The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – There’s nothing like a hot, delicious cup of coffee first thing in the morning; in fact, the typical coffee drinker enjoys about three per day. Costa Rica is world-renowned for these succulent caffeine beans, making it one of the top beverages in the country. Could this also be why Costa Rica has one of the highest life expectancy averages?  It’s quite likely; recent research has found more and more health benefits for coffee, many of which are rather surprising.

Not that you probably need it, but if you’ve been looking for another reason to appreciate that tasty steaming cup of joe, here are three scientifically proven health benefits of drinking coffee:

1. It Protects Your Skin

Move over SPF creams, there’s a new sunblock in town:  A 10 year study from Yale University found that those who drink about four cups of coffee throughout the day can reduce their chances of melanoma by 20% thanks to compounds like polyphenol and caffeine, among others (so maybe keep that lotion around to assist in the other 80%).

For the study, factors such as age, starting health, lifestyle, and sun exposure were all considered.  Interestingly, decaffeinated coffee did not provide any notable benefits, confirming what avid coffee connoisseurs have joked about for years.

2. Your Liver Will Thank You

Whether you enjoy the not-so-occasional whiskey or you’re a non-drinker, you’ll be able to reap the health advantages your liver will feel from consuming coffee. In addition to lowering melanoma, coffee has also been shown to reduce liver cancer by 40% when you drink three cups a day.  In fact, the more you drink, the higher the reduction.

For the regular partiers out there, coffee can also lower the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by about 22% according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.  Not only will a cup of coffee help sober you up after a night on the town, but it might just save your life in the long run.

3. You’ll Be Happier 

Depending on the situation, this one might or might not be a lifesaver, but it’s certainly a welcome bonus for overall health, which leads to a longer, happier life (and can keep you from killing your coworkers on an early Monday morning).  Brazilian researchers recently determined that coffee contains proteins which are similar to morphine for their “analgesic and mildly tranquilizing” characteristics.

Technically speaking, these previously undiscovered protein fragments in coffee called opioid peptides are responsible for this delightful chemical reaction.  These compounds, identified by the University of Brazil and the Brazilian agriculture research company Embrapa, have been found to last longer than morphine, giving them incredible “biotechnological potential” for the health food industry.

Whatever your reason for drinking coffee – energy, health, happiness, taste – relish in the fact that not only are you doing something great for your body and mind, but you’re also supporting one of Costa Rica’s most popular crops and exports.

Spread the goodness and drink a cup of Costa Rica coffee.

 

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By Lindsey Vast

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica