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Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm

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The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Benefits Drinking CoffeeYou wake up a little later than you wanted for your 8:30 a.m. class. You rush to get ready, but there is one thing in your routine you cannot miss -- a warm (or iced) cup of coffee to get you through the day.

Whether it is a stop at Dunkin Donuts, Rook Coffee or you brew your own at home, coffee is an essential part of many people’s day. However, for years, we have heard about the dangers of drinking too much coffee. And while caffeine is addictive, there are many positives to coffee that will make you feel a little less worried when reaching for that coffee cup.

The Harvard Medical School published an article which claimed that people who were avid coffee drinkers have reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and liver cancer, among other diseases.

Maria Ruiz, a senior biology student with a concentration in molecular cell physiology, said that she loves her morning cup of coffee and the health benefits it provides. “Being Colombian, coffee is just a part of the culture. But the antioxidants in coffee are great for your skin,” she said.

In Colombia, she recalls seeing first-hand accounts of the workers that worked with their coffee. “Coffee is great for your skin, which is why a lot of people use it in face masks. In Colombia, the people who pick the coffee have sun damage in their faces, but their hands are incredibly smooth. It’s an amazing sight.” Adding a bit of coffee to your daily routine could not only keep you awake in class, but possible improve your complexion too.

According to Heathline, “Many controlled studies in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function.”

Essentially, coffee can help improve memory, which is why it really is a great friend during study sessions.

Polina Amburg, a specialist professor of nursing, said, “Coffee is known to stimulate alertness in many people, to act as a stimulant, and to increase blood pressure.”

However, just be aware that while there are proven health benefits to coffee, everyone’s body reacts to it differently. “Not everyone responds positively to drinking coffee, and people with certain health conditions may have negative health outcomes, including, but not limited to hypertension,” Amburg added.

Another miraculous benefit of coffee is that it can help combat depression. In a 2011 Harvard study, it was discovered that women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of becoming depressed. There are so many benefits to indulging in a coffee treat.

Although there are some downsides to too much coffee, if taken in moderation, it could provide some health benefits along with the extra needed boost in the mornings. Taylor Mitchell, a criminal justice graduate student, said that she needs her morning coffee, but will not freak out if she does not have it.

“I love coffee, but you see some people who turn into different people without it. I think if you drink too much, like everything, the negatives will outweigh the benefits that coffee can give,” Mitchell said.

It is always important to remember that because coffee can be addictive, and we should moderate our intake. Amburg noted, “In general, if a person does not experience negative consequences of drinking coffee, they may enjoy a cup or two here and there.”

If the taste of coffee is not something you enjoy, you could still enjoy the benefits of it by using it in your beauty routine. For instance, Shea Moisture offers a ground coffee scrub to exfoliate skin.

If nothing else, you could use this article when someone claims you drink too much coffee and you need an excuse to enjoy your fourth cup of Joe.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jenna Puglisi

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