The Potential Health Benefits of Coffee

By Muk Eun Ji / a couple of weeks ago
on the old blackboard is a red heart on which the coffee grains

For over 100 million Americans, there is nothing like a fresh cup of hot delicious coffee to perk you up in the morning. Millions of people around the globe agree. With over 400 billion cups of coffee consumed each year, coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. Because so many people around the world drink coffee on a regular basis, doctors, scientists, and researchers have began to diligently study the beverage. So far, they have found that moderate to regular consumption of coffee may offer a variety of health benefits.

Coffee may be able to prevent type 2 diabetes: Evidence from over 15 published studies show that people who drank several cups of coffee daily were 28% to 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than those who did not. Coffee may be able to prevent type 2 diabetes for several reasons. For one thing, coffee is loaded with antioxidants, which help prevent tissue damage caused by oxygen free radicals. It also contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium, which help our bodies use insulin.

Coffee may be good for your heart: A variety of studies show that coffee may counter several risk factors associated with heart attack and stroke in both men and women. After analyzing data from studies in Sweden and Finland, researchers in Boston, Massachusetts found that drinking approximately 2 8-ounce cups of coffee could lower heart failure risk as much as 11%.

Coffee may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: A 2009 study conducted in Finland and Sweden showed that those who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily were 65% less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A study in 2012 released by the University of Miami and the University of South Florida found that consuming about 3 cups of coffee a day can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s even in those who show signs of mild cognitive impairment.

Coffee may help you lose weight: If you are looking to lose weight, you do not have to give up drinking coffee. For example, a 6-ounce cup of coffee with half-and-half and a teaspoon of sugar will only be 69 calories. Research shows that coffee may even be help you lose weight. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, which can help raise your metabolism and help mobilize fatty acids away from fat tissue.

Although coffee may offer some health benefits to its drinkers, moderation is key. The things we add to our coffee such as sugar, milk, cream, and flavor, can take away from these positive attributes if you use too much. In addition, too much caffeine consumption can cause anxiety, sleeplessness and irritability in some people. Know what your limits are and stick with them in order to get the most pleasure (and potential health benefits) out of your coffee.

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Muk Eun Ji