7 Health Benefits You Didn't Know About Coffee

Most of us wake up in the morning with a few things on our mind -- all of which we can muddle through much faster with a sip of finely roasted, sustainable coffee. Lucky for insomniacs and the over caffeinated, coffee can actually benefit your health (so go ahead and have that third cup).

Here's a round up of some healthy impacts coffee has on our bodies that you may not have known before.

1. A panel from the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments found compelling evidence that 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day is associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease because of its minerals like magnesium and chromium, which help to control your blood sugar.

2. Coffee has also been found to be good for your liver, and can even reduce your risk for cancer. In fact, a group of Italian researchers found that drinking coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer by about 40 percent.

3.  According to the USDA, we're the biggest consumers of coffee -- so it's no wonder that it's also the number one source of antioxidants for Americans.  Luckily, many studies say that a diet rich in antioxidants can improve heart health and may even help lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. Joe Vinson, Ph.D., lead researcher of a study on coffee at the University of Scranton, said that "Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close."

4. It can help you live longer. A study from the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 analyzed the habits of 402, 260 individuals between the ages of 50 and 71  and found that people who drank coffee had a much lower risk of dying over the 12-13 year study period.

5. It  can improve your mood. A study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 50 percent reduced risk of suicide in men and women who drank several cups of coffee on a regular basis. The caffeine in coffee not only stimulates the central nervous system but may also serve as a mild antidepressant by increasing production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. Many also believe this may be linked to a lower risk of depression among avid coffee drinkers.

6. It can prevent blindness. Cornell University researchers published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that found chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant in coffee, prevented retinal degeneration (all the better so you can appreciate latte art).

7.  It prevents cancer. A new study involving more than 450,000 people found that "people who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 20 percent less likely than non-drinkers to develop malignant melanoma, and people who chose caffeinated coffee in particular were even less likely to develop it. "

But don't chug so fast: there is one caveat to drinking that deliciousness. Obviously, if you're getting jitters or headaches after missing a cup or two, chances are, you're drinking too much, but for the most part, studies have shown that there are minimal health risks associated with drinking between three and five cups of joe per day.

 Please don't be Dwight.

Post written by Nadia Sikander