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It’s science: Drinking coffee is *actually* good for your health

According to British researchers, coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and liver disease.

It’s science: Drinking coffee is *actually* good for your health

Parenthood is exhausting—like really exhausting. And if you’re anything like me, that means you’re running on coffee every minute of every day. (I know I down at least three cups of java by noon, if not earlier.) Current medical wisdom, though, says that drinking copious amounts of caffeine is bad for you. But it seems that’s not entirely true.


In fact, according to a new British study, your coffee habit may actually benefit your health.

A team of University of Southampton researchers who reviewed more than 200 past studies concluded that people who consume three to four cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of developing certain health conditions than non-coffee drinkers.

In particular, the study, which published in The British Medical Journal, found that coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and liver disease.

"There is a balance of risks in life, and the benefits of moderate consumption of coffee seem to outweigh the risks," says study co-author Paul Roderick, a professor of medicine at University of Southampton.

I won’t lie: These findings are great news for me and my mom friends who live on coffee, which, by the way, is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. We’re among the millions of people around the world who, according to the International Coffee Organization, helped drink an estimated 151.3 million bags of coffee in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Overall, global coffee consumption has jumped an average 1.3% each year over a four year period.

The British Medical Journal review also confirms previous research that had touted the health benefits of a coffee habit. According to a 2012 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, people who drank at least three daily cups of joe had a lower risk of death from heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, among other conditions.

But why does coffee have such a positive impact on your health? Researchers aren’t entirely sure. Neal Freedom, lead author of the NIH study, said of his findings: “The mechanism by which coffee protects against risk of death—if indeed the finding reflects a causal relationship—is not clear, because coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds that might potentially affect health.”

And in the case of the British Medical Journal study, Roebrick admits that, in addition to coffee intake, age, smoking habits and exercise routines “could all have had an effect” on the health benefits gleaned from their analysis.

It’s also important to note that drinking java has the opposite effect on pregnant women; as noted by the British researchers, coffee consumption during pregnancy is linked to a higher risk of low birth weight, preterm birth and pregnancy loss.

Still, I won’t lie: This new research excites my coffee-drinking soul. Will I jump up to five or six cups a day? Probably not. But at least I won’t feel guilty swallowing this fourth mug while trying to change my toddler.

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The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

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Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

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