Have you ever wondered if the cup of coffee you’re drinking is healthy? Are you confused by the yearly headlines touting or dismissing the health benefits of coffee? Today we are here to clear the air a bit and discuss the health benefits of coffee consumption with data to back up the flashy headlines. Aside from starting your morning off with a delicious cup of coffee, your favorite brew has many benefits for your health and life.
Coffee is full of healthful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols.
One cup of coffee contains 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for Riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of the RDI for Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 3% of the RDI of Manganese and Potassium, and 2% of the RDI for magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3) . These are all essential vitamins and minerals. So these compounds must be consumed from our diet in order to maintain healthy metabolism. The concentration of vitamins and minerals in coffee may seem low. But considering most people have many cups per week or day, the health benefits can add up quickly.
There is evidence that compounds in coffee, such as polyphenols, may help maintain a healthy metabolism. A 2018 research article shows that coffee components may support the maintenance of normal blood vessel function and help prevent metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical conditions, including high blood pressure, excess blood-lipid content, insulin resistance, and excess body weight gain. Polyphenols in coffee may help support these vital functions in the body and prevent metabolic syndrome .
Two very large studies showed that drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% decreased risk of death in women, over a period of 18 to 24 years . Researchers deduced that this association exists because of coffee’s very high antioxidant content. Fortunately, many people, especially Americans, get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables in their diets . The authors concluded this research by noting that “the single greatest contributor to the total antioxidant intake was coffee.”
Drinking Coffee May Lower Disease Risks.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition where you can no longer self-regulate blood sugar and insulin. This can result in life-threateningly high or low blood sugar levels. Observational studies show that people who drink coffee have a 23% to 50% lower risk of developing diabetes . One study even showed a risk reduction of 67% ! These studies show that a higher consumption of coffee meant a lower risk of developing diabetes; more cups per day meant a lower diabetes risk. Be careful not give yourself caffeine jitters by drinking 15 cups of coffee in one day! Overall, it is great to know that regular coffee drinkers have a significant risk reduction in developing type 2 diabetes.
Other healthy Benefits Related to Coffee Consumption.
Coffee may also protect against liver disease. One study showed that people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day have up to an 80% lower risk of developing cirrhosis .
Additional studies have shown that people who drink coffee may have a 40% lower risk of developing liver cancer . In fact, coffee drinkers may also have a lower risk of prostate cancer . For colon cancer, coffee consumption was shown to be associated with lower risk of disease progression and death .
A report published in 2020 by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that for most people, drinking coffee in moderation “can be part of a healthy lifestyle” . The team of researchers was clear that current evidence does not justify recommending coffee or caffeine to prevent diseases.
written by Max Resnick
Disclaimer: This blog post is not medical advice. The studies referenced are observational in nature and do not prove any direct health outcome. A&E does not make any health or disease claims about our coffee or coffee in general. Please contact your doctor for advice on disease risk mitigation and treatment.