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Enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning… and the second cup… and the one you’re having in the afternoon, so you can make it through the rest of the day. Drinking two to three cups of coffee per day actually has quite a few health benefits – from protecting you against diabetes and Alzheimer’s to reducing your risk of liver damage and depression. That’s quite impressive, isn’t it?
Before we dive into those health benefits in a little more detail, let me break the bad news to you. Coffee is good for you as long as you don’t add a bunch of cream and sugar to it. It gets even worse when you choose artificial flavors and powdered creamers. Ideally, you want to drink your coffee black, although I won’t tell if you want to add a splash of milk or cream to it. (In fact adding some cream or coconut cream if you are dairy free will increase the healthy fats in your diet and that is a good thing. )
Coffee can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes. The exact science behind it isn’t known yet, but it seems that drinking a few cups of coffee per day can provide some protection from developing type two diabetes. It’s important to note that if you add sugar and sweet creamers to your beverage, the health benefits seem to be negated. Coffee contains some soluble fiber and acts as an appetite suppressant, which may explain some of the helpful effects when it comes to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Coffee can also give your metabolism a little extra boost which in turn helps you burn more calories. Combined with the appetite-suppressing effects I already mentioned, it’s a great tool to keep in your toolbox when you try to lose a little weight or prevent those extra pounds from creeping on as you get older.
Next, let’s talk about how coffee can help your liver stay healthy. The liver is an important organ that’s involved in all sorts of metabolic processes. Liver disease used to be a problem you only had to worry about if you drank too much. Sadly, these days, the main cause of liver cirrhosis is the food we eat. Our modern western diet seems to take quite the toll on it. Thankfully, drinking black coffee seems to give you some protection – and it may even help your liver recover.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the brain. I don’t have to tell you that there’s nothing better than a cup of coffee to help lift the morning fog or give you that extra boost of mental energy in the afternoon. That’s not the only way coffee and caffeine help those little grey cells up there. Coffee also helps protect you against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Lifelong coffee drinkers have a lower rate of suffering from these types of mental decline than those who skip the morning cup of joe.
Why Black Coffee?
For optimal health, switch to drinking your coffee black. Not only is it much better for your body, you’ll also be saving quite a few calories. For example, did you know that the average large Cafe Mocha has close to 500 calories? That’s a fourth of your total calories for the day for the average moderately active person. Having one of these just twice a week may be enough to start seeing the pounds creep up over time.
Of course, the benefits don’t end there. The sugar you’re putting in your coffee is bad for your teeth. It can lead to tooth decay and cavities. On the other hand, drinking your coffee black can give your teeth a little extra protection. Sugar has also been linked to inflammation in the body. That’s one of the reasons you feel so bad after binging on that box of doughnuts. Cut down on your daily sugar intake by leaving it out of your coffee.
How to Transition to Black Coffee
Now that you know why you should drink your coffee black, let’s talk about how to get there. If you’re a sweet and creamy coffee drink person, moving to drinking it black isn’t going to be pleasant. Consider weaning yourself off the sugar by cutting back a little at a time. Switch your sweetened creamer or half-and-half to two percent milk. Eventually you want to make the switch to drinking your coffee black. Your taste buds will start to adjust. If black coffee still tastes bitter to you, consider switching to a different brand, brewing it with a pinch of salt, or adding a little cool tap water to your cup. Once you acquire the taste for it, good black coffee is something to be treasured… and it’s good for you.