Food tips, myths and facts

Is coffee good for your health?

Image credit: iStock/kjekol

Some of us can’t get going in the morning without at least one cup of coffee. The beverage is known for helping people wake up, as well as giving an energy perk at other points throughout the day.

Most people probably don’t think about what coffee is doing to their body when they’re waiting for the kettle to boil or are standing in the queue at Starbucks. But it really is worth considering what impact this must-have beverage might be having on your health.

While the things you add to coffee – such as milk, sugar and flavoured syrups – have obvious consequences, do we really know if coffee is good for your health?

It certainly seems that it might be, especially if these findings are anything to go by:

Heart health

Coffee is actually good for your heart, helping to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Research from a number of institutions has found that a few cups of coffee a day can reduce the chances of dying due to heart problems.

Although the different studies claim that varying numbers of cups are needed – some say one to two cups while others say four cups – they all agree that it will help your heart.

Boosts memory

If you’re always forgetting where you’ve put your keys or what you needed from the shop, it could be that you’re not drinking enough coffee. According to John Hopkins University, strong coffee can help to boost your memory and keep your mind functioning so you’ll never walk into a room and forget why you are there again.

Aids depression recovery

Those who live with depression may benefit from a few coffees a day. A study by Harvard School of Public Health revealed that drinking four cups of coffee a day helps to keep people’s mood up. In fact, it could reduce your risk of depression by up to 20 per cent.

Longer life

People who need regular cups of coffee throughout the day could actually outlive those who don’t touch it. In fact, a National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health study found that the risk of death reduced for those who drank two to three cups, or six or more each day by around six per cent.

In fact, five cups were found to be the sweet spot, with a 12 per cent reduction in risk of death.

Avoid dementia

As well as supercharging your memory on a day to day basis, drinking coffee could help you stave off dementia as you get older. Research from Harvard revealed that regular caffeine hits could help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by around 60 per cent.

It also showed that the risk of Parkinson’s disease could also be reduced by half, meaning your morning cup of coffee could be helpful in the long run.

Improves endurance

If you want to perform at your best on the treadmill and in the gym, coffee could be the answer. Rather than drinking a sugary sports drink, have a proper cup of coffee or down an espresso.

According to the University of Birmingham, you could increase your endurance by around 26 per cent by opting for coffee. In fact, you could also notice a difference if you were to suck on a coffee bean as you run, which is a great long-distance runner tip.