Grit Blogs > Of Mice and Mountain Men

Serving Up 6 Healthy Perks for Coffee Drinkers

Coffee beansThe latest studies show that coffee has healthful benefits.  Let me say up front that if you are one of those nervous types who, when you ingest caffeine, your molecules vibrate so quickly they start to become invisible as you bounce off the walls – by all means ignore this article.  I’d hate to think that harm came to you or your loved ones from seeking the healthy coffee benefits I am about to describe.

But for the rest of us, coffee has been shown to offer some nice benefits; according to an article in Southern Living magazine.  The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School appear to agree, and that’s good enough for me.

Coffee is a Brain Builder

Caffeine increases short term recall; making it easier for us to remember where we left things; like our coffee mug.  Plus, those who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day are 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  And it reduces the chance of developing Parkinson’s in men.  Let’s remember that a standard coffee mug holds two cups of liquid.  I generally drink 3 mugs of coffee before *breakfast*!

Coffee Fights Diabetes

Folks who drink 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day have been shown to be 25% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes – UNLESS they load it down with sweeteners.  I figure the caffeine buzz gets our cells dancing around so well that it burns off the extra glucose almost as efficiently as a hard day’s work out in the field.  Almost.

Coffee and Antioxidants

Antioxidants help protect you from heart disease, stroke and other maladies.  Coffee is rich in antioxidants.  That makes it “health food”, right?  Now, it can raise cholesterol if you do not use paper filters; which take the fatty stuff out.  Even if you have a “permanent” filter in your machine, use paper filters too.

Coffee and Exercise

If you’re a coffee drinker and a hard worker (or periodic exerciser) a recent study showed that two cups of fresh brew ingested just before exercising reduced muscle soreness and stiffness afterward by almost 50%.

Coffee and Cancer

Of course cancer studies are often open to interpretation, but there is evidence showing that those who drink coffee regularly show up in the groups that resist liver cancer twice as often as those who don’t.  That should mean a 50% reduction in your risk of liver cancer just by enjoying a mug of Joe every day.

Coffee and Food Groups

Since coffee comes from beans, it counts as a serving of vegetables.  Oh, no, wait… that’s only if you eat the grounds after finishing the coffee.  Never mind!

Now… if I could just get coffee bushes to grow here in our mountains!

t brandt
2/13/2012 12:02:11 PM

IjustlovetodrinkespressoItstartsmydayoutfineOfcourseIhaven'tsleptinover8yearsandIplaytheMinuteWaltzinonly45secondsandIreadWarAndPeacein2hoursIt'ssomethingaboutRussiaNowIhavetogopaintmyatticagainandcleanunderthefridgeThenI'llhaveanothercupofcoffee....to relax???


allan douglas
2/13/2012 12:42:30 AM

All things inmoderation, Cindy - when you achieve semi-invisibiity, switch to decaff, 'K? :-)


cindy murphy
2/10/2012 4:44:54 PM

Whoo-hooo! (That must be the caffeine buzz whoo-hooing - had a pot of coffee this morning....before meeting friends at the coffee shop.) It's good to know I'm in such good company with all the fine folks here who find such goodness inside a coffee mug...and that that goodness is not necessarily as bad for you as previously assumed.


allan douglas
2/9/2012 6:07:42 PM

Sleep more to be less tired? That IS radical!! You'd make a good Mountain Man, Dave. Have to remember that we're fighting an uphill battle with memory loss at our age: think where we'd be without our coffee! I do, in fact, put the grounds in the compost pile. I've been warned not to let the concentration get too high, but in a large pile of compost they do just fine. When I was a kid I used to dry them out, mix them with glue and make asphalt for my model train lay-out. I wasn't drinking it then though! :-)


allan douglas
2/9/2012 6:01:56 PM

Thanks for joining in Lori! I too find that coffee helps get my brain cranked up and running smoothly in the morning. Especially when I get up around 4:00 AM. But these quiet hours tend to be my most productive times as a writer. Then I can move on to gardening and working the wood and all the other things that fill up my days. Having a cup when I come back in helps get rid of the aches.


allan douglas
2/9/2012 5:57:37 PM

You may be right Charles. I've noticed my chocolate addiction is more manageable when I have some coffee.


charles mallory
2/9/2012 3:20:19 AM

Since I'm a coffee drinker, sounds good to me. On the diabetes research, that sounds odd. My guess is that people who drink that amount of coffee probably eat less food, including sweet items, and that's the correlation. Not sure.


lori dunn
2/8/2012 11:11:32 PM

Allan, Thanks for making me feel better about my coffee habit! I NEED my coffee! It is the first thing I reach for when I get up in the morning. It clears out the cobwebs, and helps put my system in go mode. I too, wish I could grow my own!


nebraska dave
2/8/2012 10:49:07 PM

Allan, Ha, I always knew coffee had to be good for me. Another thing that I've noticed is that it is an appetite suppressant. Maybe that's just me. Yeah, coffee wakes me and calms me down for a long night of sleep. Doesn't keep me awake though. Those long hours of college study were not helped by drinking coffee. Not even no-doze caffeine pills helped. So, I just had to get more sleep. What a novel idea. You could always dump those coffee grounds in the compost and perk up the veggies. Thanks for all the latest studies about the good effects of coffee. I'm not so sure about that memory one though. Now where did I put that coffee cup? Just kidding my cup is never more than arm's length away.