Oh, just the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, can be enough to make even grumpy people a little bit happier. Millions of people enjoy their coffee at some point during their day. Coffee is so popular that it has spawned its own culture. If you are a coffee drinker, then you understand the value of this aromatic brew. So you know your favorite coffee drink is the best tasting thing ever invented, but do you know that your morning "pick me up" could also be healthy for you too?
In ongoing studies conducted between coffee drinkers and non coffee drinkers, encouraging results have been discovered:
Less likely to develop type 2 diabetes
The proof is pretty solid for people who drink coffee being less apt to develop type 2 diabetes. What makes this possible? Simply put, it is the naturally occurring antioxidants in coffee. Antioxidants are nutrients that help prevent damage to tissues caused by oxygen-free radicals. Coffee also contains minerals like magnesium and chromium which helps the body use hormone insulin to control blood sugar levels.
There are tests that show that drinking caffeinated coffee reduces risk of developing Parkinson's disease. It would appear that the caffeine is the reason for this, but it is unknown at this time exactly why.
People who drink 3-5 cups of coffee daily, were found 65% less likely to develop dementia. These results (2009) came from a study performed in Sweden and Finland over 20 year time period and followed a group of 1400 people. Some were regular coffee drinkers (3-5 cups), some were occasional drinkers and some were non coffee drinkers.
Fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes were also noted during these studies. It is important to note that these positive results do not mean that coffee is a cure all for the diseases mentioned or any others, however the data suggests that coffee drinking can reduce risks of developing certain conditions. If you have a certain disease or condition, drinking coffee will not cure it.
It would be great if it was that simple, but it doesn't work that way. What these results do suggest is that by continuing your normal coffee drinking ritual, you can reduce risks of certain health conditions. Not to be a broken record here, but unfortunately there are some people who would jump to conclusions and think that coffee will make them immune to diseases and that is not true. The other side of the coffee coin is that the caffeine is not too healthy for you in general. High levels of caffeine consumption can raise blood pressure and adrenaline levels, both of which are certainly not good.
This is a truly wonderful thing, discovering that coffee tastes good and is possibly good for you! Who knew that your morning eye opener in a cup could have so many healthy benefits?
Now, on the more serious side, it is important to understand that the coffee benefits listed above are based on plain coffee. The added sugar, flavors and milk/cream are not part of the studies that were conducted. With that statement out of the way, go out and enjoy that cup of coffee with an even bigger smile!