12 Surprising Benefits Of Coffee That Will Make You Crave It More

1/29/14 2:17PM EST

12 Surprising Benefits Of Coffee That Will Make You Crave It More 12 Surprising Benefits Of Coffee That Will Make You Crave It More

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Wash down your daily dose of beer with a cup of coffee. It’s good for you!

Studies show that coffee can help with an array of health issues, from mental wellness to cancer. And some of the positive effects have nothing to do with caffeine. Whether you prefer regular coffee or decaf, you’ll likely experience numerous health benefits.

Here are 12 surprising health problems that coffee can help with:

1. Diabetes

People who drink three to four cups of coffee each day are 25 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to people who drink fewer than two cups a day.

2. Cancer

Men who drink six or more cups a day have a 60 percent lower chance of developing advanced prostate cancer, compared to men who don’t drink any coffee. Other studies show that coffee can reduce risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, colon, endometrial and skin cancers. In fact, one doctor concluded, “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close.”

3. Oral Health

People who drink coffee are less likely to develop cavities.

4. Mental Health

People who drink coffee are less likely to be depressed, commit suicide or suffer from mental degeneration. This 2009 study found that drinking coffee reduces risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

5. Intelligence

Coffee can keep your brain working efficiently and in a focused way, particularly when you’re sleep-deprived. One researcher summarized, “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning – most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence. And most Americans are sleep-deprived most of the time.”

6. Overall Mortality

A study released in 2008 followed more than 100,000 people over 20 years. It concluded that as coffee intake increased, rate of mortality from any cause decreased. A 2012 study reached a similar conclusion, finding that mortality decreased as coffee consumption increased.

7. Parkinson’s Disease

People who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Further, people who already have the disease can drink coffee to help control their movements. One researcher summarized his study, stating, “Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, but this is one of the first studies in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease.”

8. Stress

Researchers found that the smell of coffee alone can help reduce stress caused by sleep deprivation.

9. Liver Problems

Coffee can help keep livers healthy, especially in heavy drinkers. People who drink at least one cup of coffee each day are 20 percent less likely to develop liver cirrhosis, a disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that can lead to cancer and liver failure.

10. Fat

The coffee in caffeine acts as a stimulant to boost metabolism, and it can actually help burn stored fat. That’s why coffee and caffeine are common ingredients in weight loss supplements.

11. Pain

Coffee has been shown to reduce pain typical of office workers. In one study, participants were given computer-based office work that often leads to pain. The study found that “coffee consumers exhibited significantly lower pain increase than those who abstained
from coffee.”

12. Aging

The high antioxidant content of coffee can help combat wrinkles and slow the aging process. Coffee grounds can be used topically for added benefits, and caffeine is often found in wrinkle creams.

Of course, like anything studied enough, coffee has also been found to have its share of negative effects. Some studies show that it can raise blood pressure, increase risk of stroke and heart disease, and increase risk of miscarriage in pregnant women.

There’s also no sweet spot when it comes to coffee. Whereas experts suggest one or two glasses of beer a day to maximize benefits, there’s no consensus on the best amount of coffee to drink. That’s a largely individual issue, as coffee and caffeine seem to affect everyone differently.

So, you can feel good about getting your Starbucks fix and experiencing some great health benefits, but like anything else, try not to overdo it.

 
 
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