People “give up” coffee the way they do cigarettes and red meat, but numerous studies tell us that unlike those other vices, America’s liquid breakfast of choice has many health benefits.

A post on Authority Nutrition lays out 13 such benefits, though there is some repetition. (If you want to check the data, the site includes welcome footnotes to its source studies.)

Here are the highlights: In addition to making you more alert and happy (big shock), evidence suggests coffee can prevent brain maladies such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Coffee drinkers are also much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Coffee also helps you burn fat and improves memory function. It’s nutritious, filled with antioxidants and other goodies. It may reduce the risk of some cancers, is possibly good for your liver and may help with depression.

Oh, and it probably makes you live longer: “In two very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% lower risk of death in women, over a period of 18-24 years.”

So why do people fear caffeine? Like any drug, you can overdose. This results in a case of the jitters. But it’s not clear that getting too big a caffeine buzz is all that bad for you. Coffee can increase your blood pressure, though probably not to a detrimental degree. It is not, contrary to popular myth, a cause of heart disease, at least according to these cited studies. In fact, coffee may reduce your risk of stroke.

This is not a prescription. To each her own, and moderation in all things. Good health is about making informed choices based on the best information at hand — and no one should make big lifestyle changes based on numbered Internet posts (even those backed by science).

But if you feel guilty enjoying that cuppa joe, give yourself a break.

Note: This post is about coffee, a black liquid beverage made from roasted beans. The health benefits of cream and sugar with a dash of java — what many Americans call “coffee” but would more accurately be described as a milkshake, are probably not the same.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.