Coffee: The New Superfood?

Coffee: The New Superfood?
Coffee! I always knew there was something extra special about my morning cups of coffee!

Can you tell that I’m excited? Well, I am, because I’m writing this article with my steaming mug of rich, dark roast coffee beside me.
More and more evidence is coming out that coffee is not just a popular way to start the day, but it may have some significant health benefits as well!

It turns out that moderate coffee drinkers have lower risks of type 2 diabetes, arrhythmia, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Type 2 Diabetes 


With
diabetes, at least it turns out that decaffeinated coffee is just as protective as the caffeinated kind. 

In a study of over 193,000 people, those who drank on average 6-7 cups of coffee were about 35% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. 

Those who drank 4-6 cups a day had a 28% less risk of type 2 diabetes. Gender, age, weight - none of that mattered; the risk was still lower. 

Australian researchers looked at an even larger group - almost half a million people - and found a 7% drop in risk of diabetes for every extra cup of coffee a day! 

In fact, drinking decaf coffee or black tea decreased the risk by almost the same amounts. 

Heart Disease and Stroke 


What is the evidence that coffee can lower those risks?  Here, there do appear to be some gender differences. 

In men, it lowered both the risk of a heart attack and stroke when they were coffee drinkers. 

For women, it lowered only the risk of stroke. Part of the reason for this difference may be women's risk of heart attack increases after menopause when oestrogen levels drop. 

Arrhythmia


In one large study, people who drank 1-3 cups of coffee every day were about one-fifth as likely to have arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythms, when compared to people who did not drink coffee. 

In the Nurse’s Health Study, the risk of stroke for coffee drinkers was about 20% lower than non-coffee drinkers. 

In this study, it didn’t matter if the women had high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol - the risk was lower in coffee drinkers! 

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia


For Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia, the key protective ingredient in coffee seems to be caffeine. One study looked at almost 1500 people over a 20-year period. 

For those who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day, the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s was a whopping 65% less compared to those who did not drink coffee or had fewer than just 3 cups a day. 

As a bonus, coffee seems to protect the liver against cirrhosis and liver cancer. It also appears to protect against gallstones. 

It even seems to increase your ability to exercise and concentrate on various tasks. 

What is it about coffee besides the caffeine that can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s? 

Well, at least a part of it is high levels of antioxidants found in coffee. Antioxidants are substances found in foods, especially superfoods, that mop up free radicals. 

We produce free radicals in our cells because of everyday biochemical reactions. The problem is that these free radicals are very reactive; they bind to and damage a whole array or cell components. 

The body has ways of dealing with free radicals, but they can overwhelm those. 

That’s Where Coffee Comes In! 


Coffee is a plant product, and plants produce some of the most potent antioxidants known to medical science. 

Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants for most people. So bring on the java! 

We don’t know exactly how these antioxidants help prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease or how they help prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

We also don’t know exactly how these antioxidants help us minimise the signs of ageing - which they do. But we know that they do, and we know that coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. 

And, most of us who drink coffee regularly also know that there is nothing quite like that first cup of coffee in the morning to make us feel ready to face the new day. 

And now we also know that there are significant health benefits to drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day! So, if you are a coffee drinker and have felt guilty about it, you don’t have to anymore. 

Now you know you can comfortably say, “I’ll have another cup of java, please!” 

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