As many people make changes to live a more healthy lifestyle that shift often involves being more aware of what they eat and drink. Opting for healthier, nutrient-rich vegetables, more nuts and grains, lean proteins and drinking more water, rather than consuming processed foods is a great first step.
But does eating better also mean giving up our beloved coffee? Americans love their coffee and 83 percent of adults are coffee drinkers.
Many new studies show that drinking coffee in moderation (2 to 4 small cups per day) may actually have health benefits. So, if you’re like the millions of people who wouldn’t dream of starting their day without a cup of Joe, you may not have to.
Just remember that not all coffee is equal when it comes to caffeine content, which is the main active ingredient. For example, a Starbucks coffee has 322 mg of caffeine, Wawa 251 mg, Dunkin Donuts 211 mg, and McDonald’s 148 mg. Home brewed usually has even less. Even decaffeinated coffee has some caffeine, but usually only a couple of mg per cup.
Here are few things to know about your Java:
Reduction of diabetes - The phenolic compounds in coffee are antioxidants that may decrease inflammation in the body and reduced the risk of diabetes.
Help with depression - A Harvard study shows that for women just two cups a day could potentially reduce the risk of depression by 15 percent.
Decreased risk of some cancers - Another specific benefit for women is the lowered risk of endometrial cancer, linked to the consumption of both decaffeinated and regular coffee.
Addictive properties - Drinking caffeine every day, their bodies get used to it, and they do not get the ‘good effects’ of feeling more awake and able to concentrate unless they use more of it.” Withdrawal symptoms include headache, fatigue and becoming irritable if you miss your daily cup of Joe.
Sleep altering - Drinking caffeine within three to five hours before going to bed can make it hard to fall asleep, and make it more likely to wake up during the night. Because caffeine is a diuretic is can also cause frequent urination and that may result in frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Potential weight gain - Drinking a cup of black coffee has few calories, but it’s all about what you put in that cup. The empty calories and saturated fats of sugar and cream can quickly add up. And drinking a speciality coffee from your favorite cafe can really pack on the pounds. A Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino has 380 calories, and 18 grams of fat.