Wondering if you should have that morning cup of joe? Find out is coffee good for you and what the experts say.
If you’ve ever wondered if being healthy meant giving up your morning cup of coffee, you can rest easy. The health effects of coffee have been a matter of debate for years. Some health professionals have extolled the benefits of this delicious beverage while others insist it should be cut out of diets entirely. Now the science is in and the pressing question “Is coffee good for you,” has finally been answered. New research suggests that drinking coffee can improve your health and may even help you live longer. Not all the news is good, though; there are some coffee health risks to consider.
Benefits of drinking coffee
A new observational study found that consuming at least four cups of coffee daily can reduce your risk of early death. The study, which involved nearly 20,000 participants and spanned ten years, found that individuals who consumed at least four cups of coffee daily had a 64% lower risk of early death compared to people who consumed little or no coffee. The benefits increased significantly with age. In those who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cups of coffee was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality.
These benefits of drinking coffee can be realized whether you like your coffee leaded or unleaded. Another large observational study indicated that coffee drinkers appear to live longer whether they drink regular or decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee is packed with antioxidants, which are nutrients that help prevent the tissue damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants are at their peak when coffee has been freshly brewed. Coffee also contains compounds that have been linked to better insulin sensitivity.
Coffee and diabetes
Drinking coffee can help prevent type 2 diabetes, according to WebMD. A review of nine studies on coffee and type 2 diabetes that involved more than 193,000 people revealed a clear correlation of coffee drinking and lowered risk of diabetes.
Participants who drink 4 to 6 cups of coffee daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes. The benefits increased with the amount of coffee ingested. People who drank more than six or seven cups of coffee daily were 35% less likely to have diabetes. Coffee contains magnesium and chromium, which may explain this decreased risk of diabetes. Both minerals help your body use insulin more effectively. Coffee also contains the compound chlorogenic acid, which helps to slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
Coffee health risks
Coffee consumption offers significant health benefits for many, but the beverage is not recommended for everyone. There is some indication that women who consume more than 200 mg of caffeine (the amount in an average cup) may have a higher risk of preterm birth. If you suffer from heartburn, you should also probably steer clear of coffee. Both caffeinated and decaf coffee contains acids that can make heartburn worse.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can cause an increase in heart rate, so you should probably limit your consumption if you have an irregular heartbeat or other heart condition. Many studies have tried to see if there is a link between caffeine, coffee, drinking, and heart disease but no conclusive link has been proven. The American Heart Association advises that moderate coffee drinking (1 to 2 cups a day) does not seem to pose a health risk.