Why coffee is good for you

Coffee (SXC)

Great news if you love coffee, it may even lengthen your life. You can thank the antioxidants in coffee that protect against disease. Coffee, both caffeinated and decaf, is packed with these good-for-you compounds. In fact, some research shows that for most coffee drinkers, java supplies more antioxidants than any other food.

In other studies, coffee has been linked to a lower risk of depression and a lower risk of suicide. Research also associates drinking caffeinated coffee with a decreased risk of type-two diabetes. And it may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

But it's not all good news. Coffee is a top source of acrylamide, a chemical whose link to cancer continues to be investigated. And there's another concern. There's a compound in coffee grounds called cafestol that's been found to increase levels of LDL or ‘bad' cholesterol. Brewing with a paper filter helps remove cafestol from the coffee.

It is important that you don't drink too much coffee. More than four to five cups a day can cause insomnia, irritability and restlessness. Experts at Consumer Reports also caution that caffeine can have negative effects on people who have an anxiety disorder, heart disease, or are pregnant. So if that's you, watch your consumption and talk to your doctor.