A robust 64 percent of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee per day, according to a survey of 3,000 people that was commissioned by the National Coffee Association. That’s the highest number of daily coffee drinkers since 2012. Most people still prefer to brew it at home, though you’ll also find plenty of people willing to stand in line at the coffee shop around the corner to get their fix. Many java fans drink it because they like the taste of it, but that’s not the only reason to consume your daily cup of joe. Here are three health benefits to drinking coffee.
It Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that increasing coffee consumption can decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, at least when compared to people who didn’t increase their coffee intake. To be more specific, people who increased their intake by more than one cup a day had an 11 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
Defining what the study means by a “cup of coffee” is important, though. They’re not talking about a venti Frappuccino with whipped cream, because those things are just loaded with extra sugar and fat. The study says a cup of coffee is 8 ounces, either black or with a “small amount” of milk, sugar, or both milk and sugar. Not everyone loves plain black coffee without much adornment, but it’s the best for you from a health perspective. If you’re having trouble finding a cup of morning brew that gets the job done without offending your taste buds, it’s time to expand your search range. Look into coffee subscription clubs that offer a wide range of roasts. The best coffee subscription club is one that will have you ready to get up in the morning and drink that first sip. It won’t quite turn you into a morning person, but it will make those morning hours much more bearable.
It Combats Depression
Depression is an insidious disease that affects millions of people each year. Most of us have heard that we can fight depression with things like exercise and medication. That’s true, but coffee may also have a part to play in helping depressed people. Chinese researchers think coffee can have a positive effect on dopamine in the brain.
So not only can that latte keep you alert, it can also keep you motivated when work or some other aspect of life gets tough. Depressed people have trouble feeling motivated in general, so coffee may be able to keep them going in more than one sense. That doesn’t mean a depressed person should self-medicate with nothing but coffee, of course, but it might still be an important part of the puzzle that is mental health treatment.
Coffee May Help Prevent Dementia
The U.S. Census Bureau says that by the year 2030, 1 in 5 people will be older than 65. Not long after that, older people will outnumber children for the first time in the country’s history. An aging population is more vulnerable to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. However, one study found that people who drank between three to five cups of coffee in their middle years had a 65 percent lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and cognitive decline later in life. The antioxidants in coffee may play a part, but more research is needed.
No one thinks drinking coffee is going to make you immortal. You’ll still need to make regular visits to your general physician, eye doctor, dentist, and other health care professionals. A coffee habit can have its downsides as well. But if you’re going to make something a daily habit, there are far more harmful choices than coffee.