The Practicing Parent: Coffee Benefits

Worry no more about depending on that cup of joe every morning, Practicing Parents. The great pick me up after a long night with a sick child may also be full of health benefits.

Over the years, studies have found there are hundreds of components in coffee that could potentially provide health benefits, many of them antioxidants. And, there are some compounds in coffee that have positive effects on the body.

Cleveland Clinic Registered Dietitian Andrea Rumschlag says there are lots of potential benefits.

"These studies are showing that moderate amounts of caffeine or moderate amounts of coffee or tea, it might be the caffeine, it might be something else, do have some heart-healthy benefits or brain-health benefits," Rumschlag said.

A recent Japanese study found people who drank at least one cup of coffee per day cut their risk for bleeding in the brain.

Rumschlag says the way to reap the most benefits is to drink it black or with a little bit of skim milk and to avoid adding lots of sugar and cream because its only adding calories. Rumschlag says to pay attention to the strength of your coffee, the amount of caffeine varies.

"If we have too much caffeine, we can actually dehydrate ourselves. It is what we call a diuretic. So if you become dehydrated, you might feel like you're hungry when you're not, so you end up eating more," Rumschlag said.

Even decaffeinated coffee appears to provide some of the same health benefits.