Well for those of us who cannot function in the morning before a nice, steamy mug of coffee, or who enjoy that daily afternoon trip to your local Starbucks for a Venti coffee of the day, there has certainly been some good news recently.
Turns out that a recent study done by Dutch researchers followed more than 37,000 people in The Netherlands for 13 years in one of the largest and longest studies ever to examine the impact of coffee and tea drinking on heart health. What they found even surprised me!!
The study discovered that people who drank three to six cups of tea per day had a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease than people who drank less than one cup of tea a day, and that people who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day had about a 20% lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all. The study researcher did mention that while this particular study did not include people with known heart disease, it was not clear if drinking coffee or tea is beneficial for them. However, for healthy people, it certainly appears that drinking coffee and tea is not harmful and it may even offer some benefits.
So what is it about coffee and tea that seems to benefit the heart? Both coffee and tea contain good amounts of flavonoids, the powerful antioxidants known for their strong medicinal properties in fighting cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Other foods that contain flavonoids include red wine, red grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries, and red beans. (For more information on the positive effects of flavonoids check out this article by dietician Lisa Nelson.)
This recent study is also a good sign for many Americans, since we tend to not only be fairly big coffee drinkers but also big iced tea drinkers. The American Heart Association commented that while six cups of tea may sound like a lot, a large glass of iced tea may contain two to three cups of liquid. However, the American Heart Association did warn to watch the sugar when drinking iced tea, as it could have an adverse effect by bringing on a higher possibility for developing diseases such as diabetes.
Published On: July 07, 2010