Health Benefits of Coffee

December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) A cup of coffee not only can provide a little pick-me-up, it may also bring some health benefits into your mug each morning.

Studies have shown compounds in coffee other than caffeine have positive effects on our bodies.

According to Tara Harwood, a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, some of the potential benefits of coffee are decreased risk of type-2
diabetes, decreased risk of Parkinson's disease, decreased risk of liver scirossis, improved cognition and a decreased risk of depression.

Studies have found over the years that there are hundreds of components in coffee that could potentially provide health benefits.

Many of them are antioxidants, but dietitians say the way to reap the most benefits from your coffee is to drink it black or with a little bit of skim milk.

Harwood says to avoid adding lots of sugar and cream because you're only adding calories.

Dietitians also say pay attention to the strength of your coffee.

The amount of caffeine in coffee varies and everyone reacts
differently to it.

Harwood says for those who don't drink coffee all of the time, caffeine may actually cause them to become agitated, and they may have difficulty falling asleep.

The good news for them is that decaffeinated coffee appears to provide some of the same health benefits.

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