Is there a better way to start the day than with a good cup of coffee? Many of us are so dependent on our daily pick-me-up that we’d drink it even if it wasn’t so good for us. But, happily, study after study has come out suggesting that coffee has a multitude of health benefits, from undoing the negative effects from drinking alcohol, to lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and even helping you to live longer.
As if you needed any more excuses to indulge in that extra cup of joe, we’ve got a new one for you: Drinking coffee could help protect your brain. New research from The Journals of Gerontology found that people who consumed a higher-than-average daily amount of caffeine were less likely to develop dementia or other cognitive impairment.
So how much coffee is enough to reap these benefits? The study found that women who consumed an average of 261 mg of caffeine (had a “36 percent reduction in the risk of incident dementia over 10 years of follow-up.” That’s about two or three 8-ounce cups of “regular-strength” coffee or a tall Pike’s Place coffee at Starbucks. The study looked at 6,467 women over the age of 65 and adjusted for other risk factors including hormone therapy, age, race, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption.
The authors do caution that the results of the study aren’t enough to establish an irrefutable relationship between caffeine consumption and the avoidance of dementia, but with all of the other health benefits we’ve already noted, we see no reason not to drink up.
So go ahead and order that extra cappuccino in the morning—with any luck, it will keep you awake for the day, and your mind sharp in the future!
Photo by waferboard