By Richard Komakech
Coffee is a member of the plant family, Rubiaceae and genus Coffea consisting of many species; including Coffea arabica. They are shrubs native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. In Uganda, coffee is majorly grown in the Central region and part of Eastern region. In the central, it is commonly referred to as Mwanyi. Though they are a lot of myths around coffee, it is a popular drink that is often praised and discouraged almost in the same measure. Even with the drawbacks, coffee is ranked as one of the most valuable and widely traded crop globally.
Is coffee good for you? Yes! Studies have shown that drinking coffee every day can help lower one’s risk of contracting many serious health conditions. Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits: including protecting against Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer.
However, just like most of the things we eat, coffee should also be taken in moderate quantity for one to maximally realize its full health and nutritional benefits. In whatever way one perceives it, there are good reasons to drink coffee, which this article is dedicated to. Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages worldwide containing plentiful anti-oxidants. A cup in the morning may provide more than just an energy boost!
Additionally, coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing cirrhosis, which can be caused by several diseases that affect the liver. Regular coffee drinkers also have a much lower risk of getting type II diabetes, a serious disease that currently affects about 300 million people globally. Furthermore, coffee consumption is related to decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease which is known to be one of the leading causes of dementia worldwide. It is also linked to reduced risk of bladder, breast, leukaemia, prostate and pancreatic cancers. The caffeine in coffee increases the metabolic rates and also aids in the conversion of fats in our bodies into energy. Therefore, apart from providing the body energy, the increased metabolism is important for enhancing weight loss hence reducing the chances of becoming obese.
Regular intake of coffee is known to be very important in maintaining mental alertness, psychomotor performance and improving one’s physical endurance. In fact, coffee has been shown to improve various aspects of the brain function including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels and reaction times. These effects generally improve the cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression. It’s not entirely clear why this occurs, but it’s another great reason for one to drink coffee when depressed!
Coffee consumption is important for longevity and is a great help in lowering risk of premature death caused by myriad of life threatening diseases. The consumption of coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and as well as contributing to overall reduction of cardiovascular complications including heart attack and heart failure.
Regular intake of coffee and not just caffeine is known to significantly decrease the risk of gout in both men and women by lowering levels of uric acid in the body although the effect is higher in men than in women. With these numerous benefits, one has all the reasons to drink up and celebrate with coffee!
NB: Information given in this article should not be used for self-medication purposes. Always consult a physician or herbalist before using any medicinal plant remedy for given health related conditions.
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