You Probably Had No Idea Your Coffee Habit Is Doing These 5 Things For Your Health

I can't decide what I love most about my morning cup (or, more realistically, cups) of coffee. There are almost too many things to choose from: the warmth of the mug against my hands, the powerful spike of energy to start my day, the creaminess of the swirl of coconut milk I pour on top. Honestly, I love this morning ritual so much that I sometimes forget it can lead to legit health benefits that last way beyond the caffeine buzz. In fact, there are a lot of hidden benefits of coffee, many of which I had no idea about until recently. But they've only made me that much more obsessed with my all-time favorite drink.

According to Dr. Mike Roussell, co-founder of Neuro Coffee, there are lots of healthy compounds in coffee that you may not know about. Of course, many people reach for coffee first thing in the morning to boost their energy levels, or perhaps you like to sip later in the day to help you maintain focus during an afternoon slump. Either way, Roussell tells Elite Daily over email, there's so much more that those tiny little coffee beans have to offer, and it's high time you learned exactly what those hidden benefits are. Here are a few that'll make your morning mug that much sweeter.

It Keeps Your Cells Healthy AF

According to Dr. Roussell, one of coffee's low-key, superstar compounds that you've probably never heard of is something called chlorogenic acid. Roussell tells Elite Daily the stuff is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in coffee: "Chlorogenic acid is considered to be so powerful because of its ability to scavenge and eliminate dangerous, mutated rogue compounds called free radicals," he explains. Basically, free radicals are hidden in everyday things like fried foods, pesticides, alcohol, etc., according to information from the Huntington's Disease Outreach Project For Education at Stanford University. And if those free radicals linger in your body, they can destroy healthy cells which, in the long-term, can lead to diseases like cancer or dementia.

But by enjoying your coffee each morning, Roussell says, you're flooding your body with antioxidants that can help eliminate those free radicals. And not all antioxidants can do this, he adds: Coffee antioxidants are pretty unique in their ability to fight and delay the death of cells inside your body, so keep on sippin', girl.

It Helps Your Body Digest Carbs More Easily

Luckily, if you usually drink your frappuccino with your morning bagel (my mouth is watering just thinking about the deliciousness), drinking the good stuff on a full stomach won't do anything to diminish the coffee power, says Dr. Roussell.

In fact, he explains, your coffee and your carbs actually work together really well: He tells Elite Daily that some of the chemicals in coffee beans can help your body turn those wonderful bread nutrients into energy. In addition to antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, "quinic acid and trigonelline are also found in coffee. They can help your body process and use carbohydrates more effectively," Roussell tells Elite Daily.

Coffee Also Reduces Your Risk Of Diabetes

In yet another boost to your health, each daily latte can help to reduce your risk of type II diabetes by as much as 7 percent, according a review of 18 different studies published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. So if you have a couple of cups each day — because really, who drinks only one 8-ounce cup of coffee per day? — you're going to significant lengths to protect yourself against the metabolic disorder. A pretty delicious way to stay healthy, no?

Your Morning Sip Might Help Lower Your Risk Of Depression

That mental boost you feel after you swallow your last sip of your morning frapp? It's not all due to the caffeine kick. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, which looked at a more than 50,000 women over the course of 10 years, found that, the more caffeinated coffee you drink each day, the more your risk for depression decreases. While the study authors wrote that further research is needed to confirm whether coffee can reliably and effectively contribute to depression prevention, these findings are promising, and they represent yet another reason to indulge in your morning brew to your heart's content.

It Might Just Help You Live Longer, Too

Not only will your daily coffee habit help to reduce your risk of depression, but according to a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, it could also help you live longer. The research looked at the long-term health of more than 100,000 men and women over the course of roughly 20 years, and concluded that "regular coffee consumption was not associated with an increased mortality rate in either men or women." While the study authors note that further research is needed, they wrote that there's a "possibility of a modest benefit of coffee" in terms of helping you live longer. What's more, the researchers also found that even the much-neglected cup of decaf coffee could have a positive effect on your mortality, too.

So the next time someone makes a joke about how obsessed you are with coffee, go ahead and sip your delicious drink in peace, because the reality is, it's making you so much healthier in so many different ways.