I LOVE my coffee. I crave it. I don’t want to talk to anyone in the morning until I’ve had at least one cup; I need to drink it every day. And as a health nut, I pay attention to the many articles debating the benefits/harms of drinking coffee. One week “studies show” that we all need to quit drinking it immediately because caffeine is bad. And then in the next week, other “studies show” that coffee is beneficial. However in the past year or so, I’ve read many more articles that praise coffee and its benefits. So other than the lovely taste (I like mine with cream- preferably flavored), there appear to be some good reasons why everyone should be drinking coffee.
According to webMD.com, here are some of the health benefits…
- Coffee may lower the risk of Diabetes
One study found that those who drink a lot of coffee (6-7 cups a day) have a 35 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and a 28 percent reduced risk for those who drink 3-4 cups a day. The study included both regular and decaf coffee.
- Coffee is full of nutrients
Coffee is a good source of antioxidants, which are the molecules that help prevent cell and tissue damage from other molecules called oxygen-free radicals. It’s also a good source of the essential mineral magnesium (which helps keep you regular, if you know what I mean), as well as chromium, another mineral that’s beneficial for blood sugar control.
- Coffee can lower risk factors for heart disease and stroke
Coffee has been linked to lower risk of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), and the 2009 Nurses Study found that drinking coffee is correlated with a reduced risk of stroke in women, although researchers aren’t sure exactly why.
- Coffee can lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
There’s pretty compelling evidence that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s, and that’s thought to be because of the caffeine. Another study showed that drinking 3-5 cups a day is linked to a 65 percent lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, compared with non-drinkers.
- Coffee can lower the risk of some cancers
There’s very consistent evidence that coffee consumption lowers the risk of liver cancer (which is rare, but very deadly). Coffee also lowers the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis, too. There is some evidence that coffee lowers the risk of other cancers, too, because of the high concentration of antioxidants.
- Coffee can improve mental health
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have lower risks of depression. I know I’d feel depressed if I couldn’t have my coffee! But it’s not the caffeine that apparently lowers risk; doctors think it’s the antioxidants. According to a study done by Harvard School of Public Health, drinking coffee can lower the risk of suicide by as much as 50 percent!
Caffeine isn’t necessarily bad… but it can raise blood pressure, and it causes an adrenaline rush. It can also keep you up too late at night (if you drink coffee too late in the day), which can be disruptive to your all-important sleep. But, hey… that’s why I love coffee in the morning so much! I love the energy I get from it.
If you’re a coffee drinker, now you can feel even better about your java habit. If you’re not a coffee drinker, well, maybe you should start indulging in this most wonderful beverage and start reaping the many health benefits!