Drinking Coffee Is Good For You!

Chances are that when you think of coffee, you don't think "healthy." But it turns out that drinking coffee can do more than just perk you up in the morning. Coffee is one of the richest sources of healthful antioxidants in the average person's diet. It can help ward off a variety of diseases and conditions. Here are some of the ways in which coffee can help keep you healthy.

For one thing, coffee can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. A series of studies has shown that habitually drinking coffee leads to a substantially lower risk of the disease. It is not known exactly how, but one reason could be the high number of antioxidants that coffee contains, which aid in controlling the cell damage that can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

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A recent study also found that drinking coffee is linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer by up to 60 percent, depending on the amount of coffee consumed. Conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers tracked nearly 48,000 men and found that the more coffee they drank, the less likely they were to develop prostate cancer. This finding was true for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. The researchers say it's possible that the antioxidants in coffee help with insulin and glucose metabolism, and may aid in regulating sex hormone levels, which play a role in prostate cancer.

Drinking coffee has also been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women. A large study done in Iowa followed 27,000 women in their 50s and 60s for 15 years, and found that the women who drank between one and three cups of coffee a day had a 24 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease than the others. Antioxidants probably play a role in why this occurs - they may decrease inflammation, and thus lessen the risk of disorders like cardiovascular disease that are related to it. For the same reason, coffee has also been shown to lower the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

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Additionally, the caffeine in coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease and other age-related brain conditions. A study in Honolulu followed 8,000 men over 30 years and found that those who drank the most coffee were the least likely to develop Parkinson's disease. This finding is likely due to caffeine, since the study found that caffeine from other sources such as tea and chocolate was also associated with a lowered risk of Parkinson's disease. The caffeine in coffee has also been shown to help relieve headaches and asthma.

While the large amount of antioxidants in coffee are good for you, experts don't recommend increasing your coffee intake for the sole purpose of fighting diseases. But if you enjoy drinking coffee, it may have some added benefits.

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