Confused whether your morning cup of coffee is good for your health? Drinking coffee is frequently blamed for a number of health-related problems, including increased blood pressure, anxiety disorders and even increasing the risk of certain cancers. However, drinking coffee in moderation can have a number of positive effects on your overall health. It is important to note that coffee should not be consumed in excess, which means no more than four cups a day. Avoid adding sugar, fat-rich whole milk and cream to your coffee.
MayoClinic.com notes that coffee beans are rich in antioxidants, which are plant compounds that help to eliminate toxins and inflammation in the body. Antioxidants are abundant in grains, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, and they can help protect against diseases such as Parkinson's disease, arthritis, certain cancers and diabetes. MSNBC Health notes that the average adult gets almost 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants from coffee every day. In comparison, they get about 294 milligrams from tea and 76 milligrams from bananas daily.
The Harvard School of Public Health reports that there is a connection between drinking coffee and decreased risk of developing type-2 or adult-onset diabetes. A study published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine," noted that men who drank more than six cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 50 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, while women reduced their risk by 30 percent. Coffee contains magnesium and chlorogenic acid, nutrients that may help improve the effects of the hormone insulin, which is responsible for transporting blood sugar into the cells where it can be used as fuel. However, it is not known which ingredients in coffee have beneficial effects for diabetes, so more research is needed.
Drinking coffee may also be beneficial for your liver and help prevent liver diseases such as cancer and cirrhosis. A study published in "Fitoterapia" suggests that coffee may be a preventative measure against liver disease and may also help slow its progression. Drinking coffee was shown to slow the accumulation of scar tissue or fibrosis of the liver. This may be due to the chemical breakdown of caffeine in the body, however, more research is needed to determine the effects of coffee on liver health.
Having a cup or more of coffee everyday may even help prolong your overall life expectancy. CNN Health reports that men who drank over six cups a day were found to be 10 percent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers; women who drank coffee regularly were 15 percent less likely. Though these results appear promising, other lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are critically important.
- MayoClinic.com: What Does the Research Say About Coffee and Health?
- Harvard School of Public Health: Long Term Coffee Consumption Linked to Reduced Risk For Type 2 Diabetes
- Fitoterapia: Coffee and Liver Diseases
- Food Chemistry: Coffee As a Source of Antioxidants: An EPR Study
- MSNBC Health: Coffee: A Top Source of Healthy Antioxidants
- Annals of Internal Medicine: Coffee Consumption and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.