An expert review of over 100 research studies has concluded that yes, coffee is generally good for you, and has specific, very measurable health benefits. It can fight disease, and make you live longer, but you have to drink it the right way to get all of the benefits.
Two separate meta-analyses in the UK and Italy, looked at the findings from multiple studies and randomized controlled trials to determine the health effects of drinking lots of coffee vs a small amount of coffee, vs no coffee at all. They found that:
- Drinking two to four cups of coffee per day had the most health benefits
- Drinking coffee was associated with a 2%-20% reduced risk of cancer, depending on the cancer type
- The risk of Type 2 Diabetes reduces by 30%
- The risk of contracting Parkinson's disease was reduced by 30%
- The risk of cardiovascular disease reduces by 19%, coronary heart disease by 16%, and stroke by 30%
- High coffee consumption was associated with low birth weight in pregnancy, mainly due to caffeine than the compounds found in coffee
- There may also be some reduction of risk for Dementia, but this needs further study
What makes coffee good for you?
Similar to how a Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables, can increase lifespan and reduce illness. Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of over 1,000 bioactive compounds, some with therapeutic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, and anticancer effects. The natural antioxidants help to repair your DNA, calm stress-related inflammation, and improve the efficiency of the enzymes that regulate insulin and glucose.
What is the best brew method to reap all of the health benefits?
Ideally you should brew your coffee black for the most health benefits. Take a look at our Pour Over Guide to learn how to brew the best coffee. Other methods such as French Press or Espresso are just as good for you. But you do start to lose some of the health benefits when you start to add creamers, artificial flavours, and sugar.
The reason that people add so many flavourings and sweeteners to coffee is because they start with poor quality coffee in the first place. Freshly roasted coffee like Black Creek, has so much flavour and sweetness, you don't need to add anything at all!
Will coffee make me live longer?
Yes. For 'all cause mortality', i.e. all causes of death, drinking coffee was associated with an average of 10% reduction in ALL causes. The results were also similar for decaffeinated coffee, showing that the effects are from the many compounds found within coffee, rather than caffeine. The largest benefit to lifespan was from three cups per day.
On average, coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers. In contrast, a similar meta-analysis of tea didn't produce similar results, with negligible health benefits.
So in conclusion, yes, coffee is a superfood. It's good for your physical health, and can also reduce the risk of neurological diseases and depression. So drink more, live long and prosper.