[Update 7/20/14 – Coffee consumption can have a negative effect on women’s breast health]
Do you look forward to starting your day with a nice cup o’ joe?
I do. Well, actually, two big mugs of the stuff (the equivalent of a 4-cup coffee maker) mellowed with whole organic milk and spoonful of sugar.
It seems the health news pendulum swings wildly when it comes to the topic of coffee, but I remain a lifelong fan.
The latest study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that coffee drinkers may have a slight edge when it comes to longevity.
All sorts of factors were taken into account, such as other lifestyle habits (smoking, drinking, red meat consumption, activity level), and after ruling out those influences on the results, the following was reported:
Compared to those who drank no coffee, men who had two or three cups a day were 10 percent less likely to die at any age. For women, it was 13 percent.
Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little: 6 percent in men and 5 percent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day – a 16 percent lower risk of death.
There’s a catch, though — it DOES matter how you take your java, and not all of these factors come from the recent study.
- According to this Harvard study, caffeinated offers more health benefits than decaf.
- Author of The Warrior Diet, Ori Hofmekler, offered this advice on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s site: Always opt for USDA organic whole beans. They are far, far superior to standard ground coffee. The pesticides in non-organic coffee cancel out many of the antioxidant and phytonutrient benefits that you’d otherwise reap from organic whole beans that are ground closer to brewing time.
- Dr. Mercola recommends that coffee drinkers use unbleached filters in brewing coffee to avoid the chlorine and dioxins in regular filters. He also points out that ceramic or glass mugs are a far healthier option than plastic mugs that leach BPA toxins, or styrofoam cups that leach polystyrene into the coffee, and therefore, your bloodstream.
- Keep it light and healthy. Don’t ruin an otherwise healthy habit by loading your coffee down with tons of sugar, or worse, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)-based flavored syrups or GMO soy-based flavored creamers. Just a little sugar and organic milk are far healthier additions to your morning java, unless you’re one of those hearty souls who enjoys their coffee black.
- Temperature matters. Don’t drink your coffee too hot. Although you might enjoy a steaming hot cup of java, regularly consuming beverages with temps above 70° C or 158° F has been linked with an increase in esophogeal cancer.
- Coffee in excess is not beneficial. Two to three (8 oz.) cups a day seems to be the ideal amount. Four cups a day, and you’re teetering on the edge of unhealthy. This study has shown that drinking more than 28 cups/week increases mortality rates across the spectrum of causes.
Wow… all this talk about coffee has me wanting another cup. 😀