If you, like many Americans, drink a cup of coffee or two each morning to get going, you're probably not thinking of it as a health supplement. As Everyday Health points out, most people use coffee mainly as a vehicle for caffeine, which "might be the most popular drug in the world." Many people even (wrongly) associate drinking coffee with health problems like stunted growth.
However, coffee fiends will find no solid reason to give up their habit in the body of research on the drink's effects on health. In fact, coffee has been linked to the prevention of several aging-related diseases, making it a strong ally in the fight for greater longevity.
First of all, drinking three to five eight-ounce cups of black coffee per day has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. One study found that drinking four cups per day seemed to be the ideal for heart health, with heart failure rates bottoming out around that level of consumption.
Secondly, a major study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. The researchers believe this may have something to do with the antioxidants and magnesium in coffee.
Finally, coffee may help to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. A study from the University of Miami found that none of the participants who drank significant amounts of coffee progressed from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's over the course of four years.