Image: Black coffee all round

Jay Houhlias

It’s safe to say that coffee is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world. But despite this, it seems to have a bad wrap.

Coffee is seen by many as addictive and detrimental to health due to its high caffeine content.

However, what if I were to tell you that coffee and caffeine are known to enhance short-term memory and cognitive function? Of course you knew that, in fact, that’s probably why you drink it! But this isn’t the only reason to drink coffee.

According to a paper from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , regular coffee consumption could actually reduce the risks of metabolic issues by keeping insulin and blood levels more regular.

There is also research to suggest that regular use of coffee could even help defend your brain against cognitive decline.

The deciding factor in whether or not your coffee consumption is good for you seems to depend on what you’re having your coffee with.

If you drink your coffee with dollops of cream and loads of sugar, you’re probably reducing any potential benefits a nice cup of pure black coffee can have for you. If you’re looking to improve your diet, a really easy place to start would be to reduce the amount of ingredients in your coffee. That way, when you’re indulging in your coffee several times a day (like I do), you’re not simultaneously indulging in sugars and excess dairy – which you probably don’t even realise because it’s all covered under the umbrella of ‘I’m just having a cup of coffee’.

My advice, try drinking your coffee black. It will be bitter and strong at first, but you will get used to it. Eventually your palate will change, and you’ll come to love it, maybe even more than you love coffee already. Regardless, I, being a passionate coffee drinker, believe that however you decide to drink your coffee, you’ll probably gain some kind of benefit from it.

So go ahead and ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee – it’s only your fourth for the morning!