The Health Benefits of Coffee

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.

For more stories about health benefits in your food and drink, click on the stories below:

The Health Benefits of Green Tea

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Health Benefits of Cherries

The Health Benefits of Lemon Water