America has a coffee addiction. Nearly 62 percent of American adults drink coffee regularly, knocking back over 400 million cups of coffee every day. Do you worry that your coffee cravings aren’t healthy? This week, new research reveals that there may be no need to curb your habit because drinking coffee regularly is beneficial to your long-term health.
Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is associated with a longer lifespan and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to avoiding coffee, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The research team sought to understand how coffee consumption impacts general health, longevity, and disease development, claiming that minimal research has been completed on the subject. This research analyzed the connections between different types of coffee consumption including ground, instant, and decaffeinated and cardiovascular disease, incident arrhythmias, and death. The study revealed that coffee consumption, across all types of the beverage, correlated with lower risks for cardiovascular diseases and death.
“In this large, observational study, ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia said in a statement. “The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Can You Drink Too Much Coffee?
The researchers concluded that consuming ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffees are linked with a significant reduction in death, especially among those who drink two to three cups per day. The study found a 14 percent, 27 percent, and 11 percent lower instance of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively. when compared to those who do not drink coffee.
To conduct this study, the researchers examined data from the UK Biobank, consisting of adults between 40 and 69 years old, and included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular diseases. Once participants completed a survey concerning how many cups of coffee they drink, the researchers grouped them into six categories that ranged from zero consumption, less than one cup, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups per day. The outcome data were collected from a median follow-up of 12.5 years, medical records, and death records.
The research team also categorized the participants by their coffee preferences, noting that 44.1 percent preferred instant; 18.4 percent preferred ground; 15.2 percent preferred decaffeinated; 22.4 percent drank no coffee. Regardless of coffee preference, the study concluded that drinking any coffee helps to reduce fatality while prolonging longevity.
Drink Coffee for Heart Health
Similarly, the researchers found that coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to non-coffee drinkers. Overall, 9.6 percent of participants were diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, but among coffee drinkers consuming two to three cups a day, there was a significant reduction in disease development. The researchers found that for those consuming decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee regularly, there was a six percent, 20 percent, and nine percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, respectively.
“Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease, and survival,” Kistler said. “Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart-healthy behavior.”
More specifically, consuming instant or ground coffee was linked to lower risks for arrhythmias (problems with heart rate) including atrial fibrillation. The research revealed that the lowest risks were associated with two to three cups a day of instant coffee (12 percent) and four to five cups a day of ground coffee (17 percent), respectively, when compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Want to Live Longer? Eat Plant-Based
This study joins a growing body of research indicating that coffee consumption is beneficial to longevity and general health. Other studies have found that coffee presents several health benefits for your gut and brain, but coffee can be just one component of a diet that improves longevity. This February, a study found that a mostly plant-based diet can prolong life expectancy by over 10 years or more, especially when adopted earlier in life.
Similarly, another study found that a plant-centered diet adopted from 18 to 30 years old lower the risk of heart disease significantly 30 years later. These studies show that reducing risk factors for cardiovascular or other forms of the disease can be achieved by simple dietary changes.
Bottom Line: Drink Coffee to Stay Healthy for Longer
According to the study, drinking two to three cups of coffee per day can help significantly lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and improve your overall longevity. Try an oat or soy milk latte in the mornings to stay healthier decades later!
For more research-backed content, visit The Beet’s Health & Nutrition articles.
31 Delicious, Plant-Based Recipes to Make on Repeat
Want fresh ideas for meals that are healthy, plant-based, and delicious? This free newsletter is for you. Sign up to get a recipe of the day delivered to your inbox every morning.