Coffee contains important minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, and chromium and B vitamins, such as folic acid, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
Stacy Goldberg, MPH, RN, BSN and founder of Savorfull, points out that a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that drinking two to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 10 percent decreased risk of death for men at any age and a 13 percent decreased risk of death for women at any age.
"Coffee is high in antioxidants and since so many Americans drink it, it's one of our biggest sources of antioxidants (as much as 50-70 percent of the total antioxidant intake of the average American!)," says Shapiro. "That means coffee helps to fight disease." That said she cautions that three, eight-ounce cups is the limit to what will do your body good. After that, the research points to it not being as beneficial.
According to research, coffee has been shown to increase the metabolic rate and improve fat metabolism, reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, reduce the risk and onset of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's syndrome and reduce hepatic and liver diseases such as Cirrhosis. Coffee may also protect against heart disease and colon cancer and may also help prevent depression, as it stimulates certain areas of the brain.
"Coffee is very acidic and eventually can disrupt the digestive pH especially when consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning," says Miami clinical nutritionist Dr. Michael Forman. "My recommendation is to drink coffee during or after a meal. This plays down the harmful acidic properties and can actually aid digestion."
by Aria Bendix is the breaking health reporter for NBC News Digital.