My love affair with coffee is a recent one.  I have always loved the smell of coffee brewing, but I never enjoyed the taste…until I discovered words like cappuccinolattemacchiato, and espresso.  Now I can’t live without my coffee!

But is it healthy?

Coffee contains caffeine which stimulates your adrenal glands and gives you that energy boost, but too much stimulation can be harmful.  It can cause anxiety, irritability, and sleeplessness.  Caffeine is also a natural diuretic.  Moderation is important because you can deplete your vitamin B and calcium supply.

The good news?  According to FitnessRx for Womenwhen consumed in moderation coffee can be part of a healthy diet.  Here are some benefits of drinking coffee regularly and in moderation:

• Appetite suppression. The caffeine in coffee may reduce your desire to eat.

• Calorie burning.  Caffeine increases both lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and thermogenesis (calorie burning) for a period of time after ingestion. (Bodybuilding.com)

• Cellulite reduction.  According to the Mayo Clinic, eighty percent of women have some degree of cellulite on their hips, thighs and butt.  The caffeine in coffee can increase the blood flow to the area, diminishing the appearance of cellulite.

• Decreased risk of cancer.  Some studies suggest that the caffeine in coffee can help decrease the risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer.  Preliminary research also suggests that coffee may be protective against obesity-associated cancers such as prostate

• Antioxidant effect.  Coffee contains polyphenols, which help protect cells from oxidation, regulate insulin, and reduce inflammation.  Coffee has many antioxidants that help reduce DNA damage.  The caffeine in coffee may help prevent diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease (based on a Harvard Medical School study), and gallstones. (Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D.)

• Decreased risk of diabetes.  Coffee has an effect on insulin.  A report in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry reported that people who drink coffee have a 50 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

• Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias reported that caffeine may help protect against developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

I will not be giving up my coffee anytime soon!  In my personal opinion, coffee is natural, delicious, and has many health and beauty benefits.  Just remember that moderation is important.  So grab your mug, and drink up!

For more information on the health benefits of coffee, click here.

(photo credit here)