Coffee Meditation Will Get You Through the Darkest Days

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One of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world, there’s long been debate over whether coffee is truly good for you. But the good news for coffee lovers everywhere is that a newly published study seems to add to the growing body of research supporting the benefits of coffee.

The study, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, suggests that two to three cups of coffee a day may actually protect you from developing heart disease and even early death.

“Decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee, particularly at 2 to 3 cups [per] day, were associated with significant reductions in incident [cardiovascular disease] and mortality,” researchers wrote. “Ground and instant but not decaffeinated coffee was associated with reduced arrhythmia.”

With coffee being ubiquitous in most societies across the world and up to 80% of medical practitioners historically recommending that patients with cardiovascular disease avoid coffee, researchers for the current study wanted to examine whether that recommendation was really warranted.

Here’s a closer look at what the study found and why coffee may actually help protect you from heart disease and increase longevity.

The observational study analyzed data from patients who participated in the UK Biobank, which is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource that includes coffee consumption habits for nearly 450,000 adults.

The patients included in the research effort were free of heart disease or arrhythmia at the start of the study and were divided into four groups: people who drank caffeinated ground coffee, people who drank decaf coffee, people who drank caffeinated instant coffee, and people who didn’t drink coffee at all.

Researchers analyzed medical and death records for patients after an average of 12.5 years for issues such as arrhythmia, heart disease, stroke, and death. The researchers also adjusted for factors like age, diabetes, ethnicity, high blood pressure, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, sex, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption.

As a result of their review, researchers found a variety of important benefits from coffee drinking including significant reductions in the risk for coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and stroke when drinking ground, decaffeinated or caffeinated coffee. Ground coffee and instant coffee were also found to reduce risks for an irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia.

This study, like many others in the past, was observational, meaning it cannot pinpoint a specific cause and effect when it comes to how coffee helps lower risk of death. Randomized controlled trials would be needed to understand the relationship between coffee and cardiovascular health. However, there are some theories about what could be behind the link.

“Coffee is a complex drink which contains more than 100 biologically active compounds, of which caffeine is the most well known,” Kistler said. “Caffeine is known to be a stimulant which increases alertness and concentration. However caffeine has other effects on the body such as reducing fat generation, and has antioxidant properties.”

Caffeine also contains compounds called polyphenols which are known to be antioxidants, Kistler continued. “Polyphenols can also modify the body’s metabolism, such as increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and improve the gut microbiome,” he said. “All these effects are likely to explain the reductions in the risk of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke.”

When it comes to heart disease and stroke, the benefits among people who consumed three cups of coffee a day showed up as follows:

  • Ground coffee: 20% lowered risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Decaf coffee: 6% lowered risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Instant: 9% lowered risk of heart disease and stroke

And finally, for irregular heartbeat the study showed:

  • Individual who drink 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated ground coffee: 17% lowered risk
  • Two to three cups a day of instant coffee: 12% lowered risk

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