“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” -Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), You’ve Got Mail
Coffee, a stimulant we consume in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Besides the desired caffeinated outcome of coffee consumption, why do American’s consume an average of 3 cups per day or 45+ million pounds of coffee each year? The coffee business is a $30 billion a year industry that feeds foodie fixations, is an affordable luxury, a boost of disease-fighting antioxidants, a versatile ingredient, and an intoxicating aroma that brings people together.
Coffee has become so important that it has turned into a town square where people stop between the home and office, study from, conduct meetings, and gather as a place to socialize. Coffee, in itself, has also greatly changed from home brewed black coffee to baristas at home and coffeehouses that produce gourmet, gussied-up coffees such as lattes and espresso using exotic beans to accommodate coffee connoisseurs.
Regardless of how you like your coffee, Tall. Decafe. Cappuccino. Your cup of Joe has potential health benefits. In fact, research has shown that coffee drinkers (not Venti. Full Fat. Latte. Drinkers.) are less likely, to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia in addition to fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.
With that in mind, here are 11 reasons why drinking your morning cup(s) of Joe is not such a bad habit after all.
1) Coffee contains antioxidants
2) Smelling coffee can make you less stressed
3) Coffee may decrease signs of Parkinson’s disease
4) Coffee is great for your liver (may decrease liver cirrhosis from excessive alcohol consumption)
5) Coffee can make you feel happier
6) Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide
7) Coffee may reduce your chances of skin cancer
8) Coffee can make you a better athlete
9) Coffee may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
10) Coffee may keep your brain healthier for longer
11) Coffee may make you more intelligent due to the caffeine
Although coffee has more benefits than risks this does not warrant increasing current coffee consumption. It is still important to be mindful of coffee habits and to not use coffee drinks as the sole source of beverage consumption. Beverages such as milk are still needed in the diet due to their nutrition profile. In addition, consumption of gourmet coffee drinks such as full fat lattes can add calories quickly as some coffee drinks contain greater than 500 calories. Therefore, be mindful of your choices and amounts but continue to enjoy the aroma, health benefits, and social aspects that coffee brews inside of us!