Pretoria News

Secret benefits of coffee you may want to know about

- VIWE NDONGENI-NTLEBI viwe.ndongeni@inl.co.za

FOR most of us, coffee is an essential part of our day. It helps us through our hectic morning routines, warms us as we share precious moments with friends and, when needed, gives us an extra kick of energy. But is there more to this much-loved beverage?

Catherine Clark, the owner and founder of The Harvest Table, says: “Studies are now showing that you could be getting more from your favourite beverage than you thought. Moderate coffee drinking (not more than four cups a day) is now thought to actually have a variety of health benefits, as your morning cup of joe is in fact packed with healthy substances that are safeguardi­ng your body from several chronic diseases.”

Clark’s top four reasons why coffee might be one of the most beneficial beverages on the planet:

1. Increases energy: The active ingredient in coffee that gives “vooma” is caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to temporaril­y improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general brain function. In other words, it boosts your energy levels and gets you moving – fast. It takes around 45 minutes for your body to absorb caffeine and the effects peak for anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours.

2. Burns fat: Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, raises metabolism by up to 11% and causes the body to send signals to the fat cells to break down excess fat.

3. Source of essential nutrients: Coffee is loaded with nutrients and is one of the best sources of antioxidan­ts in the Western diet, outranking many fruits and vegetables.

4. Boost physical performanc­e: Caffeine improves endurance levels and resistance to fatigue. Studies indicate that athletes have a more positive exercise experience when they exercised after a cup of coffee.

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