For many years people have been told that coffee is not good for them. Various reports have come out from time to time that revealed that there were health benefits of drinking coffee – but they had little impact – until now. Recently, more than one large study has shown that drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day can help you live longer.
If you are wondering – “is drinking coffee healthy?” The answer is Yes. A study in Britain that involved more than 170,000 people, along with other studies, found that those that drank between 1.5 and 3.5 cups a day had a 30-percent less chance of dying from any cause during the study.
The Flaw in Earlier Studies on Coffee
Earlier studies on coffee were likely flawed because many people that drank coffee also smoked regularly. Of course, this has changed over the years, with much more information available about the harm of smoking.
Caffeinated or Decaffeinated Coffee?
Studies have also revealed that the benefits of coffee are not limited to caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. It has also been found that adding sugar does not seem to make a difference. The amount of sugar or sweeteners in many coffees sold today is unhealthy, but one teaspoon will not hurt most people. Both varieties had the same effect. It means that caffeine is not the necessary ingredient, but it is something else in the coffee.
The American Heart Association reported that every cup of coffee you drink can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. There is a limit, however, to the beneficial effect – five cups a day. Beyond that point, there may be more harm than good and no additional benefit has been found.
Drinking Coffee Reduced Risk of Early Death
The most benefit was seen in people that drank between four to five cups of coffee a day. Both men and women who regularly drank this much reduced their risk of early death by an average of 14 percent. Those who drank only one cup per day also saw a reduction in the likelihood of early death.
The Key Is the Antioxidants
One of the health benefits of coffee is that it is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce the amount of free oxygen (called free radicals) in the human body, which are behind the formation of cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, immune deficiency, Parkinson’s, diabetes, vision loss, and various other diseases.
Other studies have shown that drinking coffee may also reduce depression by as much as 20 percent. Suicide was reduced by 53 percent in the same study.
Free radicals can be increased in your body by certain activities – and also from external sources. Some of these causes are tissue damage (an injury), excessive exercise, and eating artificial foods (processed, refined, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, etc.). Externally, the causes include air pollution and various chemicals.
Researchers are now saying that coffee is the main source of antioxidants for most Americans. Although some fruits and vegetables contain more, people do not eat them daily – but they do drink coffee almost every day.
To get the maximum amount of antioxidants, you would need to eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day – which is not likely to happen. The added benefit of getting your antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is that they also are a good source of vitamins and other nutrients not found in coffee.
Coffee Is Not for Everyone
Some people should check with their doctors before consuming a lot of coffee. There may be limits as to how much coffee is safe for some individuals. The list includes those with cancer, pregnant women, and others. Check with your doctor first if you are unsure about whether you should drink more coffee.
Each of the above studies was what is called an observational study. This means that a strong correlation has been seen between coffee and increased longevity, but they cannot prove the correlation.