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Every day, Americans drink over 400 million cups of coffee. While it’s clearly part of many Americans’ morning routines, it is actually healthy for you. Countless studies measuring various aspects of health have shown that coffee is good for your overall health.
Antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals — molecules that are produced during cell metabolism. Free radicals contribute to the damage of cells, beginning a process called oxidative stress, which then can lead to a variety of diseases and increase aging. As your body ages, it loses its ability to fight those free radicals, which causes more oxidative stress and damage to cells.
Antioxidants are critical in that they neutralize these free radicals, lessening their effects on your cells. If you’re looking to add antioxidants to your diet, look no further than coffee. Coffee is a major source of antioxidants. In fact, numerous studies have cited coffee as having the highest source of antioxidants in the American diet. Unprocessed coffee beans contain approximately 1,000 antioxidants, then hundreds more arise as the roasting process occurs.
This rich concentration of antioxidants is powerful in helping to fight inflammation, which is an underlying factor of a variety of chronic diseases.
Aside from coffee’s reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimers, evidence also shows its beneficial effects on your liver.
In a 2015 study reviewing all the literature on coffee's effects on liver health, it was shown that drinking coffee:
Researchers found an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes correlate to inflammation and liver damage. In these studies, they found that the more coffee participants drank (up to four cups a day), the lower their liver enzymes levels.
A few tips when it comes to drinking coffee to support your liver health.
While the health benefits of drinking coffee are hard to dispute, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a license to drink as much coffee as you want. Some have a sensitivity to caffeine in that it will make them feel jittery or agitated in small or large doses. It can also impact sleep quality. Caffeine affects everyone differently, so if you do experience side effects, decrease your consumption to fit your lifestyle.
Fun fact: The effects from caffeine take around 6 hours to wear off, so aim to drink coffee earlier in the day.
Enjoy that cup of joe not only taste good and gives you energy, but it's good for your liver health as well.