Drum Roll Please, Yes, There Are Health Benefits of Black Coffee

 

Health Benefits of Black Coffee

Drink black coffee in the New Year to enjoy some surprising health benefits.

For all you coffee lovers whose New Years resolution is to get healthier, we’ve got good news. The rumors about coffee being the dietary bad guy are wrong—the delicious stuff can actually be good for you. According to Donald Hensrud, MD’s article for the Mayo Clinic, “for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.” In other words, there are some very real health benefits of black coffee.

Not the Bad Guy Your Parents Warned You About

Before we get to the good stuff, we thought we’d start by busting some of the common myths about coffee being bad for your heart and blood pressure. “Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease,” explains Dr. Hensrud. And as for its bad rep in terms of blood pressure, Sheldon Sheps, MD, who has also written about coffee and health for the Mayo Clinic, says “caffeine doesn’t have a long-term effect on their blood pressure.”

On to the many solid reasons to love coffee (aside from the obvious fact that it just tastes good).

Antioxidants to Spare

According to a study by the University of Scranton, coffee is America’s number one form of antioxidant. Of course, that’s more because we drink so darn much of it than that anything else, but it’s still a plus in our book.

It’s simple. Since it’s derived from plants, coffee naturally contains antioxidants, which can help prevent heart disease and cancers and keep your eyes, mind, and immune system strong.

Brain Boosters

For many of us, coffee is the thing that gives us the kick in the pants we need to start our daily routine—and to get our brains alert and poised for work. That’s not to say that the medical community is entirely rallying behind us on this point, but there is some hard evidence that we’re not completely bonkers for feeling like our brains function better with it.

A few years ago, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study by scientists from Finland, Italy, and the Netherlands, who found that coffee may actually help protect against age-related cognitive decline. The conclusion from the ten-year study: men who drank coffee had less cognitive impairment than those who didn’t.

Translation: drink on…in moderation, of course.

Disease-Fighting Attributes

Other health benefits of black coffee are even more impressive. Recent studies have shown that coffee may help protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. In one such study, the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who consumed six or more cups daily had 20 percent less risk of developing prostate cancer. Another Harvard study found that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day is linked with a 25 percent reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer. It’s also been linked to lower rates of gallstone disease.

Harvard has also conducted several studies on coffee’s link to diabetes. In one such study, it reported, “Coffee (both regular and decaffeinated) has lots of antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and magnesium. These ingredients can actually improve sensitivity to insulin and may contribute to lowering risk of type 2 Diabetes.”

Health Benefits of Black Coffee in Particular

And for all the folks out there who are thinking of switching from sweetener/milk-spiked coffee to black, there’s plenty of healthful reason to do so. From the added calories and fat that come with those to the worrisome ingredients in artificial sweeteners, switching to black coffee could certainly do you well.

It seems the many health benefits of black coffee all prove what we already knew: it’s about time for another cup of coffee. Happy caffeination!

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