If you love coffee, recent research simply reaffirms what you already know. Coffee is good for you. But, if you find the hot, bitter beverage – which many people claim smells a lot better than it tastes – hard to swallow you might need to consider finding ways to acquire a taste for it. (A simple, skinny frappe recipe at the end of the post will help you get started.)
The proven health benefits that can be gained by drinking a couple of cups coffee every day are remarkable and continue to grow. A lower risk of developing primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, can be added to the list. PSC is a disease that leads to cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and biliary cancer.
A study led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN looked at 1,334 patients from 2002 to 2012. Of the test group, 530 had primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), 348 had PSC and 456 were in a healthy control group.
On average, patients with PSC had 50 cups of coffee a month and had been coffee drinkers for half of their lives. Participants that did not have PBC or PSC reported that they drank an average of 78 cups of coffee per month and had been coffee drinkers for nearly two thirds of their lives.
The results indicated that drinking coffee was linked to a lower risk for PSC. Drinking coffee was not, however, associated with a lower risk of developing PBC.
Prior studies show that coffee protects the liver from the harmful effects of alcohol by reducing levels of the liver enzyme gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT).
Coffee Is Good For More Than Your Liver
And coffee doesn’t just help keep your liver healthy. Research has revealed that coffee drinkers benefit from a whole slew of perks that includes a lower risk for developing diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, basal cell carcinoma, and depression.
One study showed coffee drinks have a significantly reduced risk of developing mouth and pharynx cancer.
“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biologically active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers,” the study’s lead author, Janet Hildebrand, said in a society news release. “Although it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in the world. Our finding strengthens the evidence of a possible protective effect of caffeinated coffee in the etiology and/or progression of cancers of the mouth and pharynx.”
Many of us can’t imagine a day without java so getting two or three cups in before noon isn’t a problem. If you’re not a fan, you might think drinking a cup of coffee would be no different than taking a large dose of medicine. Adding creamers, sweeteners, and spices can make coffee more palatable to non-coffee drinkers, but these add-ins often come with additional fat and calories.
Iced Caramel Frappe
Try this tasty iced coffee drink for a healthy dose of antioxidants and polyphenols that won’t wreck your waistline.
1 cup of strong black coffee, chilled
½ cup of skim milk
2 tablespoons of low-fat caramel liquid coffee creamer (or your favorite flavor)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Add ice until you get the drink to the consistency you like. Experiment with coffee creamer flavors to add variety.
What’s your favorite low-cal coffee beverage?
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