Coffee is a must for many people who cannot start the day without a morning brew!

Coffee has been a debated topic in the health arena. It does have potentially beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants and phytochemicals, and in moderation, may affect disease risk. Evidence seems to suggest that coffee drinking may help reduce Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes. On the flipside, there is also evidence that some compounds found in coffee may be harmful for certain individuals, specifically those with osteoporosis, pregnant women and epilepsy patients. There are also links between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease.

Overall, studies such as “A Comprehensive Overview of the Risks and Benefits of Coffee Consumption,” in the journal Comprehensive Reviews, concludes that, in moderation, the health benefits of coffee outweigh the risks.

Five ways coffee may benefit overall health:

  1. Coffee contains polyphenols that are effective at neutralizing free radicals by providing a bunch of essential antioxidants. In neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, coffee’s powerful antioxidants may reduce oxidative stress in brain tissue.
  2. Coffee consumption is associated with lowered risks for diseases involving the digestive system, including symptomatic gallstone disease and chronic liver disease. Caffeine, along with the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties available in coffee, protect the liver, keeping it from stiffening.
  3. Coffee’s anti-inflammatory properties lower the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.
  4. Coffee decreases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, because of compounds that may alter glucose metabolism. Both regular and decaffeinated coffees alter the secretion of gastrointestinal hormones slowing down glucose absorption.
  5. Coffee may lower the risk of colon, breast and prostate cancer.

To avoid too much caffeine, naturally decaffeinated (Swiss water process) coffee is also a good source of anti-oxidants.