30 Health Benefits Coming From Your Cup of Coffee
YOUR DAILY CUP OF JOE IS EVEN BETTER FOR YOU THAN YOU THOUGHT.
If you can't start your day without a cup of coffee, you're far from alone. According to the results of a survey presented at the National Coffee Association (NCA) annual meeting in 2018, 64 percent of people polled said they drank coffee in the past 24 hours, and 70 percent of coffee drinkers polled in a survey by Nestlé said that coffee makes them a better person.
But it's not just warm fuzzy feelings you're going to get from your daily cup of joe. Coffee is linked with a slew of incredible health benefits, as well. Read on to discover why drinking coffee is a boost for your entire body, not just your mood.
READ THIS NEXT: Drinking This Popular Beverage Can Cause Liver Disease—And No, It's Not Alcohol.
It can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's.
Unfortunately, there's no cure for Alzheimer's, the disorder that slowly causes memory loss and mental decline. But coffee could help reduce the risk of developing it in the first place. A 2006 review of research published in Neurology Research found drinking high levels of coffee was associated with up to a 30 percent reduction in Alzheimer's risk.
It can help protect against dementia.
Coffee is pretty powerful—especially when it comes to dementia. In a 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found 24 compounds that could possibly boost a brain enzyme that protects against dementia—and caffeine is one of them.
It can sharpen your memory.
One of the best benefits of coffee? Its ability to give your memory a boost. In a small study from the Radiological Society of North America, researchers found two cups of coffee was able to boost participants' short-term memory skills because of caffeine's effect on higher brain function.
It can give your brain a boost.
After one too many long nights at the office, it's not uncommon to experience mental fatigue. If you want to get your mental health back on track to avoid more serious health problems, drink some coffee: A 2010 review in the journal Nutrition found caffeine can help decrease the exhaustion you're feeling by perking your body up.
It could make you smarter.
In need of a brain boost? Grab some coffee. Thanks to the caffeine in your mug, you could experience an increase in mental performance, according to a 2016 review published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. Whether you're trying to learn something new or find a solution to a problem, sipping on your go-to brew will make a difference.
It can sharpen your reaction time.
Feeling a little slow lately? All it might take to get your body back to working at a normal pace is a little coffee. A 2005 study from the Radiological Society of North America found it doesn't take much—just a couple cups—to improve your reaction time, making you better at everything from noticing something scary like smoke in your home to braking for a stop sign.
It may help ease depression.
If drinking a cup or two of coffee tends to make you feel good mentally, there's a reason for that: A 2014 study published in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry found that coffee actually acts as a mild antidepressant by boosting feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. After examining 44,000 men and 74,000 women, they found a few cups of brew even reduced the risk of suicide by 50 percent.
It can boost your mood.
Coffee not only works as a mild antidepressant in some people, but it also helps prevent mood swings, making you feel happier overall. A 10-year-long 2011 study published in JAMA found that coffee can have a serious mood-boosting effect in people with depression.
It can help improve coordination.
Being coordinated is a true blessing, and if you could use some help in that department, you're not alone. A 2010 review in the journal Nutrition found the caffeine in coffee can actually enhance neuromuscular coordination, making your brain send messages to your muscles faster. That helps with a lot of things, tripping on random cracks in the sidewalk included.
It can lower your risk of Parkinson's disease.
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Parkinson's slowly develops over the years, causing tremors, slow movements, speech problems, and other health issues—but drinking coffee could play a role in preventing it: A 2007 study published in Movement Disorders found those who drank coffee every day had a lower risk of developing the disease than non-drinkers.
It can reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis.
Don't feel bad about those days you drink a little too much coffee. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found drinking a high consumption can help reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the protective covering of the nerves in the brain, spine, and eyes.
And not just by a little, either: Researchers found that drinking more than four cups of coffee could reduce your risk by 31 percent.
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It can help ease a headache.
Caffeine withdrawal can trigger a headache—and downing a cup of joe can help relieve it. Why? According to the National Headache Foundation, caffeine contains properties that narrow the blood vessels and restrict blood flow, which in turn helps relieve the throbbing pain you're experiencing in your noggin.
In fact, when you add an actual pain reliever into the mix, you can increase the pain-relieving effect by 40 percent.
It can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease—a disorder of the blood vessels that leads to heart attacks—causes more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Luckily, coffee could help keep your ticker healthy. A 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests drinking your favorite brew might even reduce your risk of dying from the disease.
It could lessen your stroke risk.
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Strokes are scary business, and drinking coffee could help reduce your risk of having one.
