The American futurist and author knows the pulse of the world. He has aptly summed up that caffeine is an energizer and a stimulant which gets our creative juices flowing. South India is famous for its filter coffee and no wonder that the region has produced popular leaders and creative artistes. With globalization, coffee and its derivatives have spread to every nook and corner of the country.
Let’s demystify the main stimulant found in coffee, mocha’s and lattes. Let’s delve deep into a tall frothy mug of cappuccino and understand how caffeine can be good for our health
What is Caffeine?
- It is proven that a cup of hot coffee can help uplift your senses and refresh you. This quality of coffee can be attributed to the presence of caffeine, which is a central nervous stimulant.
- Caffeine is basically a bitter white crystalline alkaloid. It is a stimulant drug that is found in varying amounts in the seeds, leaves and fruits of some plants.
- It is widely consumed in the form of infusions extracted from seeds of the coffee plant and leaves of the tea bush.
- Other sources include edibles containing products derived from the kola nut.
- Caffeine is most commonly consumed in the form of tea, coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks.
- Caffeine is often considered a harmful drug as it can be addictive. Taking it in the right dose can have positive effects on your health.
- Using caffeine causes an improvement in sports performance, increases alertness and reduces fatigue.
- It can temporarily ward off drowsiness and lift up your mood. Hence, unlike other psychoactive substances, caffeine is legal and unregulated in almost all parts of the world.
Benefits of Caffeine For Health:
A question that everybody has in mind is whether caffeine is good for health. The amount of caffeine contained in two to four cups of coffee a day is not harmful. However, excess caffeine intake can make you feel restless, irritable and anxious. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and they need to restrict their intake. Taking caffeine in the right doses can provide the following health benefits.
1. Good for Liver:
Caffeine, when taken in the form of caffeine enema, detoxifies your liver and cleanses the colon. A study at Duke University has proved that caffeine may reduce fatty liver in those suffering from non-alcohol related fatty liver disease.
2. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes:
Research says that drinking 5 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This is primarily because of the presence of high level of disease fighting antioxidants. Drinking sugar free coffee daily can make you less likely to suffer from type 2-diabetes.
3. Sharpens Your Brain:
Caffeine is good for your brain. It causes the release of dopamine, the brain chemical that stimulates the area of grey matter. This again is responsible for alertness, problem solving and pressure, thus making your brain active and sharper.
A research at Harvard has proven that people who drink 4 cups of caffeinated coffee are half as likely to suffer from Parkinson’s disease in comparison to others. This is primarily because caffeine keeps dopamine molecules active. It also blocks adenosine that may slow down the build-up of amyloid-beta, a toxic brain plaque that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Cardiovascular Health:
Caffeine constricts your arteries by infiltrating the receptors that line the blood vessel walls. This causes your blood pressure to rise. However, this is a problem with non-habitual drinkers. The effect on blood pressure tends to be much smaller on habitual coffee drinkers as their bodies are somewhat tolerant to their effects.
In fact, research at Brooklyn College has found that men who drank 4 cups of caffeinated coffee daily are less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who never took a sip. Drinking coffee has been found to reduce the risk of stroke by 22%.
5. Aids in Weight Loss:
Drinking caffeinated coffee can help in weight loss. Regular drinkers often report decrease in appetite, resulting in weight loss.
6. Eye Health:
Caffeine protects against eyelid spasm and may provide protection against cataracts.
7. Anti-cancer Properties:
Caffeine can reduce the risk of developing cancer. It also delays the onset of average cancer. Caffeinated coffee reduces the risk of mouth and throat cancer by 50%. It may also prevent skin cancer.