Not too long ago, coffee wasn't thought of as particularly healthy. That was then. Now the list of its benefits keeps growing. And the brew doesn't have to be caffeinated for you to reap most of these rewards, either. In no particular order, here is what every cup of joe will get you:
A longer life. Thanks to the antioxidants found in coffee beans, people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to die prematurely from a host of diseases, including Parkinson's, than non-coffee drinkers, a study published in Circulation found.
A lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Coffee (both caffeinated and decaf) contains two substances--cafestol and caffeic acid--that can help regulate blood sugar and insulin production, protecting you against diabetes, according to researchers in Denmark.
Less pain from hunching over a computer. Take note if you work in an office: In one study, coffee drinkers experienced less intense pain in their neck and shoulders.
Skin-cancer protection. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer; drinking three or more cups of caffeinated coffee (or getting your caffeine from tea or hot chocolate) can lower your risk of getting this kind of skin cancer.
Better moods. Here's where caffeinated brews also have an edge. In a long-term study involving 50,000 women, those who drank the most cups of caffeinated coffee had the lowest risk of depression.
Fewer chances of developing cancer--especially breast, endometrial, and colon cancer.
A sharper brain. No surprise here--caffeine is a stimulant, responsible for the jolt in energy we get in the morning and an ability to focus and think more quickly. But several studies on mice and one on humans shows a protective effect against dementia for those who drink between one to three cups of joe a day.
Fewer strokes. In a study done on 82,000 Japanese citizens, researchers found that just one cup of coffee cut your risk of stroke by 20 percent.
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