Coffee Facts for National Coffee Day (Infographic)

Some eye-opening facts just in time for National Coffee Day (Sept. 29).
Some eye-opening facts just in time for National Coffee Day (Sept. 29). (Image credit: Ross Toro, Contributor)

Coffee seems to have become as synonymous with America as apple pie. And research is showing our java habit may not be so bad after all. Plenty of health and other benefits are hiding out in your morning cup 'o Joe, studies suggest.

For instance, in a study published in 2010 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers found that regular coffee drinkers have a 39 percent decreased risk of head and neck cancer.

And if you need more than a physical boost (and you're a gal), coffee may do the trick. A study published in  the Sept. 26, 2011, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine showed that women who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression over a 10-year period compared with those who drank one cup of coffee or less per week. Other research has shown drinking coffee may counter cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative disorders.

Even scientists have something to gain from the hot drink. Physicists recently found that liquids, such as coffee, that are made up of spherical particles dry differently than liquids with more oblong particles, and as such may explain coffee's distinctive stains. In addition, the finding may help makers of paint and ink, who often go to great lengths to prevent their products from drying unevenly (also called a coffee-ring effect) without adding extra solid solvents.

Of course coffee isn't a magic bullet or even always healthy. Because coffee contains the stimulant caffeine, drinking too much of it could lead to headaches, jitters and a racing heartbeat. Even decaffeinated coffee has trace amounts of the drug, since the decaffeinating process cannot remove caffeine completely.

Coffee has also been linked with hallucinations, but you can decide whether that fits on the good or bad list.

Live Science Staff
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