There are a number of surprising ways in which coffee benefits health. Most of the time, you only hear the negative things people have to say about coffee. If you are a coffee drinker, you’ll be relieved to know that coffee can be beneficial to your health.

Ways That Coffee Benefits Health

To start, coffee may reduce your risk of developing diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and colon cancer. Some studies even indicate that coffee may help to control asthma. The research results that have been 18 years in the making at Harvard confirm most of this. Over the years, nearly 20,000 other studies done on coffee have found similar results. Most scientists still maintain that more research is needed, but what has been discovered so far is very promising.

Why it’s Important to Drink Coffee in Moderation

Although the health benefits of coffee may make you think you should start downing several cups per day, it’s important to realize moderation is key here. For example, college students are notorious for consuming high amounts of coffee, mostly due to stress caused by approaching deadlines with essays and research papers, exams, etc. But, too much of something is almost never good, and coffee is no exception to this rule. Caffeine is a drug. Consuming more than 500 to 600 mg of coffee per day (any amount in excess of four cups) can cause insomnia, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, and even irregular heartbeat.

How Much Coffee to Drink Each Day

To get the health benefits of coffee, you should drink no more than two to three cups per day. However, pregnant women are generally advised by their doctors to either limit or avoid coffee altogether during their pregnancies. Although coffee benefits health in most people, it probably isn’t ideal for an unborn fetus.

Other Ways Coffee Can Benefit You

In addition to preventing many types of disease, coffee may also lift your mood and help you perform better athletically. Mental alertness is another thing that coffee could help with, so if you are in school and a big test is impending, having a mug of coffee before you go could help you to feel more awake and focused on what you are doing.

Enhancing the Flavor of Coffee

In spite of the fact that coffee benefits health, many people simply don’t like the taste. Coffee can actually taste very good when sweetened with sugar. Many people often add cream or milk as well. You don’t have to settle for plain old black coffee. When you visit your grocery store, look at all the different coffee creamers and other flavorings and experiment with them until you find a taste you like.

Using Coffee as a Weight Loss Aid

If you are on a diet, coffee has a place in what you consume each day. Plain black coffee contains no calories, can temporarily boost your metabolism, gives you extra energy for exercise, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Keep in mind that if you are watching your caloric intake, you can’t really justify sweetening your coffee with all sorts of things. Opt for no-calorie sweeteners if you’re looking for a sweet taste without adding extra pounds.

Other Options

If you simply don’t like coffee and can’t get used to the taste in spite of the way coffee benefits health, there are some alternatives. Drinking tea, particularly with the many green tea benefits if you decide that’s your tea of choice, is great for your health and also acts as a weight loss aid. Chocolate or other types of cocoa contain caffeine and can be very good for you if you are careful about how much you consume. These things may not have the exact same health benefits of coffee, but they do have their own health benefits that are just as attractive as what coffee can do for your body.

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