Come Monday morning, it's all many of us can do to not race to the office coffee machine for a mug o' joe. It seems that in our g0-go-go culture, java is nothing less than the Nectar of the Gods. With just one cup, you've got a pep in your step. Alert and ready to tackle the day, you are thankful for your fuel.
Besides waking you from your morning stupor, did you know that coffee provides a range of other benefits? If you limit the amount of cream and sugar, your daily cup--or cups--of coffee can go a long way. Below are some of coffee's (both caffeinated and decaf) health benefits:
- According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, coffee might have anti-cancer properties. Last year, researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers, while ties to lower rates of rectal, breast and colon cancers were found as well. A different Harvard study also found that caffeinated cups of coffee lower your risk for the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma.
- Coffee drinkers who consume up to four cups of coffee a day benefit from an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
- Drinking coffee affords different benefits for both men and women. For men, drinking coffee has been linked to some protection against Parkinson's Disease. A long-term study of women coffee drinkers conducted from 1980 to 2004 by the Nurse's Health Study found a link that 2-3 cups decreased depression.
- Some studies have shown that coffee could help decrease the risk of diabetes, partly because it raises your resting metabolism, thus increasing calorie expenditure.
- Java is rich in antioxidants. In fact, drinking coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, topping even fruit and vegetables, according to a 2005 study done by the University of Scranton. Antioxidants have been linked to several health benefits including increased heart health and protection against cancer.
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