There is nothing better than, and nothing that can get me going in the morning like a great cup of coffee, and I know many other people who would say the same. Though I’ll occasionally order mint tea to make myself feel healthy and to appear sophisticated, it is actually the White Chocolate Mocha from Café Pergolesi or Almond Cappuccino from Lulu Carpenter’s that I am always secretly craving. And though both of these concoctions are both dripping in sugar, which is, admittedly, not so great for my body, I console myself with the fact that coffee isn’t as bad for us as it’s made out to be.
Coffee has gotten a bad rap, especially in the United States. Sure, it kind of turns your teeth yellow, but have you heard of whitening strips? People have been drinking coffee for a very long time. Europeans have the right idea. The earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the 15th Century in modern-day Yemen and I honestly don’t know how humanity carried on until that point in time. While it’s for the best that pregnant women and children shy away from it, it’s time that the rest of us quit hiding our desire for coffee, and here’s why:
-Coffee may reduce risk of diabetes. Mark Stibich, Ph.D. of fitsugar.com, reports that during a study, researchers asked 126,000 people about their coffee drinking habits as part of a larger survey over the course of 18 years. They found that people who drink one to three cups of coffee have a 60 percent decrease in their diabetes risk compared to people who have never drank coffee. Of course, there may be other behavioral and dietary factors at play and the coffee shouldn’t be loaded with sugar and cream if it is diabetes that you are avoiding, but the research is promising.
-Coffee may protect your heart. Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., editor at Eating Well magazine, says that moderate coffee drinkers (one to three cups a day) have lower rates of stroke than non-coffee drinkers, which is an effect linked to coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries—making it the biggest source of antioxidants in the American diet.
-Coffee keeps you “regular.” Must we explain this one?
-Coffee may help preserve memory. A recent French study concluded that drinking three or more daily cups of coffee or tea might help women preserve their memory. Participants in the study took several tests over the course of four years. The women who stated they drank at least three cups of coffee or tea per day showed less of a drop in test scores during the study, than their non-caffeine drinking counterparts.
-Coffee may decrease the risk of developing liver cancer. Stibich states that several studies, over the past two decades, have found an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and liver enzyme levels that indicate a risk of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis; that is, as coffee consumption goes up, the bad enzyme levels go down. Analysis of studies suggests strongly that consuming two cups of coffee per day reduces the risk of liver cancer by 43 percent. It all comes down to the antioxidants found in coffee.
Given its already rather large and devoted following, coffee would survive as the one of the world’s most popular drinks regardless of these health benefits—but they certainly give its drinkers something more to get buzzed about.
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