A Coffee and Fruit Habit May Have a Bunch of Health Benefits

Posted 12/15/2015 | By HealthCorps

A new Harvard School of Public Health study suggests that drinking 5 cups of coffee daily may have several health benefits including limiting heart disease, diabetes, and neurological risks, and it may also limit suicide risk. You may not have to drink five cups a day, but a regular coffee habit, which can easily be incorporated into your diet, was shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers suggest that if you already drink coffee, this research gives you a good reason to continue. If you don’t drink coffee because of certain concerns that it may be bad for your health, this new study may sway you to feel more comfortable drinking coffee.

Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants consumed in the U.S.

The Harvard researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study 2, as well as data from 40,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. In these studies, participants self-reported consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Those who drank one to five cups daily were less likely to have died, compared to non-drinkers. Death from heart disease, neurological disease, and suicide was less common among moderate coffee drinkers than among others, but there was no relationship with deaths from cancer, the researchers found. Lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes was associated with consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Researchers credit certain compounds in the coffee with these benefits.

Researchers credited the caffeine specifically when it came to reduced risk of neurodegenerative disease, depression, and suicide.

When it comes to younger adults, a new study suggests that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to be linked to a healthy heart decades later. This study shows a link between a healthy food habit and the payoff decades later. Eating more fruits and vegetables as a young adult was associated with less calcified plaque in the coronary arteries almost 20 years later.

The researchers emphasize that you shouldn’t wait until you’re older to start eating more healthfully. This study suggests that the foods you eat as a younger person, in this case fruits and vegetables, can have significant health implications as you age.

Health experts recommend eating a variety “of colors” when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption. The varying colors represent different phytonutrients, plant-based compounds associated with health benefits. Consider making a fruit salad, root vegetable soup or tossed salad with at least six or seven vegetables. Add vegetables to pasta dishes, pizza, omelets, chili or stew. Include fruits and vegetables in your daily snacks. Toss fruit into your cereal or yogurt and use pureed fruit when you bake muffins, brownies or cake.

Source: Food Navigator

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