In the dark and dreary mornings of December – when getting out of bed seems like an impossible feat – your morning cup of coffee may seem like a lifesaver as it perks you up and gets you ready for the day. As it turns out, that cup of coffee could be doing more than giving you a caffeine boost to kick start your morning. Recent research has indicated that coffee drinkers tend to have significantly lower mortality rates than non-coffee drinkers, which follows an earlier hypothesis that coffee can reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Keep reading to get a closer look at why coffee is such a uniquely beneficial elixir that may help you live longer.
What’s in a cup of coffee?
The most recent study of the health benefits of coffee took into account how many cups of coffee participants drank per day in addition to a number of lifestyle factors, such as diet and tobacco use. Because serious coffee drinkers—those who drank 3 or more cups per day—had consistently lower mortality rates across the board, it is likely that the benefits of coffee come directly from what’s in the cup. Coffee is particularly high in chemicals called lignans and chlorogenic acid, which are both known to reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory responses like this are key for preventing heart disease and stroke as well as neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Coffee and mortality rates
So just how significant are the lifesaving benefits of coffee? For those who drank between one and three cups of coffee per day, there was a 6-8% lower mortality rate. Drinking more coffee per day, 3 or more cups, can be even more beneficial, as individuals in this group had a 12-15% lower risk of mortality. Interestingly, coffee seems to have an impact on mental health as well, since those who drank at least one cup of coffee had suicide rates 20-38% lower than non-coffee drinkers.
Added benefits of coffee consumption
Along with the health perks discussed above, coffee can offer a number of benefits for your daily life. The added energy you get from coffee can help you burn more fat and maintain a higher level of focus in your daily activities. Coffee also seems to have a positive impact on liver health, and it offers a number of essential nutrients, including riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, and niacin.
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