s has long been a disease that we couldn’t do anything about, but a part of the answer could have been sitting in our coffee cup this entire time. This has huge implications in terms of preventing, delaying onset, and providing therapies for the disease.
3. Coffee Could Increase Stress & Anxiety If You Drink A Lot of It.
Caffeine increases alertness, but contributes to sensory overload and increases our stress levels. Over time, this can manifest in the form of persistent anxiety issues. While this doesn’t affect everyone, this could, in turn, have negative implications for things like heart health, and our bodies’ natural inflammatory processes, which is why the scientific community’s research on coffee is far from over.
I hope you enjoyed Austin’s peek into how coffee affects brain health. I certainly learned a few new things. Austin and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!