You may have heard that caffeine is bad for your heart, but it turns out the opposite might be true: a recent study found that drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day lowers your risk of heart disease. Read on to find out about the positive effects of coffee on the body.
Is coffee bad for your heart?
Many people assume that coffee and caffeine in general aren’t healthy. In fact, it’s often recommended that people who have heart conditions drastically reduce or eliminate their coffee consumption.
However, some recent studies turn that idea on its head. The fact is that coffee consumption is linked to lower heart failure risk. A single cup of coffee a day reduced the risk of heart disease among one group of 21,000 study participants by between 5 and 12 percent. And those who drink more coffee—two or more cups a day—were linked to a 30 percent reduced risk of heart failure.
Interestingly, the same study found that drinking decaffeinated coffee was associated with a slightly higher risk of heart failure. Researchers were surprised at the positive link between caffeine and a healthier heart.
Should I drink coffee for heart health?
The researchers in this recent study said there isn’t enough evidence yet to suggest that coffee consumption alone will reduce the risk of heart disease. Other more proven methods of lowering heart disease risk include stopping smoking, losing weight and consistently exercising.
That said, experts say that drinking moderate amounts of coffee can be part of a healthy diet if consumed without added sugar and high-fat dairy products like cream. Combined with a generally healthy diet including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low sodium foods, coffee can be part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Are there other health benefits of coffee?
Coffee’s potential to fight heart disease is just one of its possible positive effects on the body. Coffee is also associated with the following:
- Fighting certain diseases: Coffee is associated with a lower risk of dangerous conditions, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can also ease headaches and combat depression.
- Weight loss: Caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by about 11 percent. Coffee consumption is also linked to fat oxidation, which is how your body breaks down fat as a source of energy. Therefore, caffeinated coffee can be a weight loss booster.
- Nervous system: Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and breaks down fats, making free fatty acids available for physical exertion. This means caffeine consumption can significantly improve physical performance, so you might want to drink a cup before you the hit the gym.
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