Nutrition: Why your morning coffee could lower your risk of cancer

Your cup o' joe could help men lower their prostate cancer risks, as well as other health benefits like weight loss

Your morning coffee fights against cancer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Coffee is a wonderful thing. It perks you up in the morning, getting you ready for the day ahead, helps you focus and can even act as an excellent pre-workout, as the caffeine content fills you with energy. For some people, it's almost as essential to your run as the best running shoes for men and the best running shoes for women.

However, there's loads more benefits to this versatile drink other than simply pepping you up. It can assist in your weight loss efforts, as long as you don't load it with sugar, and even mitigate cancer risks.

A study published earlier this month in the British Medical Journal examined coffee's effect on prostate cancer. Scientists have already determined coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of liver, bowel, and breast cancers, but as yet, but this is one of the first studies to link it to a role in prostate cancer risk reduction.

The analysts looked at studies conducted al across the world, examining data from over 1 million men, over 57,000 of which developed prostate cancer. The study found men with the highest consumption of coffee had the lowest prostate cancer risk, around 9% lower than those who don't drink coffee at all.

The study's authors said: "This study suggests that increased coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Further research is still warranted to explore the underlying mechanisms and active compounds in coffee.

"If the association is further proved to be a causal effect, men might be encouraged to increase their coffee consumption to potentially decrease the risk of prostate cancer."

It's not the only health benefit to coffee: as previously stated, your cup o' joe could be boosting your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster. Another study published in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found coffee has the capacity to raise a person's metabolic rate – the rate in which your metabolism expends energy while at rest – up to three hours after the coffee was drank. Consuming decaf didn't have the same effect.

Your humble morning brew could be carrying a whole load of health benefits. Just make sure you don't load it with too many ingredients: some high-street coffee chains serve drinks loaded with syrups, milk and whipped cream, adding potentially hundreds of calories to your drink. 

To make sure you're getting the full health benefits of your coffee, take it black or with a little milk.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.