By Angie Brown

After a lifetime of abstaining from coffee, I have recently discovered some benefits I didn’t know about before. Of course, I read it on the Internet. That in itself makes my family roll their eyes, when in actuality they glean most of their information from the same source.

First, let me give my short history with coffee, then I’ll share the benefits I’ve discovered.

I’ve never really loved coffee. I did enjoy the way it smelled in the morning when my daddy made his own breakfast. I often joined him for a bite of his scrambled eggs or toast, but he didn’t want me to drink coffee – he said it would stunt my growth. I tasted it and assured him that I would someday grow to be 6 feet tall.

Most adults drink coffee; I figured at some point it would magically taste good to me. I spent 40-something years tasting it every now and then and always having the same reaction. That is, until the Christmas party.

My friend Debra served a coffee punch. It had chocolate ice cream as one of the ingredients. It was divine! I wondered: if a coffee punch could taste so good with just a little chocolate, what would hot coffee taste like with just a little chocolate?

I started experimenting with creamers and toppings. I found that I could “doctor” a cup to my satisfaction and fit in with other java drinking adults. But I still could live without it.

I resigned myself to being a cola girl for the rest of my life.

Recently, I have had to go without a particular medication that helps me focus on what I’m doing. I really need this medication. Since I don’t have it, I’ve started drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Mind you, it is very pale coffee … OK, it’s mostly milk and sugar … but I drink a large enough cup to do the trick.

I have actually started looking forward to it. It’s not quite as tasty as Deb’s Christmas punch, but it’s getting there.

In the article I read on the Internet, it said coffee is good for you! The benefits start with having tons of antioxidants. Who couldn’t use more of those? It is said to lessen the chances of getting diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, skin cancer, liver and colorectal cancer. It is thought to help with depression, improve energy and make you smarter!

It is known to help the body burn fat and make you a better athlete. Since I am not the least bit athletic, this is wonderful news! It is supposed to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, help you live longer and is thought to reduce risks of Alzheimer’s by 65 percent. Coffee is good for you.

I am now a coffee drinker. I may even grow to love it without all the bells and whistles like chocolate and peppermint candy. Some day I may even like it black – who knows? But until that day, would you please pass the Coffeemate?

Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.