coffee

More than 50 percent of American adults, or some 100 million people, drink coffee daily. And with the average coffee drinker having 3.1 cups per day, it’s no wonder that there is interest surrounding its true affect on the body. But the question is whether it is healthy or not. Contrary to claims that link coffee to stunted growth, heart disease, and stomach cancer, coffee consumption can actually be good for you if you keep your intake in check.

Coffee drinkers rejoice: two cups of coffee per day cut the overall risk of dying by 10 percent. In a study conducted between 1995 and 2008 involving more than 400,000 AARP members between the ages of 50 and 71, those who had two or three cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely among men and 13 percent less likely among women to die at any age. Among women who had five or six cups of coffee per day, there was a 16 percent less risk of death. In the study, it did not matter whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated.

We already know that coffee gives us that kick to help us focus and function properly in the morning, but studies are adding fodder to this argument. It is often associated with improved brain function. A study conducted by the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute found that moderate daily caffeine/coffee intake protects against Alzheimer’s later in life.

Coffee may also lower the risk of gout. Among participants in a study on the incidence of gout, those who drank one to three cups of coffee per day lowered their risk by 8 percent, while those who drank four to five cups a day cut their risk by 40 percent and six cups or more cut their risk by 60 percent. Those who drank decaffeinated coffee also saw similar, albeit slightly lower, reductions.  

Coffee consumption has also been linked to the prevention of heart disease. The combination of five large studies indicates that four to five servings of coffee per day is associated with an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure. However, moderation is key, since drinking more than four to five cups per day may be excessive and result in the jitters.

Additionally, coffee prevents type-2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. However, these benefits from coffee depend on several factors, including your tolerance to the stimulant and the amount you consume. Over-consumption can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety. Experts recommend limiting daily intake to four cups for men and three cups for women.

Coffee can be a positive influence on your health and lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to consume it amidst claims of its detrimental affect on the body. Those studies and reports tend to refer to what over-consumption can do to you. So start the morning with a cup of joe and get the fix for your mind and body’s sake.

Photo Credit: @Doug88888