Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Coffee Is A Miracle Elixir With A Long List Of Health Benefits"

What's a dark liquid with outstanding aroma served and consumed several times a day in a cup? That's right. Coffee!

Some people enjoy it, others don't go near it. However, That latter opinion bears rethinking in light of a growing amount of evidence that coffee is quite beneficial for us. It's not often that something that tastes so wonderful is that good for us.


It turns out that coffee is a wonderful beverage. Every attempt to prove that we drink too much of it or that we should stay away from it comes up short. In fact, study after study shows that that just the opposite is true. We should be drinking more of it - literally for our health. While long-term consumption (starting in one's 30s, for instance, and continuing on throughout life from that point) offers the most health benefits, starting to drink coffee even late in life can't hurt.


While there have been several studies trying to show that coffee increases cholesterol and blood pressure and that it contributes to other conditions, all of them ended up proving that coffee had substantial health benefits of one type or another. It is a great anti-oxidant as well.

In the largest study on coffee ever done on some 400,000 people, coffee - for reasons not totally understood at that time - was found to promote longer life. That length has not be quantified as yet - other than it has been measured in general. Now it seems that lowering the risk of chronic inflammation might have something to do with this finding.

A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine has found that drinking coffee may help protect older people against inflammation - already determined to be the underlying process for many age-related diseases.

It seems that inflammation is the root of so many ailments associated with aging, such as arthritis, gout (a form of arthritis), Alzheimer's, heart disease, digestive disorders, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, neurological diseases, obesity, and diabetes.  

The Stanford University scientists, who published their findings in the journal Nature Medicine, found that older people whose bodies had low levels of inflammation shared an important common characteristic — caffeine consumption. The results may help explain why coffee drinkers tend to live longer than those who avoid the beverage.

As more and more studies are conducted, the results are likely to be even more conclusive and promising for coffee consumption. It seems that there are some 1000 different chemicals and properties in coffee - most of which have not been studied. Let's fast-track that research so we can learn even more about why we should be drinking this great beverage. We have so many wonderful reasons already, including the taste, so why not add a few more for good measure?

The amount we should be drinking keeps changing from just a cup or two a day to four-five cups a day and now essentially as much as we want. Besides, what is a "cup" anyway? Years ago a typical dinnerware cup was 5 ounces. Now we typically get 12 ounces or more in a serving. Some people like to add flavoring (sweeteners and cream), but coffee just seems to be good all by itself.

Some studies have found that decaffeinated coffee was OK to drink as well - that there was something else in the coffee that was beneficial besides the caffeine - but these current Stanford University findings suggest otherwise.

It's rare to find something that we like to do that is actually recommended for good health. Coffee consumption seems to be one of those rare finds.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.