Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in America, with more daily devotees than even soda. According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), 61 percent of Americans drink coffee daily (compared to 41 percent for soda).
Personally, I almost never drink coffee. I don’t like the taste, and I have more than enough energy to not need a caffeine boost. About the only time I use it is when travelling internationally to keep me up when I am tired to assist jet lag.
However, if you’ve been feeling guilty about this daily imbibing, perhaps worrying that the excess caffeine isn’t doing you any favors, don’t. Unless you are overdoing it or drowning your coffee with sweetener, a daily cup – or five! – can be quite good for you.
The coffee plant and its seeds (coffee beans) contain a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants (including chlorogenic acids), bioflavonoids, vitamins, and minerals that all work together to offer some impressive health-promoting benefits, and even help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine that coffee naturally contains.
There are literally more than 1,000 different chemicals in coffee and researchers are only beginning to tease out how the synergy between them might benefit your health.
A Few Cups of Coffee a Day May Help You Avoid Clogged Arteries
In a study of more than 25,000 people, those who drank a moderate amount of coffee – defined as three to five cups daily – were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drank no coffee or more coffee daily.
A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.” Coronary artery calcium can be a significant predictor of future heart disease risk.
The study suggests moderate coffee consumption may lower your risk of clogged arteries and related heart attacks. The researchers noted:
“Our study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that coffee consumption might be inversely associated with CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk.”
Past research has also found that coffee appears to have a protective effect on the heart. For instance, one study showed moderate coffee drinking reduces your chances of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems. Another study found it may trigger a 30 percent increase in blood flow in your small blood vessels, which might take some strain off your heart.
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