HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessAging Gracefully: The Drink That Can Help You Age Healthily

Aging Gracefully: The Drink That Can Help You Age Healthily

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Do you want to age well? This drink can help you live longer by reducing the risk of dying from any cause.

Longevity is not just about living longer, but also about living better during those years.

From iced to hot, decaf to espresso, coffee is a daily staple for many, providing a much-needed jolt of energy to start the day or a pick-me-up in the afternoon. But coffee is more than just a source of caffeine. It also offers numerous potential health benefits, many of which can contribute to a longer and healthier life.

Several studies suggest that coffee may hold the key to unlocking a longer and healthier life.

So, can your daily cup of joe really help you age well? Experts weigh in on the benefits of coffee for healthy aging and longevity.

It reduces the risk of death from any cause

Drinking coffee in moderate amounts has been linked to a decrease in the risk of death from all causes, according to recent studies.

A study published in Nutrients in April 2021 found that moderate intake of caffeinated coffee was linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Another study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in September 2022 showed that all types of coffee, including instant, ground, and decaf, were associated with a lower risk of death. Researchers found that drinking 2-3 cups per day had the greatest risk reduction.

It protects your heart

Several studies suggest that coffee may have heart-healthy benefits, which is particularly important since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While previous studies on the link between coffee and heart disease have been mixed, recent findings have been more promising.

A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in May 2022 found that drinking up to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a lower risk of dying from heart-related events, such as heart attack and stroke, compared to those who did not drink coffee.

Moreover, drinking coffee may help support heart health in other ways. Congestive heart failure, a condition that affects an estimated six million Americans and is the leading cause of hospitalizations in adults over 65, occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively.

According to a study published in Circulation: Heart Failure in February 2021, drinking more coffee was linked to a lower long-term risk of heart failure. However, further research is needed to confirm this finding. Overall, while coffee may offer some benefits for heart health, moderation is key, and individuals should always consult with their healthcare provider regarding their specific health needs.

It protects your brain against mental decline

As we age, the brain undergoes changes that can impede our ability to recall information, acquire new knowledge, and carry out daily activities with ease. In fact, memory loss or confusion in older adults could be an early indication of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Fortunately, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help guard against cognitive decline, and scientific evidence suggests that coffee consumption may offer protective benefits.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, the current research on the direct impact of drinking coffee on Alzheimer’s risk is limited, although more research may be conducted in the future. Despite past concerns that caffeine might increase the risk of cognitive decline, researchers now say that people need not worry about drinking coffee.

In fact, a recent study published in Archives in Medical Science in April 2017 suggests that drinking coffee and tea could eventually be recommended as part of a healthy diet, given the numerous health benefits associated with these beverages. While the link between coffee and Alzheimer’s remains uncertain, the study’s findings suggest that the benefits of drinking coffee and tea outweigh any potential risks.

It Protects Against Diseases

Heart disease is frequently referred to as the “number one killer,” however, there are other leading causes of death in the United States. According to the CDC, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes are also among the top 10 causes of death. While coffee has been known to support heart health, it also has the potential to enhance overall well-being and potentially help stave off common, life-threatening diseases.

The antioxidants in food and beverages, like coffee, have been shown to provide some protection against disease. These antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that may cause cellular and DNA damage, leading to illness. Moreover, they can also help fight inflammation. The good news is that coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the antioxidants found in coffee can reduce oxidative stress, aka free radical damage, and inflammation.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee may also help lower the risk of certain cancers. For instance, drinking coffee may decrease the likelihood of developing colon cancer and reduce the likelihood of breakage in DNA strands, which could result in cancer or tumors, according to John Hopkins Medicine. However, additional research is necessary to confirm these findings.

How much coffee should you consume?

While coffee has been linked to various health benefits, too much of a good thing can be detrimental, cautions the American Heart Association. The addition of sugar and the overconsumption of coffee can negate the potential health benefits of this popular beverage. Most studies that highlight the benefits of coffee focus on plain black coffee, which is free from added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Creamers and blended drinks with added sugar can have negative health effects, while excess caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is safe to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, equivalent to 4 to 5 cups of coffee. However, caffeine sensitivity varies from person to person, with some people metabolizing it faster than others and experiencing its effects more quickly.

If you are looking to reap the longevity benefits of coffee, research suggests that light-to-moderate consumption, which amounts to 2 to 3 cups per day, is the best approach. Opting for plain black coffee is also recommended to maximize the potential health benefits. For those who prefer flavored coffee, choosing a healthy coffee creamer that is low in added sugars and saturated fats can be a better option.

Image Credit: Getty

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