A Great Health Beverage – Coffee!

Coffee DrinkersHere’s a healthy living tip, which is also a healthy food choice – coffee!
Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills.  People told me it would stunt my growth, that it has cancer and heart disease risk factors.  However, recent research, including from the Mayo Clinic, indicates coffee may not be so bad after all.  So, which is it – good or bad? 

Health Benefits of Coffee

  • Recent research indicates that coffee drinkers, compared to non-drinkers, are less likely to have Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and dementia.  They have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes A leading nutrition researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health says there isn’t solid proof yet but here are definite signs of potential health perks for coffee drinkers.  The strongest case is for Type 2 Diabetes.  Coffee drinkers who drink between 4-6 cups per day are now on pretty solid ground based on 15 published studies that Type 2 Diabetes is 35% less likely with coffee drinkers.
  • In Australia, there were 18 studies of a ½ million coffee drinkers and documented a 7% drop in having Type 2 Diabetes for every additional cup of coffee drunk daily.  There were similar risk reductions for decaf drinkers and tea drinkers as well.
  • Researchers give credit to the antioxidants in coffee that help prevent tissue damage caused by oxygen free radicals.  One thing science does agree on with coffee drinkers is that coffee has a very strong antioxidant capacity.  Little known is coffee contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium, which help the body use the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar.
  • Coffee may also counter severe heart disease risk factors – back to diabetes, diabetes makes heart attack and stroke more likely.  Hence, coffee drinkers, by reducing Type 2 Diabetes risks by definition have more resistance to heart disease.  In the so-called nurses study, women especially showed a 20% lower risk of stroke when they reported drinking 2 or more cups of coffee daily, compared to women who drank less coffee, even if the woman had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Keep in mind, we’re talking about black coffee, the minute you add sugar or cream, all bets are off.  Coffee drinkers should be careful to acquire a taste that doesn’t offset the benefits by flavor enhancers. 

A healthy living tip for you – start with healthy food choices and include coffee on a daily basis. 

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