Many would be happy to learn that the first thing they do in the morning is actually healthy. Having that morning cup of coffee is a long-time ritual for some. Others swear by it (myself included) and cite coffee as the main reason they can get up and get going in the morning. A cup of morning coffee isn’t just an American thing - it’s widely shared as an A.M. routine in many cultures across the world.
Coffee and Lower Inflammation and Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer’s
A study conducted by the European Journal of Neurology found that caffeine from coffee is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. The article notes, “A case–control study was used: cases were 54 patients with probable AD fulfilling the National Institute of Neurologic and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the AD and Related Disorders Association criteria, in a Dementia Clinics setting….Using a logistic regression model, caffeine exposure during this period was found to be significantly inversely associated with AD (odds ratio=0.40, 95% confidence interval=0.25–0.67), whereas hypertension, diabetes, stroke, head trauma, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamin E, gastric disorders, heart disease, education and family history of dementia were not statistically significantly associated with AD. Caffeine intake was associated with a significantly lower risk for AD, independently of other possible confounding variables. These results, if confirmed with future prospective studies, may have a major impact on the prevention of AD.”
In a 2006 study conducted by researchers from the Iowa Women's Health Study found that drinking coffee is correlated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. In a 2010 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," researcher Kerstin Kempf of Heinrich Heine University in Germany found that coffee consumption had important positive effects on HDL cholesterol and inflammation.
Coffee is an Effective Anti-Antioxidant
Coffee is rich in antioxidants which may reduce cavities, stop headaches and improve moods. Coffee may also reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, colon cancer and Parkinson’s disease. As Web-MD notes in an article ‘The Buzz on Coffee’, “Coffee beans contain disease-ravaging antioxidants, called quinines, which become more potent after roasting. According to an American Chemical Society news release, coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in American diets -- in part because we drink a ton of it. This type of antioxidant, along with the magnesium found naturally in coffee, affect blood sugar levels and are thought to be responsible for the link to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.” Trigonelline, an antibacterial, may also fight cavities.
Coffee may Lower the Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men
A recent study from Italy has shown that three cups of daily coffee may cut the risk of prostate cancer by half. The results were discovered in a study which involved 7,000 participants and lasted four years. The scientists verified their findings when they tested coffee extracts on cancer cells in the laboratory. However, it is worth noting the unique coffee preparation in areas of Italy which may differ from other parts of the world.
Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Coffee has long been associated with a lower risk of degenerative disease such as dimentia. In an article from Web-MD, Coffee and your Health, the author writes “For Parkinson’s disease, the data have always been very consistent: higher consumption of coffee is associated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s,” Hu tells WebMD. That seems to be due to caffeine, though exactly how that works isn't clear, Hu notes.
Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
An Australian study found a 7% drop in the chance of getting Type 2 Diabetes from a sample of 458,000 people. The risk further decreased by 7% with each additional cup of coffee consumed daily. Web-MD, Coffee and your Healt notes, “It’s the whole package,” Hu says. He points to antioxidants -- nutrients that help prevent tissue damage caused by molecules called oxygen-free radicals. “We know that coffee has a very strong antioxidant capacity," Hu says.
Coffee also contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium, which help the body use the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar(glucose). In type 2 diabetes, the body loses its ability to use insulin and regulate blood sugar effectively.
Coffee has some great health benefits that can have a range of positive health implications for people worldwide. Check with your physician and/or nutritionist on whether coffee is a good choice for you.