With so much hype about the health benefits of certain teas, it’s nice to know that coffee has some health benefits as well.
According to a Greek study, one cup of coffee a day could reduce your blood pressure. Researchers actually found that those who drank between one and two cups of coffee daily had the healthiest arteries.
Two cups a day (no more than two cups if you are pregnant) could keep Alzheimer’s at bay.
After studying more than 122,000 women, researchers found that three cups a day can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, according to a US study in 2006, coffee drinkers who have more than three cups a day may increase their risk of a heart attack.
Coffee, like tea, is packed with antioxidants which can potentially cut the risk of cancer, however, more than three cups a day could mean that you are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
In fact, the BBC Health say that ‘three cups a day may have some health benefits according to a large review of studies, in the BMJ’. It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke – but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause.’
And, the Mayo Clinic states that ‘while past studies hinted that coffee might have a dark side, newer research suggests that it may actually have health benefits.
Why the reversal? It’s hard to look at just one aspect of diet and connect it to a health condition because so many other factors that could play a role. For example, early research on coffee didn’t always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to use tobacco and be sedentary.
When newer studies adjusted for such factors, they found a possible association between coffee and decreased mortality. Coffee may offer some protection against:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease, including liver cancer
- Heart attack and stroke
Coffee still has potential risks, mostly due to its high caffeine content. For example, it can temporarily raise blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding need to be cautious about caffeine. High intake of boiled, unfiltered coffee has been associated with a mild increase in cholesterol levels.
The bottom line? Your coffee habit is probably fine and may even have some benefits. But if you have side effects from coffee, such as heartburn, nervousness, or insomnia, consider cutting back.’