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So You Think You Can't...Find a Reason to Drink Coffee?

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 09/30/2014
Last Updated: 10/28/2019

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Did you miss National Coffee Day, which was yesterday?

Me, too. 

Bummer! I could have scored a free cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, McDonald's, Peet's and other places. 

But I still love coffee and am more than willing to pay for it. Aside from its taste, I love it even more for its health benefits, due to its disease-fighting antioxidants (which become even more potent after roasting). 

Here are 10 reasons to drink coffee:

  1. It can lower the risk of depression. Women who regularly drink coffee (fully caffeinated, not decaf) have a 20 percent lower risk of depression, according to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health. Women's likelihood of depression decreases with each additional cup of coffee, the study found, the amount being up to as many as six cups a day.
  2. It can lower the risk of suicide. 
  3. It may protect against Parkinson's disease in men. 
  4. It may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. 
  5. It may be protective against some cancers, including endometrial, liver, estrogen-negative breast cancer, some prostate cancers and a common form of skin cancer. 
  6. It's associated with a reduced risk or delayed onset of Alzheimer's disease.
  7. It may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  8. It's linked to a reduced risk of gallstones.
  9. It can stop some migraine attacks. 
  10. It can increase athletic performance and endurance.

So, there you have it. Even though you have to wait a whole year until National Coffee Day rolls around again, you might be doing your body a favor by downing some. But beware of the add-ons: they can turn a zero-calorie beverage into a calorie-laden drink. For example, a drizzle of Starbucks caramel syrup adds 25 calories to your cup; a tablespoon of cream, 50 calories; one tablespoon of whipped cream, 90 calories.

But just because some coffee is good doesn't make a lot of coffee better. Depending on your individual makeup, coffee can cause rapid heartbeat, palpitations, irritability, nervousness and sleeplessness. 

Some people feel gastrointestinal upset or reflux from drinking coffee. People with hypertension who have a hard time controlling their blood pressure should try switching to decaffeinated coffee to see if it has a beneficial effect, experts say. 

If you have high cholesterol levels, you are better off brewing coffee with a paper filter, which leaves behind the oily fraction of coffee, called cafestol, which stimulates LDL levels. 

And pregnant women are advised to keep their coffee consumption low—to about one cup a day—because the developing fetus is very sensitive to caffeine and metabolizes it very slowly. 

You might also want to read:
Some Coffee With Your Push-Ups?
Midlife Minute: The Drink That Might Beat Depression
Drink Up Coffee's Health Perks

Comments

I love (love!) coffee, and don't need an excuse. It makes me happy...and believe me, you wouldn't want to be around me without it. Gosh, I woudldn't want to be around me without it.

I love coffee, I usually make it at home. Interesting about the paper filters...good to know!

Love my morning coffee. I make it nice and strong to kick start my day. Now I have even more reasons to love it.

I love coffee and can always find a reason to have a few cups.

ANd don't forget TEA! -wink-

Absolutely. I know tea is wonderful, too. Just wish I could learn to like it :)

Coffee makes my life better. I love holding the cup in my hands and am always so drawn in by the smell of coffee brewing. I think coffee is one of those things that make my life feel normal - odd but true. Thanks for highlighting the health benefits! Add to that increased performance on some tests of cognitive abilities!

Nicely said, Ruth!

I am not able to drink coffee due to irratic blood pressure and gastro problems but I love making it and serving it.
For me it has to be tea.

I am not able to drink coffee due to irratic blood pressure and gastro problems but I love making it and serving it.
For me it has to be tea.

Nothing wrong with tea, Doreen. In fact, I wish I could learn to like it, but coffee has my vote.

I love coffee. But I feel I was robbed. I have migraines and pre-diabetic, have had gallstones, and deal with depression. But I guess I will just have to drink MORE coffee!

Sorry you're dealing with those health issues, Nancy. Enjoy your second (or third) cup of coffee!

Wow, I've always been a tea drinker but there are a lot of good reasons here to switch to coffee! Thanks for the info - I bet it will make a lot of people happy!

Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with tea, either, Lois. I think you're on the right track drinking lots of it, which is also filled with lots of great health benefits.

As a sincere lover of all things coffee (deserts, candy, pure java)I loved this post! I never knew that the paper filter helps to minimize the cafestol! Awesome!!

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