More good news for coffee drinkers!
SupermarketGuru knows the coffee lovers are rejoicing over that headline, but the truth is there are more studies than ever encouraging you to grab a cup of joe for your good health. The health benefits of coffee, range from protection from type 2 diabetes, brain health, liver disease, prostate cancer, and more. Read on for some of the more recent findings on the many benefits of coffee.
Coffee protects your heart: A study more than 25,000 coffee drinkers in South Korea demonstrated that moderate daily consumption, three to five cups of coffee a day, is associated with a decreased risk for coronary artery calcium (CAC). CAC is a great predictor of future heart disease and hasn't been studied much in the past.
Coffee’s antioxidants protect your skin: Four cups of coffee (sorry, not decaf!) a day was also recently found to moderately reduce one's risk for melanoma – the most dangerous of skin cancers. The study supports a previous finding of a link between coffee and a reduced risk for basal cell carcinoma the most common type of skin cancer.
Coffee protects your brain: Researchers now believe that coffee could be neuroprotective, and suppress inflammation in the brain that can lead to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It may be more than the caffeine in coffee that's responsible, scientists are looking into other compounds in coffee for their protective, anti-inflammatory roles.
Coffee is antioxidant rich! Most research thus far has focused on the polyphenols, specifically the flavonoids in coffee. Studies isolating individual flavonoids (and other foods that contain them- wine, berries, and dark chocolate) have confirmed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other health-promoting benefits in the body.
Can coffee help depression? A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50%! Researchers found that the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee. According to researchers, caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but may act as a mild antidepressant by boosting the production of neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
Keep in mind that in most studies, a "cup" of coffee is defined between 5 to 8 ounces, and about a 100 mg of caffeine, and black or maybe with a bit of cream (not sweetened creamers) or sugar. This is not to be confused with a 24 oz frozen coffee drink! Brewing your own coffee at home is the most cost effective, and nutritious option. Love iced coffee? Your best bet is to brew a large pot of coffee at home, let it cool and drink it as an iced beverage during the day. Need ice? fill an ice cube tray with coffee and let freeze, this way as you are cooling your iced coffee it doesn’t get watered down.
While the health benefits of coffee keep rolling in, the complete story isn't so rosy. In some studies, very high consumption, six or more cups a day, reduced the benefits and there are certain populations that do not do well with coffee. As always speak with your health care provider before making any changes to your diet.