Does this sound like a typical morning at your home?
The alarm goes off, and you fall out of bed. You have drool on your face, a bad case of “bed head,” and pillow creases on your cheeks. Only three of your brain cells seem to be working. Even after a shower, you still feel like road kill.
And then… coffee. Beautiful, glorious, amazing coffee. And suddenly, the sun comes up, your brain kicks in, and you decide that you can face the world after all.
If this resonates with you, you’re one of the billions of coffee lovers (including me) all over the world. And guess what: After years of telling us that all that coffee is bad for us, researchers are doing a 180-degree turn. Now, they’re telling us that the beverage that makes life worth living in the morning might also save our lives down the road. Here are the top seven health benefits of coffee that they’re reporting:
1. Coffee reduces your risk for the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
A recently published study using data from thousands of people examined the effects of caffeine, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee. The researchers report that “higher total caffeine intake was associated with a lower risk of melanoma.” The effect is strongest for women, who reduced their risk by 30%. The effect was similar for caffeinated coffee, while the researchers didn’t find any benefits for decaf coffee—so apparently it’s the caffeine that does the trick.
2. Coffee helps protect you against diabetes.
A new study reports that people who drink more than 1.5 cups of coffee each day reduce their risk of developing diabetes by more than 50% compared to people who don’t drink any coffee at all. The researchers speculate that it’s because diabetes is linked to chronic inflammation, and coffee contains anti-inflammatory chemicals.
3. Coffee lowers your risk for the most common type of liver cancer.
In one recent study, researchers found that drinking coffee lowers your risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)—particularly if you’re female. They say, “Women who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day were at a 54% lower risk of HCC.”
4. Coffee can make you less frail as you age.
A study in Japan looked at women’s consumption of foods high in antioxidants (including coffee). The researchers report, “The intakes of green tea, coffee, vegetables, and fruits which contribute to dietary total antioxidant capacity were associated with lower odds of frailty.”
5. Coffee may lower your risk of breast cancer.
Research shows that coffee can alter women’s hormonal activity as they enter premenopause. This may explain why coffee drinkers have a lower risk of certain breast cancers than women who don’t touch the stuff.
6. Coffee could lower your risk of stroke.
One large-scale study involving middle-aged and older women found that those who drank more than one cup of coffee each day had a 22% to 25% lower risk of stroke than those who drank a smaller amount.
7. Coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease, which hit the headlines when actor Michael J. Fox developed it a few years ago, affects as many as one million Americans. According to research, drinking up to three cups of coffee a day may reduce your risk for this deadly disease.
A few tips and one caution…
Here’s the caution first. While coffee is now a hero and not a villain, you still need to limit your consumption if you’re pregnant. Research links high caffeine consumption by moms to low birthweight in babies. So if you’re expecting, ask your doctor how much caffeine is safe for you to drink.
Now, here are the tips:
- Buy good coffee. Some coffee is contaminated with mold. Personally, I buy Bulletproof Coffee, which is mold-free.
- Choose dark-roasted coffee. It appears that the roasting may release antioxidants.
- If you don’t like drinking coffee straight, add coconut or almond milk and froth it a little with an immersion blender.
And my biggest tip is: Never feel guilty when you indulge in your coffee fix. If you don’t load your mug with sugar and artificial creamers, coffee is a nutritional winner. So treat yourself to a cup or two first thing in the morning. It won’t cure that “bed head,” but it’ll definitely make your day look sunnier—and make you healthier as well!
Keep Thinking Big & Living Bold!