A Cup of Happiness

October 1 is International Coffee Day. In honour of our most beloved “work fuel” we’re sharing facts about coffee and happiness.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a slow morning or the start of an early busy workday, the moment you cradle that warm mug in your hands and take your first sip, life feels a little easier.

Coffee warms our hearts and shakes off the early morning fog. It is the fuel for college kids, shift workers, first time (and old time) parents, office workers and anyone who needs a pick me up.

Not only does your latte keep the yawns at bay, it offers amazing health benefits. It improves memory and brain function, with caffeine working to prevent beta-amyloid build-up that may contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

It helps reduce the risk of skin, liver, and breast cancer. It’s also great for your heart reducing your risk of clogged arteries and heart attack by lowering your levels of coronary artery calcium. But of course you knew that!

Did you know that coffee helps ward off depression? In this decade long study about Coffee, Caffeine, and Risk of Depression among Women, they found that “depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption”. This may be due to the role of caffeine in stimulating the release of Dopamine - that substance associated with happiness and euphoria.

While we’re talking happiness, did you know that coffee stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers? This is why it’s considered a psychostimulant drug - legal and widely consumed!  Learn more from this fascinating TedTalk by Dr. Gary Wenk.

Did you know that coffee also helps reduce suicide risk?

Studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry have shown that “the risk of suicide among adults drinking 2-4 cups of coffee (the equivalent of about 400 mg of caffeine) a day was 50% less than the risk for adults who drank decaffeinated coffee or one cup or less of caffeinated coffee.” This could be due to the fact that coffee stimulates the production of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. That particular study, however, reports that “drinking more than 4 cups of coffee didn’t drop the suicide risk lower.” So it’s not a good idea to go overboard, drinking 4 grandes a day.

Coffee isn’t just a mood booster, it’s an energy booster as well. In a study of gym goers who drank coffee before a work out, the caffeine boost gave them a jolt of energy and they’ve reported their workouts to be easier and more enjoyable.

If that’s not enough to put a smile your face, there are further health benefits of coffee. The antioxidants found in coffee also helps your skin look great, your hair shinier, and the chlorogenic acid compound in coffee, stems retinal damage.

And you don’t even have to drink it...yet...to get the benefits of coffee. Studies also show that just being exposed to coffee aromas could make you feel less stressed. That’s some wicked aromatherapy I could get behind.

So lift your mug and let’s toast to celebrate the many joys of coffee!

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