Dietitian Tips: The Health Benefits of Coffee

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Every day, millions of people around the world wake up and set about the same task – making their morning cup of coffee. Depending on where you are, that cup of coffee might come in the form of a latte, an espresso, a flat white, an americano, or just some good old Folgers classic roast. But no matter your preference, every cup of coffee comes with a few secret health benefits.

Coffee beans are the seeds from a fruit called a coffee cherry. The fruit is dried or pulped to release the beans, then roasted and ground. While mostly known for its caffeine content, coffee is a mix of a wide range of phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins. It contains more than 1,000 bioactive compounds and a higher number of antioxidants than you’d find in a typical serving of tea. Coffee drinking has been associated with lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Coffee consumption can also lead to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

While coffee does have numerous health benefits, it should be noted that caffeine can be detrimental to those with certain health conditions, like anxiety or ADHD. Likewise, coffee may not be the best choice for people with esophageal conditions like GERD or who struggle with insomnia.

Also, be cautious about what you add to your coffee. Adding creamer and syrup sweeteners can add many additional calories and unnecessary sugars. Try dusting your cup of coffee with cinnamon or cocoa powder to give it some extra flavor without adding fat, sugar, and calories.

If you want to chat more about coffee’s health benefits, give me a call at 319-297-8637 or stop by my office in The Woodlands.

– Brooke Hershberger, Meth-Wick Staff Dietitian

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