Special Report

18 Reasons to Drink Coffee for Your Health

Further Details and Methodology:

Though exactly when and where coffee was discovered is a matter for speculation and debate, coffee was being cultivated for commercial purposes on the Arabian Peninsula as early as the 15th century. Coffee made its way to European shores in the 17th century and was brought to New York shortly thereafter — though tea would remain the prefered drink in colonial America for some years to come.

Coffee’s many health benefits are derived from a number of the drink’s properties, not the least of which is its caffeine content.

Every morning, millions of Americans start their day with a cup joe to wake up and feel more alert. In addition to waking you up, coffee offers additional benefits.

Caffeine, whether in coffee or tea, has been linked to significant reduced risk of a number of diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

Several other ingredients, more unique to coffee than tea, also have health benefits of their own. For example, chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant found in coffee beans, has been shown to prevent retinal damage that can lead to vision loss. Additionally, coffee appears to reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis, regardless of caffeine content.

However, many of coffee’s purported medical benefits have some serious caveats. For many diseases on this list, including type 2 diabetes and liver cancer, the risk appears to decline as coffee consumption goes up. And as the Mayo Clinic notes, more than four cups of coffee a day can cause irritability, upset stomach, migraine headaches, and muscle tremors — side effects that may outweigh any potential benefit.