Once assumed to be a dangerous and detrimental lifestyle habit, the truth about coffee consumption has become abundantly clear over recent years. Linked with everything from cancer prevention to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, evidence suggests that moderated caffeine intake could actually help the average person live longer.
One of the more recent studies into the phenomenon examined the coffee consumption habits of just under 510,000 people aged 20 to 79. The overall results of the study were not particularly surprising - those who drank sensible amount of coffee on a regular basis seemed to benefit from a lower risk of certain conditions and diseases than those who abstained.
In particular, cholesterol levels were reduced, and cardiovascular health improved in the participants who drank coffee on a daily basis.
But what came as a surprise to the researchers was the apparent correlation between certain coffee brewing methods and greater all round health benefits. Specifically, the study brought to light evidence suggesting that those who drank filtered coffee had a statistically lower risk of heart disease and death than those who drank unfiltered coffee.
If so, one more reason to celebrate the gift of drip coffee.
For the purposes of the study, the ‘unfiltered coffee’ category included a variety of brewing methods, such as French press, Greek style or Turkish coffee style brews. It was determined that around 60% of the participants preferred filtered coffee - such as drip coffee - and among those who primarily consumed filtered coffee the apparent health benefits were amplified.
In addition, the study also took into account the inclusion of additives like milk, cream, sugar, sweetness and syrups. Across the board, the researchers reached the conclusion that the best way to leverage the full health benefits of coffee is to enjoy it in its untainted (yet filtered) form.
The more cream, sugar and artificial additives that make it into the cup, the less healthy the resulting coffee becomes.
Though estimates vary from one study to the next, experts generally agree that consuming 3 to 5 sensible sized cups of coffee per day (equating to around 400 mg of daily caffeine) is the sweet spot for maximum health benefits. However, the researchers were keen to point out that this only applies in the case of relatively healthy individuals who already live healthy lifestyles.
By no means is coffee to be interpreted as a miracle cure of preventative method for any condition, which it most certainly is not!
Still, it all makes for reassuring reading and could add a further drop of enjoyment into your next cup of drip coffee. And just for the record, there was nothing in the study to indicate that the other unfiltered coffee brewing methods were ‘unhealthy’ by design. It was simply a case of filtered coffee topping the table as the healthiest of all, according to the results of this particular study.
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