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Top Health Benefits of Coffee

Is Coffee a Health Superfood?

By

Updated May 15, 2014

A Cup of Coffee

A Cup of Coffee

Photo: Paul Eekhoff / Getty Images

Could coffee be the ultimate health and anti-aging food? For me, it would be better than the news that dark chocolate is a health and anti-aging food. If my daily cup(s) of coffee were healthy and increased my life expectancy, I could go back for more with much less guilt.

Coffee – An Overlooked Health and Anti Aging Food

In the past, coffee (like wine) has been overlooked as a healthy food. There has always been some level of suspicion around coffee and its long-term impact on health. For some reason, coffee has this association of being unhealthy. Well, (thank goodness) it looks like that link between coffee and unhealthiness is wrong. In fact, there is a good bit of evidence that coffee is good for you and it may even be good for you. This is important, considering more than half of the people in the U.S. drink coffee every day.

Why Coffee Is A Superfood?

It looks like coffee has two main ways of improving the health of your body: antioxidants and caffeine. Both these substances have health and anti aging benefits. Antioxidants, for example, help your body repair damage to cells caused by free radicals (which are produced as a byproduct of cells just doing their daily thing). Caffeine has been shown to help improve a range of symptoms and may even be important in fighting of Parkinson’s Disease and other age-related brain problems. Coffee is loaded with both antioxidants and caffeine, and each has different potential benefits for improving health and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.

Health Benefits of Coffee

I scoured the internet to find reliable sources of the health benefits of coffee. Type "coffee" into pubmed (the database of medical research) and your get almost 7,000 results back. Below are some of the major findings about health, life expectancy and coffee.
  • Heart Disease (up to 25% reduction in mortality risk (for women))
  • Diabetes (up to 60% reduced risk)
  • Dementia (up to 65% reduced risk)
  • Colon Cancer (up to 25% reduced risk)
  • Cirrhosis (up to 80% reduced risk)
  • Gallstones (almost 50% reduced risk)
  • Parkinson’s Disease (up to 80% reduced risk – probably because of caffeine)
  • Headache Relief (because of the caffeine)
  • Asthma Relief (caffeine again)
  • Cavity Protection (because of anti-bacterial and anti-adhesive properties of compounds within coffee)

Read More on the Health Benefits of Coffee

Sources:

Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies.

Does Coffee Consumption Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Individuals With Impaired Glucose? Besa Smith, MPH, Deborah L. Wingard, PHD, Tyler C. Smith, MS, Donna Kritz-Silverstein, PHD and Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD. Diabetes Care 29:2395-2390, 2006.

Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An 11-Year Prospective Study of 28 812 Postmenopausal Women. Mark A. Pereira, PhD; Emily D. Parker, MPH; Aaron R. Folsom, MD. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1311-1316.

Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. A Systematic Revie. Rob M. van Dam, PhD; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD JAMA. 2005;294:97-104.

Kivipelto, M. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, January 2009; vol 16: pp 85-91.

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