Go ahead, brew and pour. Previous studies have shown that coffee can lower your risk of diabetes, liver cancer, Alzheimer's and skin cancer. Here are three new reasons to drink your coffee and feel good about it:
1. Boost your blood flow
A new study presented at an American Heart Association meeting found that young adults who drank a cup of caffeinated coffee boosted their blood flow compared to when they drank decaf. Researchers looked at blood flow in the finger, which indicates how well the body's smallest blood vessels--particularly, the inner linings of these blood vessels--work.
Studies have linked poor function of this lining to an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. The researchers suspect that caffeine opens up blood vessels and has anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Improve y your outlook
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed data from three large studies-of nearly 200,000 adults--and found that the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was half that of those who drank decaf or little or no coffee. The researchers believe that caffeine boosts neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline--acting as a mild antidepressant.
3. Cut your risk of oral cancer
People who drank at least one cup of caffeinated coffee a day cut their risk of developing throat or mouth cancer compared to those who drank none. The risk was 20 percent lower among those who drank one to two cups daily and 50 percent less if they drank more than four cups, states a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The authors say more research needs to be done to understand why.
Sustainable solution to single-cup coffee makers
If you love the convenience of single-serving coffee makers but hate how those plastic cups are piling up in landfills, three brands now offer a biodegradable, single-cup solution: Canterbury Coffee's OneCoffee, San Francisco Bay's OneCup and Organic Coffee Company's OneCup.
(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at http://www.eatingwell.com.)
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