According to the latest research, coffee is an extremely healthful drink. Recent studies have found that coffee…

Reduces risk for cardiovascular disease.

Helps the liver — reducing risk for liver cancer (by up to 50%, in one study) and protecting against chronic liver disease, such as alcohol-related cirrhosis.

Reduces risk for Parkinson’s disease by as much as half.

Is the number-one source of antioxidants in the American diet — ahead of fruits, vegetables, tea, wine and chocolate.

Contains a high level of soluble dietary fiber, reducing risk for gallstones (by up to 25% in one study).

Contains elements that are known to help prevent colon cancer.

Reduces soreness in muscles after exercising.

Improves mental ability among seniors. In one study, people over age 65 who drank coffee 30 minutes before a memory test scored higher than those who did not.

How much to drink: Experts suggest two to four cups a day, but many say there is no need to worry about an upper limit. In general, if you can sleep at night, you are not drinking too much. If you enjoy coffee, drink it.