Drinking a certain type of beverage has been linked to longer life. What is this drink and how much of it should you consume?
Research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology collated data from 40 studies, including 3,852,651 subjects and 450,256 causes of death, and found coffee had an inverse association with mortality (death).
The researchers found this to be true “irrespective of age, overweight status, alcohol drinking, smoking status, and caffeine content of coffee”.
They went on to say that between two to four cups of coffee every day “was associated with reduced all-cause and cause-specific mortality, compared to no coffee consumption”.
In The New Journal of Medicine, a 13-year study observed 229,119 men and 173,141 women who were 50 to 71 years of age at baseline, and their consumption of coffee.
The researchers found “there was a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality”.
Adding to this body of work, PubMed Central published a research paper detailing how drinking coffee is linked to lower mortality irregardless of which country participants were from.
So, what’s so special about coffee?
The Journal of Nutrition has a study that reveals coffee is full of antioxidants.
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Harvard University’s School of Public Health report antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals within the body.
A large amount of free radicals – a byproduct of turning food into energy, exercising, or caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution and sunlight – are capable of damaging cells and genetic material.
Free radicals steal electrons from nearby substances that yield them, altering the affected substances structure.
An excessive, chronic amount of free radicals in the body causes oxidative stress, thereby damaging cells which can lead to chronic diseases.
Antioxidants work by donating electrons to free radicals without turning into electron-hungry scavenges themselves.
Antioxidants are also involved in mechanisms to help repair DNA and maintain the health of cells.
The NHS add: “Drinking coffee can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Current guidelines recommend drinking no more than around four cups a day.”
There are many ways to enjoy a cup of coffee – how do you like yours?
Do you simply add a teaspoonful of granules, pour over some milk and add hot water?
Or do you enjoy sipping on a cappuccino, maybe a latte, or flat white?
For chocolate lovers, there’s mocha, and for those who enjoy a stronger hit of caffeine, there’s the classic espresso.
Depending on the coffee bean, types of roast – from light to dark – and serving size, each cup can have different levels of caffeine.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation defines caffeine as “a stimulant drug”