Coffee Perks: Java Fights Depression, but Soda Increases Risk

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About the Author: Seánan Forbes is a freelance writer and photographer, based in New York City and London.

According to a new study, coffee decreases risk of depression, while those who drink soda are more likely to be depressed.

Coffee-drinkers have plenty of reasons to be happy, with so many studies uncovering health benefits of a good brew. And now, research shows that coffee may also ward off depression.

According to a National Institutes of Health study, those who down four cups of coffee a day are approximately 10 percent less likely to develop depression than joe-free folks. Replacing sweetened drinks with coffee may lower your risk of depression, says study author Honglei Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

In fact, the study found that sodas increase the risk of depression. People who drink four or more cans of soda a day are a whopping 30 percent likelier to develop depression than those who don’t. Diet sodas are the worst of all, with a 31 percent greater risk of depression compared to 22 percent of those who drank regular sodas.

Keep the sugar bowl far from your coffee cup; you’re out to replace sweetened drinks, and not to substitute one for another. If you want to stay slim, keep your cuppa dark, too. When you dump cream in your coffee, you add unnecessary calories. I enjoy drinking the good stuff — especially if it’s organic, estate-grown and craft-roasted— so I don’t need to add anything to make the brew taste beautiful.

This latest study about coffee’s benefits adds to a list of previous research-established perks, In the pages of VIVmag’s Winter issue, you’ll see that coffee is good for your heart. It also helps runners to keep the pace for longer duration. Over the past few years, health studies have confirmed that drinking coffee reduces the risks of type II diabetes, Parkinson’s, dementia and liver cancer.

It’s such an easy way to diminish the gloom. Set down the soda, pick up the coffee cup, and give yourself a better (espresso) shot at being a happier person. For more on foods that can improve your mood, check out “What’s Your Comfort Food?” in the latest issue of VIVmag.

What do you think of this latest coffee research?