7 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

A coffee a day keeps the doctor away...

1. It can protect against type 2 diabetes

A 2014 Harvard study found that increased coffee consumption slashed participants' type 2 diabetes risk by 11%. In the same study, participants who drank les7 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffees coffee increased their diabetes risk by 17%.

2. It pumps up your metabolism

That caffeine boost goes way deeper than you thought – a number of studies have shown that caffeine boosts metabolic rate by anything from 3-10%, and boosts fat-burning by up to 29%. Taken before a workout, caffeine will also boost your performance by increasing adrenaline levels in the blood.

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3. It can protect your heart

Though there's still some conflicting evidence on this, a Harvard analysis of 36 studies found that coffee is actually more likely to protect you against cardiovascular disease than pose a risk, with 3-5 cups a day providing the greatest benefits.

4. It can protect against several cancers

Specifically breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and brain cancer, among others

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5. It can protect against Parkinson's disease

Several studies over the years have shown an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The most famous of these studies in 2001 showed that the biggest benefit comes from 4-5 cups of coffee daily – that amount cut Parkinson's risk almost in half.

6. It can protect against depression

4 cups a day might be the magic number, because a 2011 study found that drinking that amount of coffee (or more) lowered women's risk of depression. More dramatically, a study two years later found that people who drank 2-4 cups a day had a 50% lower risk of suicide than those who drank little or none.

7. It makes you smarter

It's not your imagination – you really are sharper after that morning cup of coffee. Once caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream, it triggers the release of several neurotransmitters like dopamine, which in turn lead to enhanced firing of neurons. This improves your mood, energy, reaction time and general brain function.

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