I have a little confession to make. I’m a bit behind schedule writing to you today. But I have a good reason for it… I promise. I stopped to make myself a pot of my favorite healing elixir first.
That’s coffee, of course.
You see, I simply couldn’t resist after having read the latest research on coffee published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. Once again, java is proving it’s far more than just America’s favorite breakfast beverage.
Now, if you’re like a lot of coffee drinkers, you’ve spent a fair amount of time fighting off well-meaning folks who want to convince you coffee is a bad habit. Everyone from your spouse to your neighbor, to your mainstream medicine doc, has probably taken a swipe at your Cup of Joe.
Well, you can tell them to back off. Because coffee drinking is NOT a “bad habit” in the least. In fact, it’s not even a “guilty pleasure.”
Coffee health benefits keep stacking up
It turns out every time you down a mug of coffee, you could literally be protecting yourself against heart failure. Heck, you could even be helping to SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Now, if you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader, you may already know I’m devoted to my coffee. It’s not JUST because it’s delicious (which it certainly is), either. It’s also because of my favorite beverage’s growing list of health BENEFITS.
Over the years, I’ve shared the details of so much positive research on coffee it could easily fill up an entire book. There are far too many studies to go over again now. But I can give you a few quick highlights.
- Coffee could cut the risk of aggressive and often deadly prostate tumors up to 16 percent. And the more you drink, the lower your risk.
- An eight-year-long study found java drinkers are significantly less likely to develop excruciatingly painful gallstones. The biggest coffee fans had a 23 percent lower risk.
- In another study, volunteers who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were 21 percent less likely to wind up in the hospital for ANY liver-related illnesses. And this was no mere coincidence. The long-term study followed more than 14,000 folks for an incredible 26 years.
- In another large analysis, women who were 65 and older who drank two to three eight-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee daily reaped big brain rewards. They were 36 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia than ladies who consumed far less.
And honestly, the list goes on and on, from cutting diabetes risk to fighting colorectal cancer.
Slash heart failure risk with a couple mugs
The new study confirms that coffee has heart benefits too. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a link between java and heart health, of course. But this research focused specifically on congestive heart failure.
Heart failure is a chronic condition in which your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. It can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, a rapid heartbeat, and eventually, it can even be deadly.
But the new research reveals drinking coffee could help lower your risk for this devastating disease.
The analysis crunched a massive amount of data from three studies to reach that conclusion. And in all of them, folks who had reported drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a decreased long-term risk for heart failure.
In the Framingham Heart and the Cardiovascular Health studies, heart failure risk plummeted five to 12 percent per cup of coffee a day compared to folks who didn’t drink coffee.
In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, people who downed at least two cups of coffee a day had around a 30 percent lower risk of the disease.
But there are a couple of catches.
- First, it looks like you need to drink the full test stuff to see these kinds of results. In the Framingham study, folks who drank decaf had a significantly INCREASED risk of heart failure. And, in fact, when they dug deeper into the data, researchers found caffeine from ANY source was associated with lower heart risks.
- And second, you should avoid all the sugary syrups, sweet creamers, and artificial sweeteners. It’s best to learn to drink your coffee black if you can. But you can wean yourself off the lighter stuff by using just a splash of real cream to start.
Now, if you aren’t already a coffee drinker, this study doesn’t mean you should take up the habit. But it does confirm, yet again, that those of us who are already coffee fans should go right ahead and enjoy it without an ounce of guilt.