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8 Reasons to Drink Coffee

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8 Reasons to Drink Coffee

According to research, the potential benefits of caffeine for maintenance of proper brain functioning has only recently begun to be appreciated. Proper brain functioning? Those of us who stumble blindly, mumbling unintelligibly,  from bed to coffee pot first thing in the morning already appreciate the effect of caffeine on proper brain functioning–but the benefits now seem to be further-reaching than the need to simply shake off the morning cobwebs.

In a study published in a special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers explored the potential benefits of caffeine and found substantial evidence that it may be protective against the cognitive decline seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study (“Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases”) a group of international experts looked into the effects of caffeine on the brain. The result was a collection of original studies exploring  a number of  topics ranging from molecular targets of caffeine, neurophysiological modifications and adaptations, to the potential mechanisms underlying the behavioral and protective actions of caffeine in distinct brain pathologies. Here’s a brief summary of what they found:

1. Caffeine has a positive effect on cognition, memory performance, and the ability to complete complex tasks.

2. An inverse association between regular caffeine consumption and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease was found–in other words, caffeine looks to be protective against Parkinson’s disease.

3 . The consumption of moderate amounts of caffeine was seen to decrease the cognitive decline associated with aging, as well as the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Caffeine prevented motor deficits, normalized brain function, and prevented brain degeneration.

Other studies have shown:

5. Caffeine improves a sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.

6. Caffeine  enhances aerobic endurance.

7. Consumption of coffee can lead to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

8. Coffee has a whopping amount of antioxidants–on average, Americans receive 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants  from their 1.64 cups of daily coffee. The closest competitor was tea at 294 milligrams. Rounding out the top five sources were bananas, 76 milligrams; dry beans, 72 milligrams; and corn, 48 milligrams.

Next: Coffee cons? And how to make it green.

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Read more: All recipes, Alzheimer's, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Eating for Health, General Health, Health, News & Issues, , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

744 comments

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3:47AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Only 8?!! :-)

11:23PM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Love Coffee! Thanks for sharing.

3:54PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Love my coffee and my French press

2:29PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Thank you for sharing

1:32PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

I love coffee.Good article,Thanks for sharing

4:32PM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

thanks

1:27AM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thanks.

2:35AM PDT on May 16, 2013

Thank you

5:11PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Thanks for sharing

10:35AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

I am so glad the medical community has caught up with us coffee drinkers. I did not know it was healthy, but I am glad to find it out, because I have been drinking coffee since I was 5 years old. Here in Louisiana, coffee is to us , what wine is to a french child, just a normal drink of the day. We start off with half milk and half coffee, and as you get older the amount of coffee increases and the amount of milk decreases. We use coffee with chickory, and we brew it strong. My Mamare, ( french grandmother) said if the spoon did not stand up in the cup it was too weak, And my dad said if you leave the spoon in the cup too long it will melt from the potent brew. Have a great day , and have another cup of coffee..

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