If you’re a coffee drinker, the news just keeps getting better and better.
First we learned that the java juice is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Then we found out that it appears to lower your risk for Type II diabetes. Heck, the much-maligned beverage has even been indicated as a possible cancer-fighter.
Now it looks as if we can add “lowers your risk of stroke” to the list of good things this so-called bad habit can do for you.
Coffee drinking linked to lower stoke risk
In fact, according to a Swedish study published online this March in Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association, drinking more than one cup of coffee per day is associated with a 22 to 25 percent lower risk!
And it looks as if this is a case where “more” doesn’t hurt. The positive effect that coffee had on stroke risk was there regardless of whether participants drank one or two cups, three to four cups, or even five or more cups per day.
Also exciting was the finding that the lower-risk factor remained even after the researchers looked at smoking status, body-mass index, a history of diabetes, alcohol consumption, and hypertension among the volunteers. In other words, regardless of whether or not you have any of those known heart risks you may be able to reap the benefits of coffee.
Coffee may help reverse oxidative stress
The Swedish researchers offered several possible explanations for how coffee could have this powerful effect.
It may help reduce subclinical inflammation—the same type of inflammation associated with prediabetes and hypertension. It could be working its magic by helping to reverse oxidative stress. (Makes sense, since we already know that coffee is packed with antioxidant polyphenols.) And it looks as if coffee may also improve insulin sensitivity, which has been associated with stroke.
Oh, and for those of you who like to drink your coffee with a dollop of milk I have good news. A study published last year in the Journal of Nutrition found that the addition of whole milk to your favorite morning drink does not affect the bioavailability of the antioxidants in the coffee.
Just be sure you are using an organic brand. Better yet, if you can get your hands on it, try some raw milk instead.
So as I sit here at my desk finishing my second cup of coffee this morning, I encourage you to quietly forward this article to your family members or friends who may have been nagging you to give up your coffee habit.
Who knows? It could mark the last time you have to hear it.