In the past, much coffee research was focused on the ill effects of caffeine, a stimulant which is known to raise adrenaline, blood pressure and may cause an irregular heartbeat. More recently, however, new research shows that heavy to moderate coffee consumption may have some impressive health benefits.
Coffee contains more antioxidants than red wine or chocolate; dark fruit such as blueberries and blackberries, some nuts, beans and green tea are other good sources, though people don’t enjoy these foods as regularly as coffee, making coffee the number one source for antioxidants in the U.S. Antioxidants are compounds known to protect cells from certain diseases. Most notably, heavy coffee drinkers (six to seven cups a day) have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in men, and may keep type 2 diabetes at bay thanks to nutrients that may help control insulin.
Studies show that decaffeinated coffee may provide the same health benefits as caffeinated. A lighter roast will maximize your antioxidant intake, and loading coffee with cream and sugar will counteract some health benefits. Of course, always consult with your doctor to discuss how coffee may affect you and your diet.
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