You’ve heard it before: coffee, like smoking, drinking and fried chicken is a terrible habit you should kick. Surely anything you love this much is trying to kill you, right?
Wrong! Turns out, the “harmful” effects of coffee are mostly a lot of crap.
Here are just a few reasons coffee is actually good for you:
Coffee is full of antioxidants. In fact, it is the single largest provider of antioxidants in the American diet. Coffee contributes an amazing 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants to the average American diet, daily. By comparison, the next runner up is tea, at 294 milligrams.
Antioxidants are your friends. They protect your cells from damage by free radicals. Stress, smoking, over-exposure to the sun and even strenuous exercise can increase the amount of free radicals your body produces. The damage they cause plays a role in a large number of diseases including muscle and tissue degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Antioxidants reduce the instability of free radicals, making them less harmful. They’re important to overall health and disease prevention.
Drinking coffee regularly is also associated with a reduced risk of a number of diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, certain types of cancers, heart rhythm problems, stroke and liver disease.
That’s a pretty impressive list of things I’d like to never have! Some of these correlations are crazy high, too. For instance, a Swedish study found people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day were 65% less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. Sixty-five percent!
Anyone else feel like a cup of Joe?
It Won’t Kill You
The dangers of coffee are greatly exaggerated. A Harvard study found there was absolutely no correlation between coffee consumption and increased risk of death.
That’s right, even people who drank 6 cups a day had no higher risk of death from any cause, including heart disease. Hooray!
Basically the folks at Harvard concluded that “the evidence suggests that coffee drinking doesn’t have any serious detrimental health effects.” Nice!
It also reduces cognitive decline due to aging in both men and women.
And as you might have noticed, it makes you a lot less sleepy.
Basically, unless you’re drinking so much coffee that you’re getting the shakes or can’t sleep, you’re probably not drinking too much coffee. Plus there are only 2 calories in 8 ounces of stuff.
So next time you find yourself in a mid-afternoon slump, you can reach for the coffee, guilt free!