Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about drinking coffee while becoming a better, healthier eater. People always assume that coffee isn’t good for you, and that you should scrap it. Well, much like everything else on the quest to be a better, healthier you, moderation is key.

If you’re drinking more than two 8oz cups of coffee a day, you might want to think about scaling it back to one cup. There are some great benefits to coffee, but in the end, creating a dependance on caffeine for your body and energy, isn’t a good thing.

For that one-cup-o-joe, key things to remember: drink it black. If you can’t “do” black coffee, steer clear of sugar, creamers, etc. Use agave nectar, as it’s more natural and much better for you than processed sugars (something like Stevia is okay to use as well, but remember – moderation!). Ditch the creamer and use hormone-free whole milk. Small changes that will have your body thanking you later.

Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition wrote a pretty amazing piece on evidence-based benefits of coffee. Below is a quick look at the 13 benefits, but for a more comprehensive look, visit the full piece here.

13 benefits of coffee

1. Coffee Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, which leads to a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.

2. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat Several studies show that caffeine can increase fat burning in the body and boost the metabolic rate.

3. The Caffeine Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance Caffeine can increase adrenaline levels and release fatty acids from the fat tissues. It also leads to significant improvements in physical performance.

4. There Are Essential Nutrients in Coffee (surprise!) Coffee contains several important nutrients, including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin.

5. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes Several observational studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of getting type II diabetes, a serious disease that currently afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.

6. Coffee May Protect You From Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, which is a leading cause of dementia worldwide.

7. Caffeine May Lower The Risk of Parkinson’s Coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder.

8. Coffee Appears to Have Protective Effects on The Liver Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing cirrhosis, which can be caused by several diseases that affect the liver.

9. Coffee Can Fight Depression and Make You Happier Coffee appears to lower the risk of developing depression and may dramatically reduce the risk of suicide.

10. Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Some Types of Cancer Liver and colorectal cancer are the 3rd and 4th leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of both.

11. Coffee Does Not Cause Heart Disease and May Lower The Risk of Stroke Coffee may cause mild increases in blood pressure, which usually diminish over time. Coffee drinkers do not have an increased risk of heart disease, but a slightly lower risk of stroke.

12. Coffee May Help You Live Longer Several studies show that coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of premature death.

13. Coffee is The Biggest Source of Antioxidants in The Western Diet.

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