Coffee and Cancer

Could drinking coffee actually be good for you? Or is it another one of those things that you love that scientists believe is bad for your health? It’s an important question, as we just can’t seem to drink enough coffee; over 400 billion cups are consumed worldwide each year.

If you’re drinking coffee while reading this blog, relax. Have another sip, even another cup, and enjoy some good news. Several studies of coffee drinkers conducted over the past few years have concluded that coffee might actually be good for you. That’s great news for those of us who look forward to our morning cup (or 2, or 3, or . . .) of java.

Scientists have known for quite some time that coffee has very few calories——two calories per cup, unless, of course, your cup of coffee just happens to be laden down with sugar, creme, or other unhealthy additives. Coffee also contains antioxidants which help reduce oxidative stress and protect the cells in your body. Although other things, such as berries, beans, and fruits contain higher levels of antioxidants, researchers have found that most people get more of their antioxidants from their coffee than any other source.

There is increasing evidence that consumption of coffee may cut the risk for developing certain types of cancer. A recent study conducted by a research team at Imperial College in London of 2,800 women with cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) found that the women who drank four cups of coffee per day had an 18 percent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer than women who drank less than one cup a day.

There is a long way to go to in researching the relationship between coffee and cancer, but it does appear that the antioxidants in coffee may play an important role in cancer prevention. If coffee is not your thing, don’t worry. Green and black teas have up to 10 times as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables.

So for now, it appears that we can drink our coffee with good conscience, even though it’s no excuse for not eating our fruits and vegetables.

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