Here in America, coffee is the most-consumed beverage other than water. For many of us, coffee is more than just a beverage. Coffee is part of a routine – the fuel needed to begin a day full of responsibilities, or the aid needed to overcome afternoon weariness.
Every morning, the Dunkin’ Donuts on campus is mobbed with potential customers. A Starbucks in Locklin Hall is under construction.
It is clear that coffee drinking has become a staple in the lives of everyday Americans. In the past, scientists have worried that habitual consumption of coffee would impose adverse health effects. New evidence found in nutritional science studies suggests exactly the opposite.
It has been long known that the caffeine content in coffee can negatively affect health in large quantities, but recent discoveries imply that coffee may actually benefit the human body much more than it damages it.
A study by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center earlier this year found that modest, daily consumption of coffee can be a heart-healthy lifestyle choice. Drinking two, eight-ounce cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of heart failure by up to 11 percent.
Other recent studies have suggested that modest coffee consumption seems to be capable of consistently lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have also discovered a potential link between coffee and the prevention of depression in women, as well as the prevention of prostate cancer for men.
Perhaps coffee – our nation’s favorite dose of caffeine – may not be so unhealthy for the average person after all. A black cup of coffee could actually be beneficial. Any sugars, creams, sweeteners or flavored syrups worsen the health value of coffee as a beverage of choice, making moderation of these suggested.
While it may seem that the perception of daily coffee consumption is changing, the health benefits of drinking coffee are probably too meager to convince those who do not already enjoy coffee to give it a try.
For current coffee drinkers (with the exception of pre-existing medical conditions), it seems safe to continue sipping anywhere between one to three cups a day while remaining weary of the empty calories found in cream and sugar. Coffee can be the perfect pick-me-up, seemingly now without many consequences.
Rejoice, coffee lovers. You may not be able to imagine your life without coffee, but science is suggesting that you may not have to.