What Makes Coffee Healthy

Jeannie Randall

Some mornings it may seem like the smell of coffee coming from the kitchen is the only thing that can get you out of bed. Luckily, modern research now includes a lot of good news for coffee drinkers and points out many of the health benefits of this delightful beverage.

Eight Important Health Benefits

1. Antioxidants

In 2005, Dr. Vinson from the University of Scranton amazed the world when he announced that his research has shown coffee to be the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. He states that nothing else even comes close. Antioxidants are shown to prevent cell damage and lower the risk of certain types of diseases.

2. Prevents Diabetes

Several studies have shown a decreased incidence of Type 2 diabetes among coffee drinkers. Dr. Hu from Harvard reviewed nine studies and found that subjects who reported drinking six to seven cups of coffee per day have a 35% less likely chance of developing Type 2 diabetes when compared to subjects that drank less than two cups per day.

3. Prevents Heart Failure

The American Heart Association published a study showing an inverse relationship between daily coffee consumption and the development of heart failure. The greatest protection when compared to non-coffee drinkers was associated with participants that consumed an average four servings a day of coffee.

4. Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

Coffee has been associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's in several studies. The caffeine in coffee seems to act as a protective agent in the brain and works to improve cognitive functioning.

5. Cancer Prevention

The American Institute of Cancer Research states there are over 1,000 studies on coffee and its effects on cancer development. Coffee is a rich source of phytochemicals, which are known for their protective nature. The consumption of coffee is associated with a lowered risk for the development of certain types of cancers.

6. Elevate Mood

Coffee can improve your mood as caffeine is known to bind to receptors in the brain that effect mood. Caffeine consumption can increase the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has a positive effect on emotions.

The Sept. 2011 edition of Archives of Internal Medicine reports on a study investigating women and coffee consumption. The study was conducted over a ten year period and concluded that women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depression when compared to women that drank less coffee per day. The rate went up to 20% in women that drank 4 cups per day.

7. Improve Attention Span

Coffee has been shown to improve attention span. An extensive literature review on caffeine as an attention enhancer was published in Psychopharmacology. Researchers discovered that caffeine has widespread positive effects on attention.

Caffeinated coffee shows improvement with both short term and sustained attention. The researchers indicate the positive effects of caffeine on attention are more prevalent than previously expected.

8. Nutritional Benefits

Coffee provides essential nutrients to the diet. A single cup of coffee contains 11% of the essential daily requirements of riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 2% of both thiamin and niacin (vitamin B3), and 6% of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5). As many coffee drinkers consume more than one cup per day, these amounts can quickly double or triple.

Enjoy in Moderation

Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Too much caffeine can cause jitters, insomnia and anxiety. When consumed in moderation, coffee can be incredibly beneficial.

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What Makes Coffee Healthy