It’s the smell that does it for me. When I get a whiff of the stuff, I become weak at my knees. Every. Single. Time.
I wanted to drink coffee as soon as my sense of smell was first introduced to the java, but my mum, being the good parent that she is, would not let me until I was of an appropriate age. According to her, that was 12 – and I was only allowed it occasionally.
There’s conflicting evidence for whether or not we should down this brew – you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. But let’s just stick to the positives, shall we? Here are four surprising health benefits of coffee, not that you need any reason at all to drink it!
1. Mentally sharp as anything
A recent study found that those who regularly drank a cup of coffee per day had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later on in life.
2. To your heart’s content
A meta-analysis of 21 independent studies suggested that drinking coffee in moderation (1–3 cups daily) may decrease the long-term risk of heart disease.
3. A sweet deal
Studies have shown that coffee could be beneficial for protecting people against diabetes. These doesn’t excuse from eating healthily or limiting sugar. (Note: if you already have type 2 diabetes, coffee can have the opposite effect on your sugar levels.)
4. Take a load off
Coffee can increase your metabolism, particularly before exercise, and may be a way of boosting fat loss, taking a load of unwanted weight off your body.
5. Liver love
I’ve saved the best for last. According to researchers at Monash University, drinking two or more cups of coffee each day will go a long way to preventing liver disease – and can reduce the damage caused by hepatitis C. Read more here.
I think the key to getting these benefits is to drink coffee (the real stuff, not instant!) in moderation (up to three cups a day), as overdoing it tips the scale to the unhealthy side. Oh, and you’ll still need to eat well and exercise to look after your overall wellbeing.
Do you drink coffee? Why? Why not?