The health benefits of coffee have been debated for years, but a growing body of research has shown that a cup of joe can promote better overall health.
For years, researchers have debated whether or not the benefits of drinking coffee on a daily basis outweigh the risks. Studies have examined coffee’s on the brain, metabolism, and even the central nervous system. While drinking too much coffee can cause jitters, addiction and even mild forms of dementia in older people, coffee’s positive image remains bolstered by a number of studies in favor of the bean. That, and the fact that it is still one of the most broadly traded commodities in the world.
Recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has detailed one of the many ways that coffee affects the brain. The study analyzed survey data to demonstrate connections between the number of cups consumed each day and the risk of developing MCI, or mild cognitive impairment. Doctors in Italy found that people who consumed too little or too much coffee had a far higher likelihood of developing MCI, which has been shown as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
The study revealed that people who drink coffee in moderation saw the greatest benefits – drinking one to two cups each day significantly reduced the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.
But the brain isn’t the only thing that coffee helps protect – according to a report from WebMD, it can help reduce the risk of diabetes too. Compounds in coffee beans have been shown to prevent the accumulation of a protein that has been connected to type 2 diabetes. And if you’re not a fan of caffeine, there’s no need to fret – caffeic acid, a similar compound found in decaf coffee, was shown to have the most profound protective effect.
Studies have also pointed to coffee being beneficial for the health of the heart, the liver, and the gastrointestinal and nervous systems, preventing degenerative diseases that affect each. Coffee also helps fight against obesity – there are a mere 2 calories in each cup, on average, and it helps suppress appetite to make you feel more full.
Coffee does not come without its risks, however. Addiction can be a problem, as it is easy to develop a tolerance to caffeine over time. It may not be a smart idea to chug coffee until you can’t sit still, but the research clearly points to the broad health benefits associated with moderate use.