It seems that almost every day or every other day, we're told something we enjoy (butter, sugar, salt, bacon, red meat, the list goes on) is really bad for us. On the days we're not being told those things are bad for us, we're being told they're great for us and we should eat or have more!

Coffee is one of the items on that list. As a bona fide Cajun who grew up in Abbeville, I started drinking coffee at an early age with 'coffee milk.' I developed a taste for 'stronger stuff' when I started competing in speech tournaments in high school, and have been a coffee lover (addict?) ever since.

Before you read this article about how good coffee is for you, bear in mind that you affect how much good it does for you by what you put in it. Caramel, chocolate, or other syrups with sugar and who knows what else? Kinda defeats the purpose. A nice cafe au lait with skim or drinking it black is the best way to go. If you get a properly brewed cup of coffee (try the pour - over coffee at Great Harvest to see what I'm talking about), you don't need to put anything in it at all.

Here are just a few ways coffee is good for you. Click here for more.

  • 1

    The Brain

    The caffeine in coffee blocks the effects of adenosine, which causes more neurons to fire in the brain and the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and nor-epinephrine.

    Trials have show that these effects can improve your mood, reaction time, memory, and the overall function of your brain.

    Drinking coffee can also protect your brain from neurological disorders. Coffee drinkers have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in some studies. Some research has shown that coffee consumption can help lower the risk of Parkinson's by 32 - 60 %.


    Coffee at the cafe, (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
  • 2

    The Body

    The caffeine in coffee strikes again, creating a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that raises metabolism and helps with the loss of fats.

    Coffee is also rich in vitamins and other nutrients. An 8 oz. cup of coffee has:

    6% of the RDA for Vitamin B5

    11% of the RDA for Vitamin B2

    2% of the RDA for vitamins B3 and B1

    3% of the RDA for potassium and manganese

    Finally, like Steve pointed out recently, coffee can also help your liver combat the ill effects of drinking too much alcohol!


    Photothek via Getty Images