- Drinking just one cup of coffee a week could help prevent early death, according to a new study.
- Heart attack survivors could especially benefit from drinking coffee, researchers found.
- People with a history of stroke, though, were better off drinking lots of green tea, data suggested.
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There’s even more evidence that coffee can be good for your health.
Regularly drinking coffee, even in small amounts, is linked to lower risk of early death, particularly for heart attack survivors but also for healthy adults, according to research published February 4 in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers from Osaka University, the University of Tsukuba, and Hokkaido University in Japan looked at data from more than 46,000 Japanese adults, tracking their tea and coffee drinking habits and health outcomes.
They found that, in general, those who drank at least one cup of coffee a week were 14% less likely to die of any cause during the study. For heart attack survivors, the effect was even stronger, reducing risk of early death by 22%.
The one group that didn’t seem to benefit from drinking coffee was people with a history of stroke. Researchers found they benefit better from drinking lots of green tea â€” at least seven cups a day reduced their risk of early death by 62%.
For people without a history of stroke, green tea didn’t seem to make a different for health outcomes.
Skip the milk and sugar
It’s not clear from this study why green tea and coffee might be beneficial. The results of the study are observational, so they don’t show that drinking those beverage can directly cause health improvements.
A key factor, though, is that both coffee and tea are often consumed without milk or sugar in Japan, which could be important to maximise the benefits.
“The healthiest way to prepare these beverages is without an unnecessary amount of added sugars,” Dr. Hiroyasu Iso, co-author of the study and a professor of public health at Osaka University, said in a press release.
Coffee and tea have a wealth of benefits, according to research
Previous studies suggest that coffee and tea (of all kinds) are high in phytonutrients, plant-based compounds that are good for our health.
One recent study found that tea could help lower blood pressure, since it’s rich in a particular type of micronutrients called flavanols (also found in apples and berries).
Coffee is also rich in healthy nutrients, with high levels of antioxidants that can lower inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease, research suggests.
Both coffee and tea contain some caffeine, which can have health benefits like more energy and a healthy metabolism, but also side effects like nausea or jitters in high doses. The caffeine in tea, however, is low enough that it’s unlikely to cause health issues.
Extensive research has found that it’s safe to drink up to five cups of coffee a day for good health.