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6 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

A guide to the hidden health benefits of coffee

Coffee is huge in the United States; each year consumers spend over $74 billion on coffee. According to studies done by Harvard, 54 percent of Americans over 18 years old consume an average of 3 cups (27.9 oz.) of coffee a day. In the past, many people believed drinking coffee was linked to a myriad of negative health consequences including stunting your growth but new studies show that many of those assumptions were false and that coffee actually has positive benefits to our health. Here are 6 benefits of drinking coffee for our health:

  1. Improves Alertness and Attention
  • Many people assume this one is true based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience
  • The claim has been backed by studies to prove that drinking coffee will improve your attention and your alertness
  1. Fights Depression
  • Coffee is widely regarded as a pick-me-up drink
  • Coffee acts as a mild antidepressant
  • It has been shown to reduce depression and the risk of suicide in adults
  1. Lowers the Risk of Some Types of Cancer
  • Coffee has been shown to protect against liver and colorectal cancer
  • Liver cancer risk is lowered by roughly 40 percent in coffee drinkers
  • Colorectal cancer risk decreases 15 percent in people who drink 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day
  1. Stroke and heart disease
  • US and Swedish studies indicate a 20-25 percent reduction in stroke risk in men and women who drink coffee
  1. Helps Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple studies indicate that coffee consumption lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women.
  • The preventative benefits diminish when people consume too much coffee; more than 6 cups per day
  1. Reduces the Risk of Type II Diabetes
  • Coffee contains antioxidants that may improve insulin sensitivity over 3-5 years
  • Reduces risk by 50 percent in men and 30 percent in women
  • Decaffeinated coffee also helps but its benefits are not as pronounced as with caffeinated coffee

Coffee affects everyone differently. Here are a few things to keep in mind or watch for when consuming coffee regularly:

  • Coffee can contribute to insomnia or restlessness so avoid late-night cups if you find yourself staying awake at night
  • When you’re pregnant, the baby receives part of what you consume so limit coffee intake
  • Certain types of coffee contain cafestol, which can raise LDL cholesterol above safe levels, so watch your coffee consumption if you are at risk of having or already have high cholesterol
  • People who have acid reflux or frequent heartburn should moderate coffee intake as the caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter which can lead to more frequent acid reflux or heartburn
  • Caffeine dependence and withdrawal can certainly happen to people who drink too much coffee

The key to enjoying the many benefits of coffee is to limit how much you drink; typically 2-3 cups a day. Drinking coffee is a staple of life, and it is certainly refreshing to know that it comes with so many positive benefits to our health.


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