That Morning Cup of Joe…

Many of us love that kick-start that coffee provides to help start our day. If you’ve ever wondered what other hidden perks your coffee has to offer, besides that morning jolt, well you’re in for a pleasant surprise!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Joan Salge Blake, MS, RDN, LDN, “the healthiest perks of coffee include increased cognitive function, possible disease protection and a carrier for milk — adding calcium, a mineral Americans are falling short on.” Coffee also provides an abundance of antioxidants, compounds, and essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, niacin and vitamin E.

Emerging research within the past few years has indicated that coffee consumption may be a useful tool in the protection against various diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The antioxidants in coffee have been shown to prevent free radicals from causing cell damage in the body. Some evidence shows that roasted coffee beans contain a more concentrated antioxidant content than the raw green coffee beans. Researchers are not exactly sure how coffee contributes these disease-preventing effects, but it is suggested that the compounds in coffee offer additional benefits like anti-inflammatory characteristics. Although coffee appears to be an active topic of current research, scientists are still far from declaring that coffee increases your health. To be on the safe side, enjoy coffee in moderation which is approximately three to four, 8-ounce servings, per day.

The majority of studies conducted on coffee focus on the benefits of plain ol’ joe. Opt for the real thing and steer clear of elaborate coffee house beverages that can add unnecessary sugars and fat. If you tend to order cappuccinos and lattes, opt for non- or low-fat milk which can provide about one serving of dairy (based on the size) and is one way to enjoy a dose of vitamin D and calcium!

Reference: Marcason, Wendy. “Benefits of Java.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

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