You probably already know that fruits such as blueberries and blackberries and vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts are loaded with antioxidants. But do you know what one of the richest sources of antioxidants is worldwide? Chances are, you don’t and the answer may actually surprise you. It’s coffee. That’s right; the drink that so many of us love may actually be good for us. If you’re thinking of giving up your coffee habit because you’re not sure if it’s a healthy component, think again. Here are eight reasons to change your mind.
Coffee may help ward off depression.
Want to start your day off on “the right side”? Grab a cup of joe after you wake! A 2013 study found that individuals who drank two or more cups of coffee a day had fewer depressive symptoms than individuals who lay off the java.
Your brain loves coffee
Several studies have shown that enjoying a cup of coffee can help protect your brain later in life. Results indicate that light to moderate intake of coffee may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Coffee is great for your greatest organ – your heart!
A 2012 study and a 2010 study found that moderate consumption of coffee could help reduce the risk of heart failure and cardiovascular disease. A 2012 study found that coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease than non-coffee drinkers as well.
Don’t go overboard with your coffee though. A 2013 study found that consuming over 28 cups of coffee a week (that’s about four cups a day) had the opposite effect on heart health.
Coffee promotes liver health
Few of us realize how very important our liver is to maintain normal health. Guess what? Coffee can help with this organ as well! A 2013 study showed that high intake of coffee acts as a guard against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – a condition that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure over time. In addition, coffee may alter liver signaling mechanisms protecting against liver fibrosis and also decrease liver inflammation. These properties were shown to help prevent hepatocellular carcinomas as well. One study even proved it beneficial to patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Coffee may help you live longer!
A 2013 study found that habitual coffee consumption is associated with reduced mortality by decreasing the risk of heart failure, stroke, diabetes and even various types of cancers.
Coffee may cut your risk for diabetes by up to 25%.
A 2012 study found that consumption of three to four cups of coffee per day was associated with a 25% decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another study, published in 2014, found that drinking coffee can decrease insulin resistance from a high-fructose diet in healthy men. Finally, a 2010 study found that the caffeine in coffee protected against the development of type 2 diabetes.
Coffee supports the reproductive system.
Ladies, this one’s for you! Research has shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 25% lower risk for endometrial cancer compared to non-coffee drinkers. In addition, a recent study indicated that coffee consumption did not increase the risk of endometriosis.
Coffee can make you strong!
Coffee also can help prevent certain aspects of aging. An animal study showed that coffee has a beneficial effect on age-related sarcopenia, or muscle loss. This includes improving strength, regenerating injured muscles and decreasing inflammation.
Liz Bedell contributed to this article.