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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Is coffee good for your memory? How a Harvard brain expert gets the most out of its healthy benefits

more at CNBC

Here are just a few key ways coffee can support the brain:

Caffeine increases serotonin and acetylcholine, which may stimulate the brain and help stabilize the blood-brain barrier.

The polyphenol micronutrients in coffee may prevent tissue damage by free radicals, as well as brain blood vessel blockage.

High concentrations of trigonelline are found in coffee beans, which may also activate antioxidants, thereby protecting brain blood vessels.

Keep in mind, however, that not every substance in coffee is helpful. Unfiltered coffee, for example, contains natural oils called diterpenes, which increase LDL cholesterol levels — potentially resulting in the thickening and hardening of the artery walls in the brain.

"...rather than buying a sugary mocha latte, you can make one of my favorite at-home coffee drinks: Mix coffee and antioxidant-rich cacao with unsweetened coconut milk for added healthy fats, a dash of cinnamon for cognition-boosting effects, and a drop of vanilla for indulgent flavor."

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