The Healthy Perks Of Coffee

Move aside, apples! It’s a cup of coffee per day that keeps the doctor away. Modern medical science suggests that, rather than being a nutritional villain, coffee is actually a promoter of good health.

Recent studies show that coffee derives many healing properties from its high caffeine levels and antioxidant-rich content. Antioxidants are compounds that defend our bodies against cell damage caused by free-radicals. Trigonelline, the antioxidant which gives coffee its distinct taste and aroma, may even help prevent cavities! Coffee is also a good source of essential nutrients such as chromium, magnesium, niacin and potassium.

"The health benefits of drinking green and black teas have long been touted, but it’s wonderful to see scientific proof of coffee’s value as well," said Joel Gavalas, Vice President of, a leading coffee supplier. "Hopefully coffee lovers everywhere will benefit from this insight into the healthful effects of drinking coffee. I know I’ll be looking at my Keurig coffee maker in a whole new light."

Let’s look at a few of the ways that coffee perks up our minds and bodies:

Boosts brain power

Coffee is legendary for its ability to increase alertness and keep its drinkers awake longer, but most people are unaware of the beverage’s other brain boosting powers. Researchers have determined that drinking just one to two cups of coffee per day may improve cognitive performance, including short term memory and open-mindedness.

Improves Mental Health

If you’re feeling a little blue, coffee is a great mood booster. The caffeine in the drink improves alertness and performance, helping to lift the coffee drinker’s overall mood. A study of the relationship between coffee consumption and suicide rates among female nurses revealed that coffee drinkers had lower age-adjusted risks of suicide. Researchers have yet to determine whether the suicide rate is lower because coffee elevates mood or because it prevents depression, but it’s clear that coffee has a positive effect on the mental health of its drinkers.

Did you know that coffee is even good for headaches? The average 8 ounce cup of joe contains approximately 85 mgs of caffeine – nearly the same amount as many popular headache medicines. A single dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Anacin or Excedrin contains up to 120 milligrams. Caffeine helps your body absorb aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen more quickly, meaning you may not need to take as much medication to feel relief.

Reduces Health Risks

Studies show that coffee lovers may be at lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Regular coffee drinking may counter the disease’s onset as coffee tends to lower the blood sugar count and promotes the delivery of insulin to the body’s tissues.

Here’s something even more stunning: Coffee drinking may lower your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as certain types of cancer. Regular coffee drinkers are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson's and half as likely to get liver cancer as those who don’t drink it at all.

Coffee is so good for you that it can actually counteract the effects of excessive smoking and drinking. Research indicates that drinking coffee cuts the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis and heart disease. In fact, studies show that drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day can lead to an 80% reduction in risk for cirrhosis of the liver, compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Tips for Drinking to Your Health

Of course, coffee isn’t a miracle food. As with most things we eat or drink, moderation is key. Most doctors recommend drinking no more than one to two cups of coffee per day in order to achieve the maximum health benefits. Drinking too much coffee can lead to nervousness, insomnia, hypertension, irritability and a host of other side effects.

If you’re a frequent coffee drinker, keep a close eye on how much sugar or cream is in your beverage. The calories can really add up! Also, try drinking your coffee throughout the day instead of all in one sitting – this will cut back on the amount of caffeine in your system at any one time. If you’re looking for a low-caffeine alternative, try drinking black tea and decaffeinated coffee. These beverages contain antioxidants levels akin to those found in regular coffee and produce similar health benefits.

It’s clear that coffee doesn’t just taste great – it’s also good for you. With so much research in support of coffee’s positive benefits, coffee lovers everywhere are proud to give new meaning to "Drink to your health."

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About The Author, R. L. Fielding
R.L. Fielding BioR.L. Fielding has been a freelance writer for 10 years, offering her expertise and skills to a variety of major organizations in the education, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing industries. She lives in New Jersey with her dog and two cats and enjoys rock climbing and ornamental gardening.