Why you need to drink coffee

Coffee Does
A Body Good

Forget all of the scary stats about caffeine and coffee! The latest research suggests your morning cup may reduce your risk of premature death and protect you from other ailments. For years, coffee consumption has been linked to everything from cancer to headaches. But the latest research suggests that coffee may actually help you live longer. Plus, two to three cups a day can also reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's, diabetes, and more. Here are three reasons to keep chugging that daily cup of coffee.

Woman Drinking Coffee

A CUP FULL OF ANTIOXIDANTS

The recent study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, tracked the health history of more than 100,000 coffee consumers, including 84,000 women. Their findings? Women who drank two or three cups of full-strength coffee a day were 25 percent less likely to die of heart disease during the study, compared with women who drank no coffee. Coffee drinkers were also 18 percent less likely to die from something other than cancer or heart disease.

Scientists cite this health boost to the amazing amount of heart-healthy antioxidants in each cup of coffee. According to another study by researchers at the University of Scranton, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, with the average adult consuming 1,299 milligrams daily from 1.64 cups of java. In comparison, tea offers 294 milligrams, while a banana offers about 76 milligrams of antioxidants.

A DISEASE-FIGHTING DRINK

The high antioxidant count in coffee, blended with its generous offering of body-boosting tannins are also linked to protection against various other ailments. In fact, experts say that a couple of cups of coffee a day can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes, protect your brain against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and fight against liver and colon cancer by filtering out pollutants and keeping your digestive system running smoothly. And good news for decaf drinkers: These benefits are present regardless of whether or not your coffee is caffeinated.

MENTAL PERKS

Coffee can work magic on your mental health, too. And according to a new study, you don't even have to drink it! Research indicates that all you have to do is sniff the brew to get a boost. After exposing sleep-deprived lab rats to the smell of coffee, scientists at the Seoul National University in South Korea claim that the rich aroma kick-started the rats brain activity and reduced their stress levels. Other recent studies demonstrate that drinking just one to two cups of coffee per day may improve cognitive performance, enhance alertness, and even boost your overall mood.

COFFEE CAVEATS

When it comes to coffee, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. If you have ever drank a cup too many, you are likely familiar with java's jittery effects, which can trigger an irregular heartbeat and cause upset stomach. Plus, since caffeine is a diuretic, it tends to increase calcium loss in your urine. That said, experts recommend limiting your coffee consumption to three cups a day, and taking in an extra two tablespoons of calcium for every cup of coffee you down.

Want to read more about the health benefits of coffee? Check out these health benefits of coffee. Or, if you're not so crazy about coffee, read up on the perks of drinking tea.

And whether you drink coffee occasionally or have to have it every day, read Is your coffee triple certified? to see if the coffee you drink is eco-friendly and socially responsible.

If you happen to only drink coffee with dessert, be sure to check out these three extraordinary cake recipes, too.

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