In a 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found those who love their daily brew had a reduced risk of death from many causes, strokes included.
It may reduce your risk of diabetes.
A 2005 review published in JAMA suggests that those who enjoy drinking coffee every morning have a much lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. So pour yourself a cup—just make sure you nix the cream and sugar.
It may help reduce your risk of digestive disorders.
In the aforementioned 2017 study of more than 521,000 people and 10 countries published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found those who drink coffee had a decreased risk of dying from digestive diseases, which includes everything from Crohn's to celiac.
It can reduce your risk of gout.
If you don't know what gout is, hopefully you never have to find out firsthand: It's the type of painful arthritis comes about when there's excess uric acid in the bloodstream. The good news? A 2007 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology found long-term coffee consumption could help decrease your risk of gout because of its ability to lower uric acid levels.
It may give your liver a boost.
If you've hurt your liver from years of drinking, coffee could be the superhero you've been hoping for. In a 2016 review published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers found that people who drank two cups of coffee a day had a 44 percent lower chance of developing liver cirrhosis.
It may reduce your risk of liver cancer.
Hepatocellular cancer—which predominantly occurs in those who have chronic liver disease—is the most common form of liver cancer, and coffee can help reduce your risk of developing it. A 2017 study published in BMJ Open found it could be possible to see a 20 percent reduced risk by drinking one cup of coffee a day, a 35 percent risk reduction by drinking two, and 50 percent reduction in risk if you down five daily cups because of caffeine's ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.
It could lower your colon cancer risk.
Coffee is known to help reduce the risk of cancer throughout the body—in fact, a 2016 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention found drinking it could help cut your risk of colon cancer by a whopping 50 percent. So, how much is needed to reap the benefits? Researchers say one or two cups for a 26 percent reduced risk or more than 2.5 cups for a 50 percent risk reduction.
It may reduce men's risk of prostate cancer.
Listen up, boys: According to a 2011 study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, regularly drinking coffee could lower your risk of developing prostate cancer because compounds found in that brew do everything from reducing inflammation to regulating insulin. And get this: decaffeinated coffee counts, too!
It could lessen your melanoma risk.
Sure, coffee isn't going to do as much good as sunscreen when it comes to protecting your skin, but it still has some benefits. A 2014 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of melanoma, which, according to the American Cancer Society, causes the majority of skin cancer-related deaths.
It may lower your risk of basal cell carcinoma.
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Coffee doesn't only help reduce the risk of developing melanoma—it does the same for basal cell carcinoma too, which affects millions of people every year. A 2012 study of 113,000 participants published by the American Association for Cancer Research found those who drank a minimum of three cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma than those who didn't.
It may reduce your risk of breast cancer.
In a 2015 study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research on breast cancer patients who had been treated with the drug tamoxifen, researchers found those who drank at least two cups of coffee every day had half the risk of reoccurrence compared to those who drank less or didn't drink coffee at all.
It can help prevent cavities.
Brushing isn't the only way to prevent cavities. While coffee is known to stain the teeth, it's also been found to protect them: A 2009 study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry found drinking coffee can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, but there's a catch—you have to drink it black. Unfortunately, coffee with sugar doesn't have many benefits for your teeth—or your overall health.
It can help prevent gum disease.
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Coffee doesn't just help protect against cavities and tooth decay. A 2014 study in the Journal of Periodontology found regular coffee consumption can benefit your gums too, helping prevent the serious infection periodontitis—AKA gum disease—which can result in tooth loss and other health issues.
It can help with erectile dysfunction.
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Anyone who has had had problems in the bedroom can benefit from starting their day with coffee: A 2015 study published in the journal PLOS One found men who drank two to three cups a day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction.
It can boost libido in women.
Coffee doesn't just help men out in the bedroom—it's also great for women too. One of the benefits of coffee for the fairer sex? A 2005 study published in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found caffeine can increase blood flow to the genitals, increasing the libido—but only for women who drink it once a week, max.
It can help reduce chronic pain.
Does staring at a computer all day constantly make your neck and shoulders ache? It turns out coffee might help reduce that work-related chronic pain.
A 2012 study published in BMC Research Notes found 40 percent of the participants who had a daily cup of coffee felt less intense pain than those who didn't drink coffee.
It may help you live longer.
Drinking coffee alone won't necessarily make you live longer. But researchers in a 2017 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine did find those who drink coffee appear to live longer than those who don't. In fact, one cup a day was associated with a 12 percent decreased risk of death while two or three cups reduced a person's mortality risk by 18 percent.