For a long time, coffee has gotten a bad rap. From stunting a person’s growth to causing heart disease, many coffee drinkers have long heard how their love of coffee may lead to a myriad of health problems.
Thankfully, today’s coffee drinkers can bask in the knowledge that according to many well-respected health experts, for most people, the benefits of coffee generally outweigh any risks.
While no one will tell you that drinking large amounts of coffee all day long is good for you, those who grab a cup from the coffee vending machine at work, brew it at home or order it at their favorite restaurant should rest easy knowing that no harm is done. In fact, there are actually some reasons (backed by science!) why coffee might even be good for you!
1. Liver Protection. A study published in the Hepatology Journal shows that coffee lowers the liver enzyme levels of those who drink it. It also has been shown to protect against cirrhosis of the liver.
2. Disease prevention. The odds of developing colorectal cancer have been shown to be reduced by even moderate coffee consumption. Evidence also shows that coffee offers some protection against a wide range of diseases and cancers including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, melanoma, liver cancer, gout and Parkinson’s disease.
3. Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes. A Harvard research study found that the risk of Type 2 Diabetes decreases by 9 percent for each cup consumed. Drink decaf? No problem, the risk is decreased by 6 percent for each cup of decaffeinated coffee.
4. Increased fiber intake. A cup of brewed coffee contains 1.8 grams of fiber.
5. Decreased muscle-pain. When consumed after a workout, the Journal of Pain shows that two cups of coffee can reduce muscle pain by nearly half.
6. Healthy teeth and gums. A study from Brazil found that strong black coffee can kill the bacteria that leads to tooth decay. Further, a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study found that coffee offers some protection against gum disease.
7. Reduced risk of depression. Harvard of School of Public Health reports that women who drink four or more cups of coffee were 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression.
8. Improved eyesight. A Cornell University Study showed that coffee may help to prevent retinal damage that is caused by oxidative stress. That’s because chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant found in the coffee bean, helps combat oxidative stress.
Every day there are more studies coming out regarding the benefits of drinking coffee. In fact, in 2015, the USDA released dietary guidelines that advised people that three to five cups of coffee each day can help them maintain overall health and reduce the risk of disease. Of course, loading your cup of coffee up with sugar, cream or other sweeteners can negate these benefits so choose what you add to your coffee wisely.