What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of coffee? Is it a jolt of energy? A morning non-negotiable? A delicious and decadent indulgence?
While coffee can certainly check all of those boxes, as it turns out, coffee can also have some pretty remarkable health benefits. In fact, your cup of joe might even be able to help you live a longer, healthier life. Let’s dive into some of the research behind coffee’s incredible effects on health and longevity.
So, What Is Actually in Coffee?
The coffee beans you buy at the store are actually a seed from a fruit known as a coffee cherry produced by coffee trees. Once these coffee cherries are harvested, the seeds are removed, dried, and roasted – transforming them into the coffee beans we’re all familiar with.1 Once these coffee beans are ground and brewed, then voila – you have yourself a delicious cup of coffee.
But what exactly is in your cup of joe? As it turns out, it’s much more than a powerful jolt of caffeine. Coffee is chock-full of some other health-promoting compounds, such as:2,3,4,5
- Diterpenes (like cafestol and kahweol) that have powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic effects
- Antioxidants (like melanoidins, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid) that neutralize harmful free radicals
- Tocopherols that encompass the major forms of vitamin E
- Nicotinic acid, which is a type of vitamin B that’s essential for numerous enzymatic reactions
- Heterocyclic compounds, which have potent antioxidant effects
This impressive fusion of health-boosting compounds can add up to some equally impressive health benefits.
What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee?
Some of the health benefits that have been linked to regular coffee consumption include:
Increased Insulin Sensitivity
Coffee can reduce your risk of developing insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. While researchers still don’t entirely understand how it works, it’s speculated that coffee influences insulin secretion in a few ways:6
- Once consumed, the chlorogenic acid found in coffee is transformed into compounds known as quinides which are known to directly impact blood glucose levels.
- Coffee may also influence levels of the gut peptides glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1 that are intricately involved in regulating insulin secretion as well as hunger hormones.
- Coffee may also have prebiotic-like properties, modifying the microbiome and digestion which subsequently affects insulin secretion.
While coffee itself may positively impact insulin sensitivity, it’s important to note that this isn’t the case if you’re consuming coffee drinks that are loaded with sugar and other artificial flavorings.
Better Brain Health
Caffeine and the compounds found in coffee have some impressive neuroprotective effects. Research has found that regular coffee consumption significantly decreases the risk of developing certain neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.7
Coffee’s neuroprotective effects come from its concentrated dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds are able to minimize and reverse inflammation and oxidative stress in your nervous system. This in turn boosts your overall brain health.
Protection Against Liver Disease
Coffee can also promote liver health. Coffee drinkers are more likely to have healthy liver enzyme levels than non-coffee drinkers and are less likely to develop liver disease.
Thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory effects paired with its hefty dose of caffeine, coffee creates a chemical known as paraxanthine. Paraxathine deters the development of scar tissue that leads to fibrosis of the liver.8 In addition, coffee has been found to activate enzymes that enhance your liver’s detoxification capabilities. This allows your liver to function more efficiently while enhancing overall liver health.9
Increased Heart Health
Coffee can be particularly beneficial for cardiovascular health, lowering your risk for conditions like heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes.10 Exactly how coffee boosts heart health is partly attributed to its ability to move a type of protein known as P27.
Coffee is able to amplify the amount of P27 in your cells’ mitochondria – or the energy-generating powerhouse of your cells. This helps your heart cells function better and recover more efficiently.11
All of these impressive benefits add up to one more significant benefit – increased longevity.
Coffee Drinkers Live Longer
Thanks to coffee’s incredible health-promoting effects and its ability to combat numerous chronic diseases, this beloved beverage can also help you live longer. In fact, numerous studies have consistently found that regular coffee drinkers are likely to live longer than non-coffee drinkers.12,13,14
There’s no denying that coffee has some spectacular impacts on both overall health and longevity. But the truth is, not all coffee is created equally.
So, What Is the Healthiest Coffee to Drink?
When it comes to the coffee you drink, quality matters. Mold and other contaminants are common issues in lower-quality coffee brands. So look for coffee that’s organic, specialty-grade, and verified free of contaminants. My favorite brand that checks all 3 of those boxes and taste great is Purity Coffee.
And as an added bonus, these top-notch coffees also work if you want to tap into all of the health-boosting benefits of coffee in a less conventional way – with coffee enemas. Click here to learn more about the detoxing power of coffee enemas.
Coffee: Another Tool to Help You Live a Healthier, Longer Life
Coffee can be a powerful – and tasty – tool in your healthy living toolbox. It can help you optimize your well-being and experience the vibrant health and longevity we all deserve. But at the end of the day, there is no single beverage, food, or supplement that’s the secret to better health.
The real secret to a healthy, vibrant life is found in the accumulation of the small choices you make every single day about the way you eat, move, sleep, and think. That’s why I’m dedicated to providing my patients and readers with access to science-backed, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-implement information.
So if you enjoyed this article and are looking for more ways to simplify healthy living, I’ve got you covered. You can head over and check out hundreds of articles and resources on my blog. And if you want to take it to the next level, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter by entering your name and email address in the form below.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Were you surprised to learn about the impressive health benefits of coffee? What’s your favorite way to enjoy coffee? Leave your question and thoughts in the comments below!
- What is Coffee? (ncausa.org)
- Antioxidants in Coffee – ScienceDirect
- Diterpenes: a therapeutic promise for cardiovascular diseases – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Antioxidative Activities of Heterocyclic Compounds Formed in Brewed Coffee | Request PDF (researchgate.net)
- Antioxidant and Antiradical Activity of Coffee – PMC (nih.gov)
- Coffee, glucose homeostasis, and insulin resistance: physiological mechanisms and mediators (cdnsciencepub.com)
- Coffee | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Can Coffee Help Your Liver Fight Disease? (webmd.com)
- Coffee: The magical bean for liver diseases – PMC (nih.gov)
- Light to moderate coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of death: a UK Biobank study – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Here’s how drinking coffee could protect your heart | Science News
- Effect of coffee consumption on all-cause and total cancer mortality: findings from the JACC study – PubMed (nih.gov)
- The relationship of coffee consumption with mortality – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism: Findings From the UK Biobank | Lifestyle Behaviors | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.
Always surprised to see this. Previously, I read that it may increase breast cancer risk due to increasing estrogen and stress hormones. Very confusing.
It really depends on the coffee and person. If someone metabolizes coffee slowly which goes through phase 1 liver detox (cytochromes) and does not have proper phase 2 liver support, it could be an issue. While I think clean organic coffee in general is a wonderful addition of antioxidants for most people.
Many Thanks Dr Jill
Can you please comment on the diuretic properties of coffee.
I read elsewhere that diuresis brought on by coffee, removes treasured Magnesium from one’s system.
True or False ?
Due to soil depletion, many foods that naturally contain magnesium are deficient. In addition, purified water using reverse osmosis also depletes minerals. Coffee and tea may may also deplete minerals so regardless, I recommend a product like Mineral Essentials which I take daily.
Does Decaf coffee have the same benefits?
yes, as long as clean coffee beans with high antioxidant potential
I have had adrenal dysfunction for decades and mostly gave up caffeine. I heard Andrew Salisbury (and Dr. Carnahan) on the Chronic Illness and Mycotoxin Summit recently. I think I heard him say you get the same benefits from decaf. I would love to try his coffee, but have you found information that all these great benefits can also come from decaf?
(I do get your emails. That is how I got this one.)