If you can't get your day started without a cup (or few) of coffee, you'll be happy to learn that a recent study shows drinking lots of coffee was associated with a lower risk of early death. In fact, people who downed eight or more cups per day showed a 14 percent lower risk of dying over a 10-year study period, compared with those who didn't drink coffee at all. For those who drank six to seven cups a day, the risk was cut 16 percent,
However, the results of this observational study do not prove that coffee caused people to live longer. In fact, the modest benefits do not provide good reason to start drinking coffee, according to the research.
Coffee contains more than 1,000 biological compounds, including potassium and folic acid, known to have an effect on the body. Like many plant foods, the coffee bean is brimming with polyphenols that, research suggests, confer health benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes and antihypertensive properties. Plants including vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains have many healthful compounds that have a positive effect on health and well-being. Due in part to these compounds, people who follow a more plant-based approach to eating have lower rates of chronic diseases, such as certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, dementia, heart disease and depression.
But, drinking coffee is not a miracle in a cup, and is unlikely to prevent the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, such as the typical Western diet or smoking tobacco. In addition, the caffeine in coffee may have bad health consequences for some people.
Non-coffee drinkers can also benefit similarly from drinking tea, according to researchers.