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Drink to your health: Why coffee is good for you

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By Joseph Oindo 

Coffee, coffee and more coffee. If you love coffee and you have come to Rwanda, then you are in the right country! Why? This tiny and hilly country possesses some incredibly good beans that don’t have to travel very far to find their way in your cup. This means they’re as fresh as they can get! And, amazingly enough, Rwanda is considered, alongside Ethiopia and Kenya, as one of the leading coffee producers in the world.

Coffee has an emotional way it plays with our brains. Just a whiff of coffee makes you grab the cup, sit down and enjoy it brewed in a cup. Well, coffee is actually quite healthy. It’s full of antioxidants plus beneficial nutrients, and all these may improve your health.

Studies indicate that coffee drinkers have a much reduced risk of severe diseases. The following are some confirmed benefits of coffee.

Improving energy levels and making you smarter
Coffee not only helps you feel less tired, but also enhances your energy levels. It contains some stimulant called caffeine. When you drink coffee, caffeine is absorbed in your bloodstream. It travels into the brain from here. In your brain, caffeine blocks Adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This causes other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine to increase, leading to improved firing of neutrons. Several trials indicate coffee enhances different aspects of brain function. It includes vigilance, mood, energy levels, general cognitive function and memory.

Helps burn fat
Caffeine is among the very few natural substances proven to help burn fat. Many studies show that it may increase fat burning in your body and improve the metabolic rate.

Improves physical performance
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system. This causes it to transmit signals to the fat cells, making them break down body fat. It also increases Adrenaline (Epinephrine) levels in the blood. From these, it’s not surprising to see that caffeine may improve your physical performance by about 12 per cent. Therefore, before heading to the gym, ensure you have some strong cup of coffee half an hour before.

Contains essential nutrients
Coffee is not merely black water. Several nutrients found in coffee beans finally make the drink. Coffee contains many vital nutrients, including pantothenic acid, niacin, magnesium, potassium and riboflavin.

May reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
This is a severe health problem, presently afflicting around seven per cent of the world’s adult population. But for some reasons, those who drink coffee have some significantly reduced risk of developing it. Several studies indicate that coffee drinkers have much lower risks of getting type 2 diabetes.

Lower risks of parkinson’s
This is a neurodegenerative disease which is the second most common, after Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s has no known cure. Therefore, it’s significant to focus on prevention. Studies show coffee drinkers have some much lower risk of developing the disease. Reduction ranges between 32 per cent and 60 per cent.

Protective effects on liver
Liver. This amazing organ carries many important functions in our bodies. Many common diseases like fatty liver and hepatitis among others basically affect it. Several of the diseases may lead to a condition known as cirrhosis. Coffee may help protect against this condition. People who take four or more cups each day have up to 80 per cent lower risk.

Fight depression
Depression is some serious mental disorder which significantly causes a reduced quality of life. In a Harvard study (2011), women who drank four or more cups each day had 20 per cent lower risks of becoming depressed. Another study shows that those who drank four or more cups each day were 53 per cent less likely to commit suicide.

Lower risks of some kinds of cancer
Coffee appears to be protective against two kinds of cancer: colorectal and liver cancer. Studies indicate coffee drinkers have up to 40 per cent lower risk of liver cancer while people who drank about 4 cups each day have 15 per cent lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Bottom line
So there you are. Enjoy your Bourbon Coffee while in Kigali as you drink to your health…


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