When it comes to healthy eating, kale gets all the press. But if the scientific buzz is right, there’s a whole lot of wellness waiting in our coffee cups, too, and while that sweet essence of sacred bean may not have the cachet of cruciferous vegetables, it still packs a serious jolt. And we’re not just talking caffeine blast either. Here are a few recent headlines that put coffee above the nutritional fold:
Coffee fights cancer. It’s packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, and consumption has been linked to less prostate, breast, colorectal, and liver cancer.
Coffee does waistlines right. Those polyphenols are also food for a species of beneficial probiotic intestinal bacteria that’s been shown to positively affect one’s leanness (or lack thereof). And coffee’s caffeine boosts our metabolic rates by as much as 11% and can increase fat-burning by up to 29%. (Not to say it’ll neutralize that breakfast pastry, but still…)
Coffee kills diabetes. And diabetes kills people so it’s nice to see us coffee drinkers reducing our risk of contracting this disease by up to two thirds.
Coffee safeguards the heart. It won’t help you get over a break-up, but drowning your sorrows in java has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Coffee loves your liver. Drink two or more cups a day and lower your cirrhosis risk by 66%.
Coffee cools-out the brain. And we don’t mean relaxation either. The caffeine in those beans appears to lower the brain inflammation that leads to things like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Bonus chill factor: it also reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee lengthens lifespans. Sure, we feel like we could live forever with a latte in our hands. But behind the scenes, its caffeine is hard at work lowering inflammation. Less inflammation = longer life, which is likely why four cups a day lower one’s risk of dying by 16%.
So… coffee smoothie anyone? Okay, maybe not. But coffee doesn’t need to be whipped in a blender with yogurt to make the healthy grade. It’s longevity in a cup no matter how you pour it.