Do you start the day with a hot cup of java? If so, you’re among millions who do. For years, coffee has been branded as a bad guy in the beverage family. Does this drink deserve its bad reputation? The latest studies may prompt you to raise a mug and cheer.
Benefits: Did you know that coffee is a very important source of antioxidants in our diets? Coffee provides more antioxidants than anything else, because coffee is consumed more frequently than any other source of antioxidants. Caffeine, another important compound in coffee, induces the production of certain enzymes that help neutralize some potential cancer-causing substances in the body. Drip coffeemakers yield more caffeine per cup than other brewing methods, including espresso.
Heart Disease. Men who drank more than five cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of developing heart disease by 44 percent. Women who drank four to five cups each day lowered their risk by 34 percent.
Dementia and Memory. Those drinking three to five cups of coffee a day during middle age can decrease the chance of dementia up to 65 percent. “Caffeine grows brain cells in the areas of the brain responsible for long-term memory,” state authors Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K. Bealer in The Caffeine Advantage. Caffeine increases short-term memory, concentration, and the ability to think clearly.
Diabetes. Drinking six or more cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 54 percent in men and 30 percent in women.
Lung Health and Asthma Relief. The chemical makeup of the caffeine in coffee can give the same effect as the asthma drug, theophylline. Caffeine helps expand air passages and keeps the respiratory muscles strong. Drinking two cups of coffee can help you breathe better for up to four hours.