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Nutritional breakdown of coffee
Regular black coffee (without milk or cream) has a very low calorie count. A typical cup of black coffee only contains around 2 calories.
However, if you add sugar and milk, the calorie count can shoot up.
Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S., according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
Joe Vinson, Ph.D., lead author of the study, said that "Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close."2
The authors of the study emphasize moderation, stating that only one or two cups a day appear to be beneficial.
Caffeinated and decaffeinated versions provided nearly the same levels of antioxidants.
Previous studies have linked regular caffeine intake to extra heartbeats - a common occurrence that can nevertheless lead to heart problems, stroke and death in rare cases. Now, in the first study to date that looks at long-term caffeine consumption, researchers conclude that regular caffeine consumption is not linked to extra heartbeats.
Risks and precautions
Drinking too much coffee can result in some very unpleasant adverse effects. According to a study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma, "caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms in normal individuals, especially in vulnerable patients, like those with pre-existing anxiety disorders."13
In addition, "caffeine use is also associated with symptoms of depression due to either a self-medication theory, or a theory that caffeine itself causes changes in mood."Women who plan on becoming pregnant should be cautious. Researchers from the University of Nevada School of Medicine reported in the British Journal of Pharmacology that regular coffee may reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.14
Medical News Today examined the positive and negative effects of drinking coffee in an article in July 2012, Drinking Coffee: More Good Than Harm?.
Previous studies have suggested coffee consumption may lower the risk of mild cognitive impairment. But new research suggests this protective effect may depend on how coffee consumption habits change over time.
Young adults with mild cases of high blood pressure may want to steer clear of coffee, as new research suggests drinking the beverage could increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks in this population.
Scientists from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK and the University of Colorado have made a discovery that may hold the key to how caffeine consumption affects the underlying body clock.
A new study confirms the presence of mycotoxins in commercial coffee samples, leading to concerns about potential public health risks.
Have you enjoyed reading about the potential health benefits of coffee? Take a look at our collection of articles about other foods and drinks.
Alternatively, read our article about the top 10 healthy foods for your daily diet.