Drinking coffee can lengthen your life! Is that the best news you’ve heard today? New research has found that drinking coffee lowers risk of death and development of heart disease.
In the study, the largest reduction in relative risk of death was for participants who consumed three cups of coffee per day compared with non-coffee drinkers. (Drinking more than three cups was not associated with any additional health benefits.)
This positive reputation is quite a turnaround for coffee. Did you know that coffee used to be included on the World Health Organization’s list of potentially carcinogenic foods? It was removed in 2016, and just look at where research has brought coffee now in 2017 – with scientific evidence of health benefits.
Researchers are still searching for exactly which parts of coffee contribute to these benefits; one popular theory is that caffeine may be the cause. This would be fantastic, as (let’s be honest with each other) the majority of us don’t drink coffee for the health benefits, but for the caffeine!
According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day appears to be safe for healthy adults. That’s no more than 4 cups of coffee per day. If we consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily, symptoms can range from insomnia to irritability. Upset stomach, muscle tremors, and elevated heart rate can also occur.
In moderation, there are several health benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee contains particularly high levels of antioxidants which serve to protect the body from free-radical damage. One researcher in particular has examined how coffee fits into the link between diet and diabetes risk.
According to Marilyn Cornelis, PhD, a nutritionist and assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “Of all the foods we consume, coffee has the most potential to prevent type 2 diabetes.”
When these are consumed, they interact with the body in many different ways—hence some of the mystery behind coffee’s beneficial effects.
Through her research, Cornelis hopes to identify the chemical reactions that occur in the body when a person consumes coffee. This may help determine what’s uniquely protective about coffee, and its specific properties that positively affect diabetes.
Studies have shown that caffeine may improve memory and cognitive performance. Caffeine has also been associated with lowered risk for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Research has now linked Type II diabetes to the development of Alzheimer’s.
One important thing to remember, the majority of the research we’ve discussed is based on the consumption of black coffee. If you order a mocha latte with chocolate drizzle and extra whipped cream, you will not reap the benefits discussed above – you will experience a spike in blood sugar.
Most coffee beans can be divided into two types: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are usually much fruitier and sweeter tasting than Robusta beans, making them the usual choice for the majority of brewed coffees. Robusta beans are for those who love strong coffee; they have more of a bitter flavor, and contain double the amount of caffeine in Arabica beans.
If black coffee isn’t quite your thing, add full fat milk or cream or even a bit of butter! Never heard of Bulletproof Coffee? Check it out! These additions will increase the flavor factor, as well as add good fats without spiking your blood sugar.