Drinking coffee might increase your longevity

Carmen Micsa

And an Iced Pumpkin Spice “Latte” Smoothie recipe

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“We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.” — Jerry Seinfeld

Throughout history, there has been a constant search for the elixir of life, or a magical drink that can turn one into an indefatigable and happy human being. And yet, few drinks have withstood the test of time like coffee - that hot brown liquid that seems to sip away all problems and worries by adding increased energy and optimism to one’s life.

In a recent article entitled People who drink coffee every day are less likely than non-coffee drinkers to die early, research suggests that “your daily coffee habit may help you live a longer, healthier life — even if you add sugar — according to a study the Annals of Internal Medicine recently published.”

Researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, analyzed coffee habits and health of more than 171,000 UK residents who didn’t have cancer or heart disease at the start of the study over a period of seven years.

Although previous evidence has suggested coffee drinkers live longer — the researchers in China went a step further to test whether sugar could negatively impact the health benefits. They found that people who regularly drank unsweetened coffee were 16 to 21% less likely to die during the study than their peers who didn’t drink coffee.

Study participants who drank between one and four cups of lightly sweetened coffee per day were 29 to 31% less likely to die during the study, according to the data.

However, people who consume coffee on a regular basis should not make a habit of adding high sugar concentrations to their steaming cups, according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. Christina Wee, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, on Southern Medical University’s study. Participants added about a teaspoon of sugar per cup, on average, which is much less than the amount of sweetener that typically goes in prepared or blended coffee drinks.

Thus, previous evidence that coffee is generally beneficial for longevity — no matter how you drink it — supports the findings.

The mental and physical health benefits of drinking coffee

“The smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the world’s greatest inventions.” — Hugh Jackman

When consumed in moderation not more than 400 mg, or four-five cups of coffee, according to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee is powerful in reducing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The polyphenols in coffee positively influence your health, which research shows can reduce inflammation, improve gut bacteria, boost metabolism, and moderate blood sugar.

Caffeine can also increase mental focus, benefit brain health — particularly as we age — and appears to be linked to a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The beverage is also tied to a lower risk of depression and suicide.

John Hopkins nutritionists share a recipe for a healthy iced pumpkin spice “latte” smoothie.

Iced Pumpkin Spice “Latte” Smoothie

Blend all ingredients to create this season drink. Using real pumpkin adds beneficial fiber.

1 cup coffee

½ cup milk of your choice (such as unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk, skim or 1% milk)

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup canned plain pumpkin

4 ice cubes

Try to limit added sugar as much as you can! If you MUST add sweetener, try pure maple syrup in a small quantity- start with 1 teaspoon.

Final takeaways:

  1. Coffee is good for you in moderation.
  2. Limit the amount of coffee that you drink to a maximum of four to five cups a day.
  3. Coffee can help you live longer.
  4. Coffee can be beneficial to your physical and mental health.
  5. Coffee can decrease depression.
  6. If you’re not a coffee drinker, but still wish to get some polyphenols in your body, enjoy dark chocolate, red wine, and tea.
  7. Like with all our food and drinks that we consume what we add to our coffee can make a difference, such as sugar, which we can limit.
  8. And last, but not least, try the new iced pumpkin spice “latte” smoothie recipe when autumn shows up in all its ruby and golden splendor.

Disclaimer: The author is not a nutritionist but has carefully compiled this information through research.

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CEO/Broker of Dynamic Real Estate, Inc., business owner featured in the Forbes magazine for my outstanding service to my clients. Mom, wife, a published author, Medium writer, poet, marathon runner, rapper, and tennis player.

Carmichael, CA
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