Java lovers depend on their morning cup o’ joe to jolt their brains awake. But research suggests that caffeine found in coffee offers more than a temporary mental lift. Its brain benefits may be longer lasting. According to the Harvard Health Blog, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that coffee helped participants do better on several memory tests. And good news for seniors: A 2015 Italian study showed that drinking one to two cups a day lowered rates of decline in mental function and memory (called mild cognitive impairment or MCI) among people aged 65 to 84. Researchers suggest that maintaining a moderate caffeine habit may also cut damage from the buildup of amyloid protein plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Added bonus: Coffee is one of the best sources of plant antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid. These super-nutrients prevent cell damage from harmful molecules in the body and brain called free radicals, which cause chronic inflammation and lead to aging and disease.