For years, we were told that caffeine was bad for us – and in the battle of the hot drinks, coffee always came off worse.
But today, barely a week goes by without the health benefits of the beverage being extolled. Indeed just last week, Portuguese researchers declared that three cups of coffee a day may help people with chronic kidney disease live longer.
The research adds to the growing body of evidence that the drink has a host of health benefits – and that commonly held beliefs that coffee dehydrates you are just a myth.
There are many advantages to being one of the 54 percent of Americans over 18 who drink coffee everyday. Coffee can be pretty amazing for your brain, your skin and your body. Read on to discover 17 reasons you should wake up and smell the coffee…
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1. It Could Help You Live Longer
Simply drinking three coffees a day could help extend your life, British research has found. Two major studies independently found consuming up to three cups a day reduces the risk of an early death. The papers, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found links between coffee and reduced risks of liver disease, circulatory problems and diseases linked to the digestive tract. The drink also seems to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, researchers discovered.Rather than caffeine, it’s thought the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee are responsible for the longevity benefit. As a result, people who drink decaffeinated coffee are also protected, the researchers found.
2. Slashes Mouth Cancer Risk
Drinking four cups of coffee a day almost halves the risk of deadly mouth cancer – regardless of whether a person drinks or smokes. Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that sipping the beverage every day has a powerful protective effect against tumours that form in the mouth and throat. Scientists found decaffeinated coffee also reduced the risk, although to a lesser extent, while drinking tea did nothing to prevent the disease.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams.
4. Protection Against Cirrhosis Of The Liver
Of course, you could just cut down on the alcohol intake. Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. link. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers. This study was published in the Hepatology Journal.
5. Reduces Suicide Risk And Depression
A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers.
6. Protection Against Parkinson’s
People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. Just make sure you don’t get lung cancer on the way.
7. Coffee Drinkers Have Stronger DNA.
A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that coffee drinkers have DNA with stronger integrity since the white blood cells of coffee drinkers had far less instance of spontaneous DNA strand breakage.
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8. Reduced Liver Cancer Risk
Researchers at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center found that those that consume 1-3 cups of coffee a day have a 29% reduced risk of developing liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common type.
9. Coffee May Protect Against Periodontal Disease.
As part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study coffee consumption and dental health among 1,152 men was tracked from 1968-1998. The researchers found that coffee didn’t promote gum disease and actually showed a protective benefit.
10. Coffee May Protect Against Melanoma
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that melanoma risk decreases with coffee consumption and that this risk decreases with each cup consumed.
11. Reduced Heart Attack Mortality Risk.
Researchers found that those who drink two or more cups of coffee daily after having a heart attack have the least risk of dying from the heart attack.
12. Coffee Can Make You Feel Happier
A study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched the java. And apparently it’s not because of the “caffeine high” — Coke can also give you a caffeine high, but it’s linked to depression. Study author, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, told Prevention.com that the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is because of those trusty antioxidants.
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13. Coffee Consumption Has Been Linked To Lower Levels Of Suicide.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent. The proposed reason is because coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
14. Coffee Can Make You A Better Athlete.
The New York Times reports, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.” Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel, therefore saving the body’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later on in the exercise.
15. Coffee Could Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Coffee also lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study from The American Chemical Society. The study’s researchers found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. Subsequently, with every additional cup, the risk gets lowered by 7 percent.
16. Drinking Coffee Could Help Keep Your Brain Healthier For Longer.
Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine. Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF, and co-author of the study, said, “We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”
17. Coffee May Make You More Intelligent.
You usually drink coffee when you are sleep-deprived, right? Well, that much-needed jolt not only keeps you awake, it makes you sharper. CNN reports that coffee allows your brain to work in a much more efficient and smarter way. TIME reporter, Michael Lemonick, says, “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence.”