Pre-programmed drip coffee maker – ah, yes, thank you, that enticing bouquet of freshly-brewed coffee dancing around my nose, bequiling me to yes, pull back those covers, face the cold and get to work, Lady. Nothing like coffee to say Yes!
For 38 years, bleary-eyed, I’ve either boiled water to transform instant Maxwell House to magic, pressed those pungent grounds into joy, or ground beans into a saving Grace. (I had the ultimate in freshness – a coffee maker that would grind the beans just before it brewed the coffee but it sounded like a jet airplane taking off. It woke my neighbors. I had to abandon it.)
And for years, I’ve been perplexed – do I stop this habit some call addiction, this daily requisite of mine. Go caffeine-free, get magical joyful Grace on the yoga mat instead? (FYI, caffeine doesn’t fall into the addiction but rather dependent mode. It’s physical, not mental.)
NO, I cry out! I feel compelled to forge ahead. There are indeed health benefits to coffee – or caffeine to be clear.
- 2-4 cups of coffee a day can help keep the blues away. In the Archives of Internal Medicine, a study shows that a cuppa jo’ in the morning, midday and afternoon yield us women-folk 15% less likely to suffer from depression. Up that to 20% for 4 cups a day.
- In the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 4-5 cups of coffee a day helps stave off Alzheimer’s disease. This same journal reports the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease can be reduced by 25% just from 2-3 cups a day.
- In a review in Archives of Internal Medicine, risk of Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 7% per cup of coffee.
- For men, prostate cancer is reduced by 60% when drinking 6 cups of coffee a day and 1-3 cups a day cuts risk by 30%. This from a Harvard School of Public Health study in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
- Researchers from Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women who drink 3 or more cups of coffee a day have a 20% lower risk of basal cell carcinoma, a non-malignant form of skin cancer, while men had a 9 percent lower risk.