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The coffee as an antioxidant source has made the news lately, so I thought it worth taking a moment to review some of the more recent evidence that supports the idea of regular coffee consumption as part of a strategy to stay healthy.
According to the University of Scranton, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the average America diet. It wins the top award for one simple reason – Americans drink a lot of java. Over 75% of Americans drink coffee at least occasionally, which averages out to almost 9-pounds of coffee per person each year.
A recent long-term study indicates that those with aggressive prostate cancer may benefit from coffee. The study lasted 20 years, and included nearly 50,000 men. Subjects who consumed 6 cups of coffee daily saw a 41% reduction in their risk of developing the disease.
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 2000), showed that of 8,000 Japanese American men in the study, those who drank 3+ cups of coffee per day were 5 times less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. The study took place over a 30-year period.
Coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of adult dementia by as much as 65%, as well as reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers as well as gout.
I’ve mentioned before that I primarily took up drinking coffee as an alternative to plain drinking water. After all, as many benefits as there are to water, it can simply get boring. We all like a little variety in our diets and being restricted to a single drink becomes dull. Drinking coffee adds variety, but more importantly can significantly enhance your health.
However, this doesn’t mean that all coffee drinks have the same health benefits. For instance, we’ve covered the pitfalls of coffee-flavored milkshakes and the potential hazards of sweetened coffees with lots of milk. So, even though I personally enjoy my coffee with a little bit of sweetener and milk, its important to be careful not to let calorie content edge out the potential benefits.
However, I believe it’s safe to say that coffee can be a good antioxidant source, while also offering a low calorie alternative to water.
Let me know if drinking coffee has had an impact on your life.