Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee - Good News for Caffeine Addicts
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Coffee lovers unite! Forget the dark days when you were bombarded with negative vibes about drinking coffee.
Pros and cons of drinking coffee come up regularly in conversations and in the news. We coffee lovers don’t want to hear the bad stuff, and now it seems that there is more good news for coffee drinkers than the bad. New research has confirmed with we coffee drinkers have known forever… that there are many health benefits to drinking coffee! Now pour a cup of coffee and inhale that wonderful aroma while you read on, for there are at least 20 good reasons to keep drinking the coffee that you love.
Reasons to Drink Coffee
First of all, coffee is good for the heart and soul:
1. Coffee tastes great! Drink coffee because you like it – a LOT!
2. Coffee is comforting. It makes me feel better when I’m down. In fact, a study by Alberto Ascherio of Harvard School of Public Health of 50.000 women who drink caffeinated coffee found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee daily have a 20% lower risk of developing depression than women who do not drink caffeinated coffee. (Sept. 27, 2011)
3. Coffee provides an energy boost (thank you caffeine!).
4. A hot cup of coffee warms you up when you’re cold. We don’t need science to tell us that a hot cup of coffee warms us up on a cold day!
5. Coffee and cookies are a match made in heaven!
6. Coffee is the perfect accompaniment to donuts. What’s a donut without a cup of java?
7. Coffee goes well with pie. Any kind of pie is just better with a hot cup of coffee!
8. The caffeine in coffee improves alertness and concentration.
9. Coffee is perfect with chocolate. Coffee and chocolate…mmm!
10. Coffee contains antioxicants like chlorogenic acid and polyphenols, which help prevent cell damage.
11. Coffee is associated with lower blood pressure, slower rate of weight gain with age and reduced risks for developing type 2 diabetes
11. Coffee is sociable. It’s friendly to drink a cup of coffee with a friend.
Drinking Coffee - Savoring morning coffee
11. Coffee is welcoming. It’s a nice way to welcome people into your home.
12. Coffee smells wonderful! The smell of fresh coffee is a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. It really does make you want to get out of bed and have that first heavenly cup! (No, I don’t work for Maxwell House!)
13. Coffee is low in calories. A cup of coffee without milk or suger has only 2 calories. Add milk and sugar, and coffee has only 64 calories per 8 oz. cup.
Health Benefits to Drinking Coffee
Then there are the health benefits associated with drinking 2-4 8oz cups of coffee a day. I am not making this up - these benefits are from medical and scientific studies that have been analyzed by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Health Benefits of Coffee
More Benefits to Drinking Coffee:
Facts about Coffee Drinking
- Caffeine is America’s favorite drug.
- More than 50% of Americans drink coffee.
- After oil, coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world.
- Americans drink more than 530 million cups of coffee a day.
- Archaeologists say that man has been brewing caffeine beverages since the Stone Age.
- It takes about a week of drinking coffee for your brain to “need” a caffeine fix and to become a caffeine addict.
- Coffee made in a drip coffee pot has almost twice the caffeine as coffee brewed in a percolator.
- Caffeine removed from coffee to make decaf is sold to soda companies to add to soft drinks – your kids could be drinking more caffeine than you are!
Coffee is a diuretic.
Coffee stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract to contract.
Coffee grows on trees that may reach 30 ft. high.
Coffee only grows in the “Bean Belt” the area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee.
Coffee was originally mixed with fat and eaten rather than brewed into a beverage.
In the U.S., September 29th is National Coffee Day!
Coffee Reduces Risk of Some Diseases
14. Coffee protects against diabetes. According to Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, studies have shown that people who drink six or seven cups of coffee have a 35% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists think that the antioxidant compounds in coffee boosts the cell’s sensitivity to insulin and help regulate blood sugar. It has not been determined if decaf is better than caffeinated coffee.
15. Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Drinking between 3-5 cups of coffee daily is linked to reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It seems that the antioxidants in coffee help prevent damage to brain cells and boosts effects of neurotransmitters. A study in Finland and Sweden followed 1,400 people over the course of 20 years and found a 65% lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee daily.
16. Caffeine improves memory in seniors. Researchers at the University of Arizona and UCLA research group found that caffeine improves and repairs memory for elderly women.
17. Lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease. The Harvard School of Public Health reported that higher intake of coffee is definitely associated with lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
18. Coffee makes you more aware and alert. Coffee stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline preparing the body for fight or flight response and heightening the senses.
19. Lower risk of brain cancer. Some studies have also noted that when coffee consumption rises, certain kinds of brain cancer drop.
20. Decreased incidence of stroke. The long-term Nurses' Health Study showed that moderate intake of coffee decreases incidence of stroke by 20%.
21. Lower incidence of liver disease. Surprise! The more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of liver diseases. An analysis of data from nine studies found that for every 2 cup daily increase of coffee, there was a 43% lower risk of liver cancer.
And other studies have found these additional benefits:
22. Lower risk of prostate cancer. New research at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that men who drink coffee have a 20% lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Those who drink six or more cups each day reduce their risk of prostate cancer by 60% compared to non-coffee drinkers. (published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute).
23. Lower risk of basal cell carcinoma. At a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Boston in 2011, data was presented that showed a 20% lower risk of basal cell carcinoma in women who drank more than three cups of caffeinated coffee a day. Reduced risk was less for men, but still 9%. (There was no evidence of lower risk for those who drank decaffinated coffee or for other kinds of skin cancer.)
24. Coffee reduces post-exercise muscle pain. Two cups of coffee after a workout can reduce post exercise muscle pain by 48%. From the Journal of Pain, March 2007
Some health risks
There are a few health risks for caffeinated coffee drinkers that have no solution, and to be fair I will present them here.
- Too much coffee can result in faster loss of calcium.
- Too much caffeine can raise blood pressure and increase risk of stroke and heart attack, says Dr. Jim Lane, a researcher at the Duke University Medical School. (2002) This is in contradiction to the findings of the Harvard study mentioned above.
The Cons of Drinking Coffee
... And a Solution!
Of course there are the cons of coffee drinking, but coffee lovers, take heart! Here are the solutions to some of the negative things you’ve heard about coffee:
- A sensitivity to caffeine can cause irritability and jitters.
Solution: Drink coffee every day. This will build up a tolerance for caffeine and those jittery effects will go away.
- Coffee is addictive. People who drink coffee every day will very likely get headaches if they are deprived of coffee.
Solution: Don’t deprive yourself! Go ahead and have your coffee every day!
- Coffee can keep you awake if you drink it too close to bedtime.
Solution: It takes about 6 hours for caffeine to clear your system, so if you have sleep problems, don’t drink coffee past late afternoon.
- Unfiltered coffee can increase LDL. Unfiltered coffee like French press, or Turkish coffee, contains higher levels of compounds that can increase LDL (bad cholesterol).
Solution: Drink filtered coffee, like coffee made in a drip coffee maker. It is healthier!
Are you a coffee drinker?
How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
I'll Keep on Drinking Coffee
Although I never even considered giving up coffee, now that I know the health benefits of drinking coffee, I have reason to enjoy my java even more! How about you? Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever considered giving up your coffee? I haven't!
Copyright ©2012 Stephanie Henkel
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