The Health Benefits of Coffee

It is estimated that Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day.  Now that is a lot of coffee, and I have to admit that I do my best to keep that number high.  I never leave for work without my 32 ounce mug full and then I usually get a refill or two before the day is over.  So the question may be asked, “Is all that coffee good or bad for you?”  Well, I am happy to report that there is quite a bit of evidence to support several health benefits from drinking coffee.  And, just in case you are a misguided coffee drinking soul, you will soon realize how much better your coffee will be if you just drink it black.

Diabetes Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is one of the first diseases that comes up in conversations about health problems plaguing our country’s health care system.  It is a big problem to say the least, but it is a big problem to say the least, but quite a few recent studies have shown a decrease in type 2 diabetes risk by the consumption of coffee.  Among the different studies, there have been decreases in type 2 diabetes risk anywhere from 7 to 67%, depending on the scope and method of the studies.  Obviously, you want to avoid adding sugar to your coffee if you are worried about diabetes.  Plus once you get used to drinking black coffee, you will enjoy the taste of it even more.

Degenerative Diseases

Coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.  The Parkinson’s study authors felt that the effects may have to do with the amount of caffeine in the coffee, and there is also some evidence that shows the extra caffeine may actually help with some of the movement related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Liver Disease

There have been several studies that have shown quite a bit of promise for coffee drinkers when it comes to their liver.  According to the research, there seems to be some ingredient in the coffee that protects against liver cirrhosis.  Evidently the ingredient is not the caffeine, as one of the studies looked at the effects of decaffeinated coffee and still saw a reduced cirrhosis risk.  This is probably a good time to address those of you who like to add a little alcohol to your coffee.  Obviously, alcohol is only going to make any potential cirrhosis worse.

Colorectal and Liver Cancer

This is probably a good time to address liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, but in addition to reducing the risk of liver cirrhosis, coffee has also shown some promise in reducing the risk of liver cancer.  Coffee consumption has also been linked in at least one study to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer as well.  Another common addition to people’s daily Joe is artificial sweeteners, but these have also been linked to an increased cancer risk. So leave those blue, pink, and yellow packets of chemicals out of your cup and stick with the way coffee is meant to be enjoyed- Black.

Other Possible Benefits

There is some evidence that drinking coffee may also help with:

  • Depression
  • Prevent premature death
  • Energy levels
  • Reduce mortality
  • Reduce the risk of Multiple sclerosis

 

So if you are like me and enjoy a hot cup of delicious black coffee every morning, drink on  And if you just aren’t sure about drinking your coffee plain, just give it a try for a couple of days.  What do you have to lose? Obviously, everything should be done in moderation, but at least you can take heart in knowing that there are actually health benefits to doing something that you already love to do.

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