If you're lucky enough to be working from home right now, you might be familiar with the "quarantine 15." That's the extra poundage you're likely to pick up being within range of your refrigerator at all times.

Obviously, worrying about weight gain seems like a trifle at this point, considering you might have bigger concerns. But, weight gain reduces your body's ability to cope with disease, especially if you suddenly gain a lot of weight in a short period of time.

Not to worry. A new study from the University of Illinois suggests that drinking several cups of coffee each day can help curb your waistline woes. Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, director of the division of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois, quoted in the Illinois News Bureau explains:

"Considering the findings, mate tea and caffeine can be considered anti-obesity agents. The results of this research could be scaled to humans to understand the roles of mate tea and caffeine as potential strategies to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the subsequent metabolic disorders associated with these conditions."

(Mate tea is a caffeine-rich South American drink made from the dried leaves of yerba mate, a locally-grown herb.)

While the study was conducted on rats rather than humans, it builds on decades of scientific research on the health benefits of coffee, which include lowering your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

To be sure, coffee is not a panacea. However, coffee increases general immunity--a good thing at any time but especially during a pandemic. In addition, coffee drinkers live longer on average than those who don't indulge, according to the JAMA Internal Medicine.

How much coffee should you drink?

According to several studies, the optimum dosage is four to eight 8 ounce cups, which is the equivalent of 2 to 4 standard office coffee mugs. BTW, coffee may also prevent weight gain from sugar and creamer, so if that's how you like your coffee, go ahead and go for it.