Coffee is a beverage unlike any other. For many, it is both a morning ritual and a social exercise, encouraging the sharing of thoughts and ideas over several cups of steaming coffee. It has been known to cause obsession among its many fans, with hundreds of web sites debating the merits of various blends and beans. But what effect, if any, does coffee have on your health?
There is good news these days for coffee lovers. Many recent studies have proven that coffee health benefits are definitely true, and this has caused in increase in the popularity of coffee. Although there have been negative coffee health benefits reported in the past such as heartburn and gastric distress, many positive health benefits are linked to coffee as well.
Some recently discovered coffee health benefits include a decreased risk of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as lower rates of gallstones. In addition, coffee has also been shown to improve both memory and mood, and to boost athletic performance. Also, coffee drinkers statistically have fewer cases of heart rhythm problems, strokes, dementia, and certain types of cancer.
One possible coffee benefit that has created a lot of interest recently is the growing amount of studies showing that coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is quickly becoming a major factor in deaths worldwide, so researchers are very interested in the possible benefits offered by coffee. Studies have shown that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appear to have the same benefit when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes. Scientists have speculated that some of the benefits coming from coffee drinking may be as a result of quinides, which are fats produced when coffee beans are roasted. There has been some evidence that these fats aid in controlling blood sugar. Along with the quinides, coffee also contains magnesium and chromium, both of which aid in controlling blood sugar.
In addition, coffee has been shown to be extremely rich in anti-oxidants, which help prevent cell damage and inflammation. Freshly brewed coffee contains more antioxidants than instant coffee, and for some people, coffee is their biggest source of antioxidants. While coffee should never be considered as a substitute for more nutritious antioxidant food such as fruits and vegetables, these studies show that coffee can be an integral part of a healthy diet.
While medical professionals still caution pregnant women to limit their coffee intake to no more than one cup a day and encourage nursing mothers to abstain, the majority of us can safely drink 2-5 cups per day. This allows us to not only enjoy the wonderful aroma and flavor of coffee, but also to reap some of the positive health benefits this beverage has to offer.
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