Amazing Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee. Java. Cup a’ Joe. Regardless of what you call your favorite cup, it turns out that coffee is good for you…for multiple reasons—according to very convincing research studies from the world’s leading health organizations—like Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University.

So drink up and gulp down the eight undeniable health benefits of coffee

Coffee Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Sure, drinking up to 6-cups of coffee per day might give you a nasty case of the jitters, but researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found an upside to those coffee cravings when they reviewed a series of previously conducted studies. It turns out that drinking up to 6 cups of coffee (in 8-ounce servings) per day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33-percent.

Protects the Liver

If you regularly imbibe (2 to 3 alcoholic drinks per day), drinking more than 2-cups of coffee daily was shown to protect the liver from damaging diseases, like cirrhosis (or alcoholic liver disease). According to a Finish study, jointly conducted by Seinäjoki Central Hospital and the University of Tampere, coffee consumption decreased the liver-damaging enzyme GGT (or gamma-glutamyl transferase) levels by up to 50-percent.

Increases Energy Levels

A study conducted in PLoS One (via the Public Library of Science) claims that drinking 3-cups of coffee an hour before working out will increase energy,  improve endurance, and increase exercise performance. Findings linked caffeine ingestion prior to physical activity to improved motor skills, muscle contractions, and to greater stimulation of the central and peripheral nervous system.

Coffee Improves Memory

A study conducted by neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, found that moderate coffee drinking improved short- and long-term memory. The study tested the memory function by asking participants to view a series of images.

Findings revealed that individuals who drank the equivalent of 2-cups of coffee (8-ounce servings) beforehand better recalled the original images and successfully distinguished the initial images from similar images presented the next day.

Coffee Protects Against Gout

If you’re in the habit of drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day, you may be lowering your risk of gout! Research funded by the Arthritis Foundation, found that the more coffee consumed—the lower the risk of developing the chronic joint condition. Drinking coffee lowered the levels of uric acid (which is linked to gout) in the blood in for male and female study participants.

Java Improves Mood

This research from Harvard School of Public Health will certainly make coffee-drinkers smile! Findings revealed that 3 to 4 daily cups of brew lowered the risk of depression in women by up to 20-percent due to increased production of “feel good” neuro-chemicals (i.e., dopamine and serotonin).

Coffee Reduces Parkinson’s Risk

Parkinson’s disease has long been linked to reduced dopamine-generating neurons in the brain, which cause muscular tremors, reduced movement, weakness, and facial paralysis.

However, a study from Harvard School of Public Health found that both men and women who consumed 3- to 4-cups of coffee per day (and no more than that) cut their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by almost 50-percent compared to those who drank fewer cups each day.

Protects Against Skin Cancer

If you’re worried about skin cancer, you may just be doing your skin a favor if you drink java and slather on the sunscreen. A Harvard Medical School study out of Boston linked slurping 3 cups of caffeinated coffee daily to a 21-percent reduced risk of basal cell carcinoma in women and a 10-percent lower risk in men. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.