According to those who keep track of such things, 50% of the people in the US drink coffee every day, and who can blame them? It tastes great and helps get you going in the morning. With over 300 million people in the country, it's easy to see how coffee can become such a lucrative enterprise. The exact origins of coffee are lost to history, but experts tend to agree with was first discovered in Ethiopia. The people there would eat the berries from the plants as part of their diet. How it went from being eaten for dinner to being ground up and brewed with water is unknown, but eventually coffee made its way to Yemen, and through the traders there around the world.
Aside from being an excellent pick me up, coffee has some surprising health benefits you may not be aware of, such as:
- Studies show that people who drink coffee every day are less likely to suffer from Parkinson's Disease or Dementia. Unfortunately for you ladies out there, the studies also show that only men benefit from the reduced risk of Parkinson's.
- Another study done in 2005 showed that people who drink coffee regularly are far less likely to get cancer than non-coffee drinkers. If you ever needed a reason to drink more coffee, this is it!
- Coffee may help reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. An article in The Harvard Health Letter states that there are chemicals in coffee that help reduce blood sugar, and since high blood sugar has a direct effect on being diabetic, reducing blood sugar helps stave off this nasty disease.
- It is possible to reduce your risk of stroke by up to 25% from drinking 1-5 cups of coffee a day. 5 cups of coffee a day is quite a bit, though, so you might want to stick closer to the lower end of the scale to make sure you don't overdo it with the caffeine. Susanna C. Larsson, et al. "Coffee Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Women." Stroke: American Heart Association Journals, 119, 1116-1123.
One thing you've probably heard before is that coffee contains antioxidants. Well, thank goodness for that, because a study in 2005 lead by Joe. A. Vinson, PhD. Professor of Chemistry at Scranton University, found that "It's the number 1 source of antioxidants in the US diet." Many people in the US get far too-few antioxidants in their diets. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain tons of them, but they're expensive and a lot of people opt for cheaper, less healthy snacks. Luckily, coffee has your back on this one.