Your cup of joe may be more than just a morning pick-me-up—it might actually ward off several common diseases. Studies have linked three to five cups of java a day to reduced risk of brain and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as cancers of the colon, breast, and liver. A study at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that coffee drinkers also have a moderately reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. And caffeine isn't responsible, so decaf offers equal benefit. Researchers suspect that rather than one compound, a synergy among substances in the complex biochemical mixture provides the protection.
Choose It & Use It
Coffee enriches flavors in gravies, stews, and tomato-based recipes such as pasta and barbecue sauces, baked beans, and chili. Choose a good-quality roast and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Brew it fresh and a little stronger for cooking. Substitute it for half of stocks or broths, add it to vinaigrettes and marinades, or grind beans in a pepper mill and add a bit to spice mixes.