The age-old question continues to puzzle: is coffee good for you or isn't it? There are studies that both bash and praise the hot caffeinated pick-me-up beverage, but a new study may tilt the scale far enough to give coffee superfood status. Discover coffee benefits that may go as far as to qualify it as a superfood once and for all.
Coffee fanatics rejoice! A new study discovered that drinking four or more cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The 5th-most common cancer in the US that claims some 9,500 lives per year, melanoma is now said to be able to be prevented by the active compounds inherent in coffee.
The study assessed 447,000 non-Hispanic white males between 50 and 71 years old who were cancer-free at the beginning of the study. About 10 years later, these men were assessed and the results were clear: the highest category of coffee intake was inversely associated with malignant melanoma. Those who drank the most coffee, 4 or more cups per day, had a 20 percent lower risk of malignant melanoma.
But that’s not all it's good for - coffee benefits are aplenty! Due to coffee’s rich phytochemistry, which includes caffeine and polyphenols, it is associated with increased health benefits.
One study shows that an intake of 5 cups of coffee per day has the ability to protect against or treat Alzheimer’s disease. In another study, women who consumed 6 or more cups of coffee per day had a 22 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to women who consumed no coffee.
Due to coffee’s high antioxidant content, it ameliorates oxidative stress by inducing mRNA and protein expression. Meanwhile, lifetime and current exposure to coffee may be associated with better cognitive function among women, especially those who are 80 years old or older, reducing both motor and cognitive deficits in aging.
All of the above is not to say that everything about coffee is a bed of roses. Coffee benefits most certainly have their limits. Coffee has been linked to higher levels of serum cholesterol, insomnia, and cardiovascular complications. If you are pregnant or have postmenopausal problems, you should avoid excessive consumption of coffee, as it also interferes with oral contraceptive s and postmenopausal hormones.
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Photo Credit: Steve Maskell