For most of history, coffee was a drink for the rich. Now almost anyone can brew their own at home for pennies a mug, or pick up a pre-brewed cup for a few dollars.
If you drink your coffee black, there's some good news coming to you. Black coffee doesn't just give you an energy boost — it can keep you healthy in multiple ways.
Black coffee may be able to help manage symptoms of or even prevent a number of health problems. In moderation, black coffee may help:
Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention
Drinking coffee may help to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease affects one in every eight people aged 65 and older. Scientists estimate that the risk is 16% lower for coffee drinkers than non-coffee drinkers, but more studies still need to be done to confirm the connection.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Coffee may help to prevent some forms of cancer, including oral cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. Scientists haven’t determined why coffee can reduce cancer risk. Part of the reason may be that coffee is high in antioxidants, which some studies say can help to prevent cancer.
Reduced Risk of Cirrhosis
About 31,000 people die every year from cirrhosis of the liver. Studies show that drinking coffee can reduce your risk of cirrhosis, especially when the damage comes from alcohol. Drinking four or more cups a day can reduce your risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by as much as 80%. Drinking the same amount may reduce your risk of non-alcoholic cirrhosis by up to 30%.
Depression affects more than 18 million adults nationwide. Studies have shown that coffee may help to reduce depression risk, especially if you drink four or more cups per day.
People who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mostly affects adults. It develops when someone’s body can’t use insulin to get glucose (sugar) into cells, so sugar builds up in the blood instead.
Multiple studies show that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of diabetes. One group of researchers found that the risk is 35% lower for people who drink six or more cups of coffee per day and 28% lower for people who drink four to six cups. Another study showed that for every extra cup of coffee a person drinks per day, their risk of developing diabetes drops by 7%.
The caffeine content in coffee can help with weight management. Research shows that you burn more calories when you consume coffee regularly throughout the day. Coffee also helps your body to burn more fat, especially when you exercise.
Parkinson’s Disease Prevention
Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease mostly affects older adults. The most common symptoms are shaking, muscle stiffness, and changes in speech and walking.
Research shows that the more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to develop Parkinson’s. Scientists believe that the caffeine in coffee is responsible. According to another study, though, it may not work if you take estrogen as hormone therapy.
Black coffee is rich in antioxidants, which can fight cell damage and reduce your risk of serious health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Coffee is the primary source of antioxidants in most American diets.
Black coffee also contains high levels of:
- Vitamin B2
Nutrients per Serving
One serving of black coffee contains:
- Calories: 2
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Sodium: 5 milligrams
A single serving of black coffee is 8 ounces, much less than you’d get from most commercial-sized cups of coffee.
Keep in mind that there are about 96 milligrams of caffeine in that single serving, and it's not a good idea to take in more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. If you're a big coffee drinker, keep track of your intake and avoid going over 4 cups daily.
How to Prepare Black Coffee
You can get coffee in various stages of readiness, from raw beans to pre-brewed coffee from your local coffee shop. The taste of your coffee will depend on the type of bean, as some have a stronger flavor than others.
Freshly ground beans tend to taste better. After that point, what you do to prepare your coffee is a personal decision. Try some of these ways of brewing black coffee:
- An auto-drip coffee maker
- The pour-over method
- A French press
- An AeroPress