According to an article in Harvard Health Publications, coffee consumed in moderation can provide you with some good and unexpected health benefits. Research has been going on for a while, about 20 years or so, measuring coffees effect on health. Drinking coffee in moderation is defined as consuming a few cups a day and the latest research confirms that moderate coffee consumption does not harm the body, but in fact uncovered possible benefits.
Studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes versus non-drinkers! Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, colon cancer, reduce risk of liver damage, and reduce risk of Parkinson’s disease. Coffee also has been shown to improve cognitive function and improve endurance, athletic/physical performance.
The article also mentioned that those individuals that drink coffee to stay alert would be better off stretching their coffee intake throughout the day. For example, the article says that if you usually drink 16 ounces in the morning, try to drink 2-3 ounce servings every hour or so to improve alertness (the article notes this is more for the sleep deprived individual…I suggest getting the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep so you aren’t sleep deprived!).
Coffee does have some draw backs to it, mainly due to it’s main ingredient known as caffeine. Caffeine is a mild addictive stimulant and does have some cardiovascular effects, like increased heart rate and blood pressure and the possibility of producing an irregular heartbeat.
Keep in mind, like everything else, moderation is key! The research presented does show some promising effects for coffee consumption just remember not to go overboard. Coffee is not for everyone, so if you find yourself shaky or nauseous feeling when drinking coffee the health benefits of coffee wouldn’t be worth it if you start feeling ill.
June 12th, 2009