No matter how you feel about coffee—love it or hate it— coffee is everywhere around us. It’s the piping hot liquid that keeps thousands of coffee shops afloat all around the world, and it’s the essential ingredient in most every diner, truck stop, convenience store, and restaurant wherever it is you live and work, big city or small.
The good news about coffee, besides its unique ability to perk us up when we’re flagging, is that research shows that it’s actually good for our minds and bodies. Here are 9 reasons why you might want to pour yourself another cup.
1. It may make you feel less pain
According to a study conducted in Brazil, caffeine possesses a protein—similar to morphine—that has a mild, tranquilizing effect that can actually reduce the pain you feel while relieving stress.
2. It could help reduce your chances of Alzheimer’s
In a study published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was found that in people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day at midlife, levels of the protein associated with Alzheimer’s are greatly reduced.
3. It could help you improve your heart health
Researchers have found that those who consume four or more cups of coffee a day are 18 percent less likely to require hospitalization for abnormal heart rhythms than people who don’t drink coffee at all. Even the consumption of less coffee each day—one to three cups—was found to reduce risk by 7 percent.
4. It might help you remember better
Studies reveal that coffee blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. This mechanism improves short-term memory—something all of us could use more of.
5. It may reduce your chance of cancer
According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, drinking four cups of coffee a day has actually been shown to decrease the risk of developing malignant melanoma, which is a particularly dangerous type of skin cancer, by 20 percent.
6. It may help you burn more fat
Caffeine has been shown to increase fat burning from 10 to 29 percent. Not bad for something that is relatively inexpensive and can be found most anyplace.
7. It could improve your mood
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who consumed four cups of coffee or more a day had a 20 percent lower chance of developing clinical depression when compared to those who did not.
8. It could lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Surprisingly, a recent study found that coffee drinkers have a 23 to 50 percent lowered chance of getting type 2 diabetes, a disease that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is largely preventable.
9. It may lower the risk of death
Despite what many people may consider coffee’s more negative attributes, few know that it’s a very powerful antioxidant, which reduce damaging chemicals from destroying our minds and bodies. In fact, it was found that when people between the ages of 50 and 71 included a daily cup of Joe in their everyday routine, they actually reduced the chance of death by serious health conditions.