Despite being drunk primarily for its caffeine content, coffee actually has a number of health benefits – especially if you like it black! Drinking daily coffee (in a safe amount) has health benefits for everything from your liver to your teeth, and helps to protect you from a range of diseases.
It prevents cavities!
This Indian study found that drinking black coffee helps to prevent people from getting cavities! The researchers think that this is because the antioxidants in the coffee remove sugars from your teeth, which means that cavity causing bacteria doesn’t have a chance to grow. This benefit was eliminated, however, by putting sugar or milk in the coffee – and having both actually increased the risk of cavities.
It reduces your risk of colorectal cancer!
American researchers have found that drinking coffee reduces your risk of suffering from colorectal cancer by an average of 28% – and the more coffee you drink, the better! This benefit is also apparently due to the antioxidants in coffee (even decaf coffee reduces the risk of the cancer) and seems to apply no matter what else you put in the coffee!
Coffee reduces your risk of liver cirrhosis!
Your chance of dying from alcohol induced liver cirrhosis is much lower if you drink at least 2 cups of coffee a day. This study followed a group of Chinese Singaporeans (age 45-74) for 15 years and found that those who drank at least 2 cups of coffee every day were 66% less likely to have died in that period from liver cirrhosis. Another study found that drinking coffee reduces your liver enzyme count (higher liver enzymes means a damaged liver). Essentially, this means that coffee is at least a partial antidote to the damage alcohol does to your liver!
It reduces how much pain you’re in after exercise!
If you feel a lot of pain the day after a hard workout, a couple of cups of coffee can help to almost halve the amount of pain you feel! American scientists found that two cups of coffee reduced muscle pain by 48% the day after muscles were electronically stimulated! So not only does coffee give you the energy to go to the gym, it means you feel less pain afterwards!
It’s good for pretty much everything else too!
In 2015 the US government published a dietary report advising people that moderate coffee consumption does not pose long term health risks, and in fact it reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes! The same publication also states that coffee significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, and it even helps to prevent Parkinson’s disease! However, the health benefits become much less clear cut when milk and sugar is added, and some risk factors are increased.
So there it is: coffee is basically a magic potion! As long as you drink it black and don’t go overboard, coffee has a huge range of health benefits, in addition to being one of the only things to get you through a day at work. Decaf coffee still produces some of these benefits, however most appear to be linked to the caffeine in the coffee, as removing the caffeine also removes a lot of antioxidants – and makes it harder to get up in the morning!