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The surprising health benefits of coffee
Ah, coffee. It’s our saviour, our lifeline, the reason we get up in the morning – especially if you’re a Melbourne girl like me. But did you know that the benefits of coffee are far more than just feeling more awake/alive/human – according to experts, coffee is actually really good for you.
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According to Shannon Chafkin, a Sydney-based naturopath, herbalist and nutritionist, the benefits of coffee can be seen across many areas of our health. Um, that’s gotta be the best news ever, right?!
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So just what are the benefits of coffee? Firstly, Shannon tells Vogue Australia, coffee is full of highly beneficial antioxidants.”Numerous studies have confirmed that coffee contains so many antioxidants that it might in fact have a more potent antioxidant activity than cacao and green tea,” she says. “Antioxidants protect our cells and help keep us healthy in the face of environmental toxins and chronic disease by neutralising free radicals and fighting inflammation.”
Try giving your coffee with an even bigger hit of antioxidants by choosing a coffee infused with good-for-you ingredients such as Natural Health Company Skinny Bean Natural Fat Burning Coffee - Variety Pack and Before You Speak High Performance Coffee ($69.95, beforeyouspeakcoffee.com). Pass the morning joe, please!
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Shannon also tells Vogue Australia that drinking coffee impacts your liver health. “A study by Harvard demonstrated a contrary correlation between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of cirrhosis as well as reduced blood levels of liver enzymes,” she says. “Elevated levels of liver enzymes typically reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee subjects drank, the lower their levels of enzymes.”
Keen to reap the benefits but not a fan of the taste of coffee? No worries – support your liver health with coffee-based supplements such as Swisse Green Coffee Bean.
When it comes to your brain, your mood and your cognitive function can also be boosted by drinking coffee. “A new study shows that women who regularly drink coffee—the fully caffeinated kind—have a 20 per cent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers,” says Shannon. “Caffeine appears to affect a part of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a short-term memory boost. In addition, researchers have uncovered that regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline and dementia later on in life.”
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And for all the gym junkies out there, that hit of espresso in the morning could see you working even harder during exercise. “Gym-goers who received caffeine before exercising found their workout easier and more enjoyable than those who didn’t first have caffeine,” Shannon tells Vogue Australia. “Even better? Those test subjects ate an average of 72 fewer calories that same day.”
We’re convinced! If anyone needs us, we’ll just be throwing back espresso shots at the nearest cafe.
Love yourself some coffee? Try some of our favourite coffee-based beauty buys: Bondi Scrubs Coconut Coffee Body Scrub – Lime Certified Organic, ModelCo Tan-Tox Coffee Body Scrub, Lush Cup O’ Coffee.
Are you a coffee-drinker?