Do you enjoy your morning cup of coffee? I do, and as I write there is a steaming cup of dark coffee next to me.
Not only does coffee continue to be a popular beverage to help start the day, but more and more evidence is showing that there are many health benefits which can come along with it too.
If you are a moderate coffee drinker, you will have lower risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Parkinson’s disease
Even decaffeinated coffee can help in the case of type 2 diabetes.
In a major study, over 193,000 people were examined, and those who drank on average 6-7 cups of coffee were about 35% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Those who drank 4-6 cups a day had a 28% less risk of type 2 diabetes.
Gender, age, weight – none of that mattered; the risk was still lowered.
In a larger study, Researchers in Australia looked at almost half a million people – and found a 7% drop in risk of diabetes for every extra cup of coffee a day!
In fact, drinking decaf coffee or black tea decreased the risk by almost the same amounts.
What about stroke and heart disease?
What evidence exists to show that coffee can lower these risks?
In men, both the risk of a heart attack and stroke were lowered when they were regular coffee drinkers.
For women, only the risk of stroke was lowered.
One possible reason for this gender difference could be the increased risk of heart attacks women have after menopause, due to their estrogen levels dropping.
As far as Parkinson’s disease, AD and dementia go, the key protective ingredient in coffee appears to be caffeine.
A scientific study looked at almost 1500 people over a period of 20 years.
People who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day, saw the risk of dementia and AD was 65% less compared to those who did not drink coffee or had fewer than 3 cups a day!
Coffee seems to protect the liver against cirrhosis and even liver cancer. It also appears to protect against gallstones.
Coffee is well-known to help improve concentration and it can improve your ability to exercise.
What is it about coffee besides the caffeine that can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and AD?
Well, at least a part of it has to do with high levels of antioxidants that are found in coffee.
Antioxidants are chemicals found in foods, especially superfoods that eliminate free radicals in the body. Free radicals are produced as a result of normal everyday biochemical reactions in our bodies, but they are very reactive and can damage parts of cells. Your body has natural ways to eliminate free radicals but it can certainly help the body along if you take additional antioxidants either from superfoods, or from supplements.
In fact, coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants which is easily available.
The science continues to find out how these antioxidants can reduce all of the above illnesses, but we know that they do and there are many studies to prove it. And we know that coffee is a rich course of antioxidants and there are proven health benefits if you drink 3-5 cups a day.
So keep that coffee flowing and stop feeling guilty.