We all know coffee tastes good and is a great way to start the morning. But does coffee have real health benefits? Doctors now believe that the wonderful substance we refer to as coffee might have true benefits.

First, people who drink a cup of coffee a day were less likely to have type two diabetes and other diseases including Parkinson's and dementia. Additionally, those who enjoyed coffee beans also realized fewer cases of a number of cancers, had fewer heart related problems and were less likely to have strokes. But doctors advise not to be overly optimistic about the benefits of coffee.

While there is a relationship between people who drink coffee and those who have lower cases of some diseases, this does not prove that coffee is the cure. Researchers are not asking people to change their current coffee habits for science's sake. Instead, they simply ask folks to do what's always been recommended, take everything in moderation.

If you're wondering what it is about coffee that might be so beneficial, researches point to a couple of items. First, for most American's, coffee beans are the number one source of antioxidants. While we should be getting those goodies from fruits and veggies, a recent study found that coffee far surpassed everything else in providing antioxidants.

Next, coffee has been shown to help increase your metabolism. That's right, if you drink coffee your body may actually burn more fat all day long. If you think about it, it makes sense. Some people who intake too much caffeine get jittery, which is a consequence of the body having more energy than is being used. So the caffeine in coffee gives you energy and the more you have, the more calories you tend to burn.

Additionally, coffee can help to reduce and prevent headaches. This is actually a result of the caffeine more than from the coffee itself. The next time you're looking at a bottle of medicine designed to help with a headache, read the ingredients and you're sure to find caffeine.

Finally, people who eat coffee beans or drink coffee often neglect other likely more unhealthy alternatives. If people weren't running around with a cup of coffee in their hand, it would probably be some sugary alternative or other caffeinated substitute. As a quick pick me up after lunch, we might resort to eating chocolate or other sugary snacks to help get past the late afternoon lull.

So while coffee has many benefits some of them can be realized without drinking the brown heavenly liquid. You could get the antioxidants by eating more dark fruits and nuts, you could increase your metabolism by exercising regularly, and you could drink green tea to help with headaches. But then again, coffee tastes so good!

In 2009 the World Resources Institute estimated that the average American drank some 416 cups of coffee! Generally scientists recommend that people don't intake more than about 200mg per day of caffeine, which translates to about two regular cups of coffee. It looks like we're well below our limit.