Is coffee the new health drink?

What’s the latest scoop on coffee?

One of the most inviting aromas in the world is the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning.  It is one of my happiest childhood memories.  It meant the start of a whole new day.  I can’t imagine starting my day without my refreshing two cups of coffee. 75% of US adults drink coffee occasionally and 59% drink coffee every day.

But is coffee good for our health?

photo-blog-cup-of-coffee-coffee-beansCoffee used to have negative health connotations.   The only ingredient in coffee that was usually studied was caffeine.  New studies on coffee have examined all of the ingredients and looked at coffee as a total beverage. They are finding that coffee contains a number of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, polyphenol oxidants, and chlorogenic acids that all promote good health, and counterbalance any negative effects of caffeine. Coffee contains riboflavin, pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) manganese and potassium, magnesium and niacin (B3). Coffee is a complex beverage that interacts with our body and brain on many levels and is now being viewed as beneficial to our health.

Some of the health benefits of coffee include:

  • The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant,  it blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine, this in turn increases energy levels, (wakes us up),  improves brain function, reaction times, and elevates moods. In short it makes us smarter.
  • Coffee may help prevent stroke and lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Coffee appears to be a protective agent in preventing two types of cancers. Coffee drinkers have lower incidence of liver and colorectal cancer.
  • Coffee, because of its stimulant effect is helpful, in fighting depression and unhappiness.
  • Coffee may protect against cirrhosis of the liver. People who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day have an 80% lower risk of developing cirrhosis.
  • Coffee drinkers have a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease.  It is the caffeine in coffee that is causing this reduction as people who drink decaffeinated coffee don’t incur this benefit.
  • Coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
  • People who drink a lot of coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee drinkers tend to live longer than those who abstain from coffee. This is a reasonable observation given that coffee lowers the risk of many diseases mentioned above,

So savor the flavor, and enjoy that cup of coffee!

Want to find out more?
13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee
What are the health benefits of coffee?
More Consensus on the Health Benefits of Tea and Coffee
More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think

Helen Trowsdale, President of AA Care Services, is a nurse administrator with over 30 years of experience as a BSN, psychiatric nurse, and geriatric care manager with adults as well as pediatrics in hospitals, private duty home health care agencies, and residential home health care. Her team of caregivers are dedicated to serving their clients with home care in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin; providing clients with consistent, quality care while minimizing the number of caregivers in the home. Learn more about AA Care Services.

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