Research has shown that 200mg to 250mg of caffeine content found in the average strong-brew coffee can help to elevate mood. Meanwhile, 300mg of caffeine in coffee has been found to increase alertness in sleep-deprived individuals and improve mental focus in people who are not sleep deprived, according to a number of studies on caffeine consumption. The energizing boost from a daily cup of coffee has been well-established; that’s why it’s the most popular morning beverage choice. With health concerns on the rise, however, it poses the question: is coffee actually good for brain health?
Chlorogenic Acids for Combatting Risks to Brain Health
Of course, everyone knows that coffee contains caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system and improves focus, alertness, and energy levels. There are, in fact, several other beneficial ingredients in coffee that often go unnoticed. Chlorogenic acids present in coffee, aka CGA’s, are antioxidants that may assist in blood sugar metabolism as well as reducing or preventing high blood pressure, both of which are concerns when it comes to brain health. Ethically sourced varieties of coffee or fair trade coffee, as well as organic, non-organic, and even instant, all contain CGA’s. Processing does alter the levels, however, so the amount will vary, especially in instant brews.
Slowed Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
In addition to better blood pressure and blood sugar levels, studies have found that a consistent, moderate daily intake of coffee can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, thereby prolonging the mental capacity of those diagnosed with the condition. Science is still working on the specifics, but again, much of the research indicates the caffeine and antioxidants in coffee are responsible for these positive effects. In fact, coffee is one of the best resources for neuroprotective antioxidants.
Decreased Risk of Dementia
Along with slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s, coffee may also have the ability to help stave off other forms of dementia, according to early animal studies. A cell chemical called adenosine is seen in the formation of neurodegeneration that leads to dementia; coffee has been found to disrupt this chemical production. This leads to a decreased risk in the disruption of neurofunction that causes neurodegeneration.
Clearly, a healthy and moderate consumption of coffee has many benefits to offer. Gone are the days of questioning its value and use, which leaves just one thing left to do: pour yourself a cup.