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Black Coffee Benefits: How Much is Really Enough?

   |  Updated: July 20, 2017 11:53 IST

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Black Coffee Benefits: How Much is Really Enough?
Highlights
  • Coffee is, undeniably, one of the most consumed beverages in the world
  • Most people cannot think of starting their day without it
  • Coffee turns out to be a rich source of heart-healthy polyphenols
Coffee is, undeniably, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Nothing stops coffee lovers from experimenting and teaming it up with a range of delicacies, drinks and even desserts. Most people cannot think of starting their day without a daily dose of caffeine. You may have not known this but regular black coffee consumption has been tied to promoting good health. Experts have outlined and emphasized the good-for-you properties of espresso shots or black coffee when had regularly and in moderation. According to ethnobotanist and author of the book, How to Eat Better, James Wong, "Coffee turns out to be an incredibly rich source of heart-healthy polyphenols, containing much more than certain fruit and vegetables like blackberries and kale per serving". But should you believe these claims that praise the health benefits of the good ol' Americano? Let's find out.

The benefits



Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach, explains that black coffee is a potent stimulant for brain activity. "It increases adrenaline in your blood and is therefore, excellent as a pre-workout drink," she notes. Some other notable benefits tied to black coffee consumption are listed below:



1. It comes loaded with antioxidants that may help stave off the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and even dementia.



2. Black coffee can lift your mood and can also help keep depression at bay.



3. Moderate black coffee consumption is also known to help with improving your focus and boosting your brain power.

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4. It may also help reduce inflammation in the body.



5. Moderate consumption of black coffee may promote heart health.



6. Experts at Harvard have found that coffee "protects against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health," as stated in Harvard's online journal, Harvard Gazette.



7. The dose of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants present in coffee may also help lower oxidative stress.



8. "Coffee is very rich in chlorogenic acid, one of the richest antioxidants," noted Sanjiv Chopra, a professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Harvard's online journal.



9. According to experts at the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh, in a moderated study, participants who consumed one cup of coffee daily had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.

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10. Black coffee is enriched with minerals and micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamins like B2, B3 and B5.



How much is enough?



Experts suggest that a person should not have more than 400mg of coffee in a day. It is best to consume without cream and added sugar that only add calories to your drink.



The downside



As they say, too much of anything may pose a health threat. Excessive caffeine consumption has been tied to triggering a host of ailments and health complications. Insomnia, headaches, dehydration and bowel troubles are some of the most common symptoms of high caffeine intake. "Coffee is not suitable for people with irritable bowel syndrome and other gastro-intestinal issues as it can upset the acid balance in the stomach. It has dehydrating properties and therefore, should be consumed in moderation. People with high blood pressure must also keep a watch on their caffeine intake," concluded Shilpa.

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Coffee is a wonder ingredient, indeed. All those fuzzy moments when a cup of hot coffee managed to revive our focus or those lazy mornings when a shot of coffee gave us the much-needed energy boost - reinstate the fact that coffee is simply irreplaceable. Enjoy it by consuming it in moderation to reap the health benefits.



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