Although early studies of coffee suggested it might cause health problems, recent research offers strong evidence that drinking coffee actually has several health benefits.
“Overall, the evidence shows quite convincingly that coffee is more healthy than harmful in terms of health outcomes,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, in an April 5, 2021 Discover article. "For most people, moderate coffee consumption can be considered part of a healthy diet."
Hu noted that moderate coffee consumption, about 2 to 5 cups per day, has been linked to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancer, Parkinson's disease, and depression. It's possible that people who drink coffee may even reduce their risk of premature death.
Early research linked coffee to diseases such as heart disease and asthma. However, Hu noted that many participants in these studies smoked, suggesting that coffee may be responsible for the negative effects now associated with smoking. He added that anything consumed in excess is examined. “In the past, a lot of people thought, 'Oh, coffee is delicious, there's definitely something bad about coffee,'” he said. “So the good news is that for most people, coffee actually provides some health benefits.”
According to the article, certain groups should be careful when drinking coffee. There is not much information about the effects of coffee on children, and caffeine may be harmful during pregnancy. Excessive caffeine may cause anxiety in people with panic or anxiety disorders.
For coffee drinkers, experts also recommend not overdoing it with added cream or sugar.