There are many obvious benefits to drinking coffee. It is robust and delicious, helps you wake up, inspires creativity, allows you to work faster and longer, and re-energizes you when you hit that mid-afternoon slump. But research has shown that coffee has one other very important benefit: it is actually good for you!
These are words that coffee enthusiasts have been waiting to hear for years. Scientific studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death and that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart failure, depression, stroke, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer.
In May 2012, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) published the results of a study which indicated that older adults who drink coffee, either caffeinated or decaffeinated, were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections. Furthermore, the study found a correlation between the amount of coffee consumed and a decreased risk of death; when compared to non-coffee drinkers, men and women who drank three or more cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of death by about ten percent.
Numerous other studies have supported the connection between coffee drinking and improved health. In December 2012, the American Cancer Society published a study which indicated that people who consumed four or more cups of coffee per day were about 50 percent less likely to die from oral or pharyngeal cancer than those who rarely or never drank coffee. Another study published in 2012, showed a similar connection to coffee consumption and a reduced risk of skin cancer.
In December 2012, the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee released information stating that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 25 percent. This information corresponds with a presentation given in April 2013 at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in which scientists identified a substance in unroasted coffee beans called chlorogenic acids which helps control blood sugar levels.
Not much research has been done regarding why coffee has such positive effects on human health. In certain cases, the health benefits of coffee may be related to its caffeine content which is known to improve memory, metabolism, performance, and mood. But coffee has also been touted for the presence of antioxidants, which protect cells from the effects of free radicals. Obviously, how you drink your coffee is also a factor in its effect on your health; drinking black coffee will probably benefit you more than coffee loaded with cream and sugar.
The message to coffee-drinkers is overwhelmingly positive. If you want to prevent senility and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s in old age, drink coffee. If you want to keep depression at bay, drink coffee. If you want to lose weight and avoid the development of type 2 diabetes, drink coffee. In other words, keep up the good work!