5 Reasons to Drink Coffee for Better Health

Celebrate Saturday’s National Coffee Day and feel good about it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 is National Coffee Day. Various studies show that drinking one or more cups of coffee is a great way to celebrate the day, and your health. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Saturday, September 29, is National Coffee Day. While starting every morning with a cup of steaming coffee doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, here are five health-related reasons to celebrate the special day with an extra cup.

1) Coffee drinkers tend to live longer than non-coffee drinkers.
A large study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP found that coffee is associated with lower risk of death. Men who drank two to three cups daily were 10 percent less likely to die over the course of the study; for female coffee drinkers, it was 13 percent. Even better news for caffiends—study participants who drank six or more cups of coffee per day were 10 or 15 percent less likely to die over those who abstained completely. 

2) Coffee reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, and in addition to a healthy diet and exercise, drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing it. In a study published in January, researchers found that three ingredients in coffee—caffeine, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid—work together to keep type 2 diabetes at bay. 

3) Caffeine intake is associated with avoiding Alzheimer’s disease.
Research shows that people older than 65 can reduce their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease if they drink about three cups of coffee a day. In particular, those who have less than 1,200 ng/ml of caffeine levels in their blood are more likely to progress to dementia. The stimulant works by suppressing certain enzymes that produce an abnormal human protein found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

4) Drinking caffeine while pregnant does not make for a hyper child.
In a study involving almost 3,500 pregnant women, researchers found that drinking caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda did not later cause behavioral problems in their children. Even women who drank more than 426 milligrams of coffee a day did not report any increased hyperactivity with their children later in life. Of course, caffeine intake during pregnancy can lead to other issues, including increased risk of miscarriage. 

5) Coffee can reduce depression in women.
Studies show that women who drink four cups of coffee a day are 20 percent less likely to become depressed. The stimulant seems to offer a boost of energy to our central nervous system that helps keep women happy.