Research is showing more and more the many health benefits of drinking coffee – preventing cancer, increasing metabolism, slowing down the aging process, guarding against vision loss, helping to prevent diabetes, helping to fight heart disease and even depression.
It has so many different benefits it seems almost as if coffee has magical properties.
In fact, research is showing that it can even affect how we feel about other people. Studies show that people judge others to be more caring and generous if they are holding a hot cup of coffee in their hands, something that does not hold true for cold drinks.
Holding a hot cup of coffee also makes us feel more generous and trusting.
In addition, other studies have shown that coffee can actually make people more ethical. Why? The reason is the caffeine. When we are tired at work, the fatigue saps our energy, giving us little in the way of resources to, say, resist commands from supervisors to do something that is not completely honest.
Caffeine, however, provides the energy boost needed to push back against such directives. So, in the end, it can make us more virtuous.
Coffee also has been shown to improve our mood as well.
Moreover, some argue that coffee has actually changed the course of civilization. How, you ask? Well, in the 17th century, beer was the beverage consumed by just about everyone. And there was a reason for this – the water back then was basically unfit to drink. Most of the water came from wells, which were contaminated with all sorts of substances. So, people drank beer because it did not make them sick – the alcohol killed the bacteria in the water.
The problem with alcohol, as is well known, is that is dulls your senses and slows your thinking. Everyone in Europe was basically a bit tipsy all the time.
But then, around 1680, coffee was introduced into Europe. It soon replaced beer as the most popular beverage because it too did not make people sick – boiling the water to make the coffee killed the bacteria. And, instead of drinking a liquid that slowed you down, people began drinking a liquid that did the opposite. Coffeehouses, where people gathered to drink java and discuss ideas and issues became popular.
It was just about this time that the Enlightenment began, a period of history where ideas about freedom, democracy, and science began to germinate, and some attribute this intellectual flowering in part to the influence of coffee.
So, with such amazing powers, who knows what will happen in the future, now that coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world. Maybe it will lead to world peace or the discovery of new technologies.