Most people can't function without a hot cup of coffee as their morning pick me up. Unfairly, coffee has been tied to unhealthy habits like smoking and sitting in cafe's discussing politics.
Recently scientists have been putting coffee under the metaphorical and literal microscope to see what effect coffee drinking has on health. Surprisingly, they've found that not only is coffee drinking safe, it may ward off Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In fact, a JAMA study found that those that gulp at least six cups of Joe per day were 22 percent less likely to have diabetes compared to those that don't drink coffee.
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Scientists think that coffee works by:
Regulating Hormones: They don't get a lot of press, but your hormones are a critical part of Type 2 diabetes development... and that doesn't only include insulin. UCLA researchers have found that a protein in the body called SHBG is low in people with Type 2 diabetes. However, drinking coffee increases SHBG levels, starting a hormone cascade that can help even out hormones like testosterone that have gone out of whack.
Caffeine: Coffee surely isn't popular because of its nasty, bitter taste... it's the caffeine! In addition to getting you up and out the door in the morning, caffeine has a number of potential health benefits. Firstly, because it stimulates the central nervous system, caffeine moderately boosts metabolism. Studies also suggest that caffeine opens up your cell's insulin receptors, making the insulin your body makes work better.
Magnesium: Coffee is loaded with the essential mineral magnesium. Magnesium is an essential part of carbohydrate metabolism. Without enough magnesium, your body isn't able to process carbohydrates effectively. This may cause a "back-up" of carbs waiting to be processed, resulting in elevated sugar levels.
Antioxidants: Your morning Starbucks may not be as antioxidant rich as a handful of blueberries, but that doesn't mean that coffee is some sort of antioxidant slouch. Antioxidants are special molecules found only in food that act as bodyguards for your body's cells. If your body is lacking antioxidants, cells are left vulnerable like a quarterback without and offensive line.
Cellular damage significantly increases inflammation, a surefire risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Coffee is bursting with a unique antioxidant known as Trigonelline. A study published in Diabetes Care found that Trigonelline had a special beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.
To keep coffee a healthy choice, avoid adding milk, cream or sugar. Instead, flavor your coffee with fat-free milk, cinnamon or natural vanilla.
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