International Coffee Day: five reasons to indulge
WHETHER you prefer it as thick as tar, or as light and frothy as a cloud, there's a good chance you started your day off with a cup of joe.
Monday marked International Coffee Day, but if you passed over the caffeinated beverage in favour of a green juice or water this morning here are some reasons why you ought to reconsider...
Coffee can help you burn fat
Ok, so if you order the extra-large vanilla latte with whipped cream on top, you're probably not doing your figure any favours.
However, research has shown that caffeine can help to boost your metabolism. One or two cups a day can increase your metabolic rate by up to 10 per cent.
It makes you less tired
You probably already knew that - and you also know that there's no substitute for a good night's sleep. But that doesn't mean that coffee doesn't provide a boost when you need it.
Caffeine is a stimulant that makes you feel more alert and focused so, as long as you apply the rules of moderation, that morning cuppa could be just the ticket.
Video: Your morning coffee in slow motion:
Coffee can help to protect against Alzheimer's
Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. They discovered that adults who drink an average of three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop Alzheimer's.
Study author Dr Cao said: "We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer's disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer's or delay its onset."
It can reduce the risk of depression
Coffee is linked to a lower risk for depression, particularly in women - provided it's drunk without sweeteners (farewell flavoured syrups).
Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee cut the risk of clinical depression by 20 per cent when compared with drinking one or fewer cups per week.
Coffee may prolong your life
Researchers form the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that adults who drink three of more cups of coffee a day have a 10 per cent lower risk of death.
Study author Neal Freedman said: "We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes. Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health."
And finally… festive drinks
It's not exactly a "health" benefit but part of being healthy is being happy, right? The nights are drawing in and during the long winter days a cinnamon spice latte or mint chocolate mocha could be the one thing makes everything else seem that little bit better.