Today is International Coffee Day. Last year, Americans consumed 88.8 gallons of coffee per capita with the average coffee drinker consuming 3 cups per day. Luckily, coffee offers several health benefits.
- Research has linked coffee consumption with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who drink more than six or seven cups of coffee per day have been shown to be 35% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink fewer than two cups per day. For those who drink 4-6 cups of coffee per day, there is a 28% lower risk.
- Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, which helps to prevent tissue damage. Coffee also contains magnesium and chromium, which help the body to use insulin more effectively and to control blood sugar.
- Coffee has been linked to lower risks for heart attack and stroke. Women who drink two or more cups of coffee per day have been found to have a 20% lower risk of stroke. Furthermore, people who drink 1-3 cups of coffee per day are 20% less likely to be hospitalized for heart arrhythmias than nondrinkers.
- Higher consumption of coffee has been linked to a decreased risk of Parkinson’s, likely due to the caffeine.
- People who drink 3-5 cups of coffee per day are 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- High coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- The caffeine in coffee can make you feel happier. Women who drink 4 or more cups per day have been shown to have a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.
There are times, however, when you should limit your coffee intake. Pregnant women should drink no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day, or about 12 ounces of coffee. Higher amounts have been associated with miscarriage, premature delivery and poor fetal growth. In addition, if you are watching your calorie intake, stick to black coffee, which contains only 7 calories in 6 ounces. Be careful of additional cream and sugar or specialty coffee drinks, which can quickly pile on the calories.
Enjoy a cup of coffee today and think about all of the health benefits!