Coffee is credited for tons of health merits. It can help lower your risk of several health ailments including diabetes type II, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders as well.
The warm beverage is recognized as a good solution for alleviating headaches and short-term attention. However, an excess intake of coffee can cancel these advantages and can even work the other way around, causing jitters as well as headaches.
Despite all this, a study from the University of Ulster in Coleraine, UK, concluded that the health merits of moderate coffee intake “clearly outweigh” the possible risks. One of these benefits is improved brain function and improved thinking skills.
What does research say about coffee’s role in brain health?
One of the chief benefits of coffee consumption is safeguarding against cognitive impairment. It corresponds to a declined risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent research has learned that caffeine as well as a compound known as eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT) can help lessen the accumulation of the proteins that lead to the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
EHT is present in the waxy coat of coffee beans. Research has learned that caffeine or EHT alone cannot deliver the benefits that they can when combined together. In the investigation on mice, the group of mice that were given a dose of both EHT and caffeine showed significant decline in the protein buildup.
They also performed better on behavioral tests. Besides, findings published in Frontiers in Neuroscience have also learned that different coffee types deliver different benefits. The researchers took caffeinated dark roast, decaffeinated dark roast, and caffeinate light roast.
The investigation boiled down to the presence of compounds called phenylindanes, which are formed during the roasting coffee bean. Phenylindanes lend coffee its bitter taste and these are also the ones that seem to inhibit the accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins.
The accumulation of these proteins is characteristic of the development of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The study concluded that longer roasting time causes the coffee beans to produce more phenylindanes.
In other words, dark roasted coffee, whether it is decaf or regular, is the best when it comes to delivering protective brain benefits. This study is the first of its kind that has learned about the interaction of phenylindanes with the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Moving forward, researchers need to conduct more detailed investigations on the properties of phenylindanes and their effects on the brain and body when they are ingested.
Other ways to improve brain health
Besides, drinking coffee to help lessen your risk of brain disorders, you can take several other measures to boost your cognitive well-being. Start with participating in sports or increasing your physical activity.
Increased physical activity improves blood circulation to the brain, which carries more oxygen and nutrients to it. This helps enhance the health of brain cells. Besides, exercise increases the production of the happy hormones, which leaves you feeling happy and less moody.
Similarly, you should eat brain-healthy foods. These provide the necessary nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids to the brain. Such a meal plan helps to keep you fit. At the same time, you should work to stimulate your brain.
This makes the neurons active. Some ways to do include playing brain-challenging games such as chess, solving puzzles, keeping yourself socially active, and learning a new language or musical instrument to name a few.
You can also boost cognitive well-being by managing your stress and fetching enough zzz. While you sleep, your brain clears up the extra toxic proteins, which is how slumbering well aids in improving brain health.