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Brew Up a Longer Life

Drinking Coffee May Protect Against Death from Disease 

Coffee lovers can grind, brew and sip away with joy! Nearly two years ago we reported a U.S study  that found drinking coffee may lead to a longer life. Turns out this holds true worldwide—a 2015 study from Japan published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds to the evidence that a daily dose of java may be a wise idea for living long.

Researchers asked 90,914 Japanese adults questions on how much coffee they typically drink. They monitored participants’ health for about 18 years, noticing an association between coffee intake and mortality. People who drank three to four cups of coffee per day had 24% lower risk of death compared with those who never drank coffee. Coffee drinking had the greatest protective effect against death from cerebrovascular (referring to the brain and its blood vessels), respiratory and heart diseases, with three to four cups per day lowering risk by 43%, 40% and 36%, respectively.

Despite its sometimes negative connotation, the caffeine in coffee may be partly to thank for these benefits. Caffeine can activate enzymes that support blood vessels and may even help improve lung function. Chlorogenic acid and pyridinium, two other compounds in coffee, could also be beneficial by helping to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.

Results from this study suggest three to four cups of coffee (but no more) per day is what it takes for the greatest benefit. However, when it comes to health, not all coffee drinks are created equal. At today’s modern coffee shop, this virtuous beverage is often weighed down by sugary syrups, whipped cream and artificial flavors. Enjoy your coffee black or with a splash of almond milk and you could sip your way to a longer life.

Nothing goes with coffee quite like banana bread. Whip up our Zucchini Banana Bread to enjoy with your morning cup of java and a side of fresh fruit.

Published August 1, 2015

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