I have joked for years that the only bad habit I had left was drinking coffee. It always seemed like giving up that treasured morning cup of joe was a bridge too far. My rationalization was that that I was getting too old to give up one more thing! I mean, is there anything better than that first cup of coffee in the morning?
Over the last few years the rap on coffee as a bad guy has started to fall apart. New studies show that drinking up to 5 6 cups of coffee a day is actually beneficial! Last year a peer reviewed journal published A Comprehensive Overview of the Risks and Benefits of Coffee Consumption. The researchers looked at 235 studies about the risks and benefits of coffee. They concluded that there seem to be more benefits than risks.
The benefits are derived from the antioxidants in various alkaloids that fight free radicals in the system. Caffeine, cafesol, gamma-tuc0pherol, tannic acids and scopeletin are a few of these substances.
- A lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- An increase in memory and a reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s disease
- Protection against gout since it lowers the level of uric acid
- Decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease; Harvard School of Public Health estimates a 50% lower risk
- Protection against cirrhosis of the liver by decreasing liver damaging GGT enzymes by up to 50%
- Lower rates of heart disease
- A 21% reduction is risk of basal cell carcinoma; aka skin cancer
- Increased energy (we all know that!) and reduced depression due to increases of dopamine and serotonin
It is a great relief to find good news about something I really like. Seems like there is so much concerning and/or bad news everyday. This is a burst of sunlight on a gloomy landscape.
After reading all this I have decided that I should spend my time sitting under a sun umbrella drinking coffee.