Most people when asked about coffee will say ‘don't drink too much, it's not good for you', ‘don't drink it at night, it will keep you awake'. That might be true for a small minority, but for the majority of us there are many positive reasons why drinking a cup of coffee could well be doing us good.
Coffee is one of the drinks available to keep us alert and to keep the brain firing on all cylinders. There are other drinks that can provide caffeine, the compound responsible, but none offer the other health benefits of coffee.
In recent times there have been many scientific papers that have linked the consumption with reductions in chronic illness. A study in Japan indicated that two cups of coffee a day resulted in a 40% decrease in the chance of getting cirrhosis of the liver.
Research in Finland suggests that middle-aged adults who regularly drink a cup of coffee may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life. There has even been a study that has shown that having a cup of coffee a day will reduce the chances of committing suicide by 13% per cup.
A healthy diet with good nutritional balance is well recognised as important in reducing the risk of many diseases. Our mind automatically turns to fruit and vegetables, never coffee. Yet, coffee contains chlorogenic acids and these have been shown to reduce the harmful effect of cholesterol. Research has also revealed coffee has beneficial effects in reducing some cancers, types of diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
Yet, like all good things, there is a limit. For most people, 400mg of caffeine is about the daily maximum and that equates to about four to five cups of coffee.
And that is not all. Coffee is a major international commodity with over five million tonnes produced annually across 50 plus countries. It makes a major contribution to the economy of many of those countries.
It's time we all looked at coffee in a new light, time to offer coffee as a health drink.