Is Coffee Bad for Your Heart?

Are you one of those people who can't live without coffee? Do you feel like your brain doesn’t reallystart working until after your first cup of Joe? Then we have good news for you!

Despite hearing for decades that coffee might be bad for your heart, new research has shown that a moderate consumption of coffee is actually good for you. As it turns out, coffee contains antioxidants that might be beneficial to your heart, protecting it from heart failure and strokes, amongst other things.

Is Coffee Bad for Your Heart?

Not really. Recent studies show that people who drink three to four cups of coffee per day are significantly less likely to die prematurely from most natural causes. Furthermore, the study also shows that coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke compared to people who don't drink coffee. This is why:

Coffee Shields You from Strokes

How Stroke Occurs

There's a thin membrane lining our heart and blood vessels called the endothelium. The cells in this membrane help control things such as blood clotting, platelet adhesion and even the contraction and relaxation of vessels.

When this membrane presents problems, also called endothelial dysfunction, it causes vessels to stop dilating which can lead to ischemic stroke. This kind of stroke is the most common and is caused by a sudden loss of blood flow.

How Coffee Helps in This Case

Experiments suggest that, in the case of endothelial dysfunction, coffee can help slow down the time it takes for platelets to block your arteries, giving you a larger window of time that can ultimately make the difference between life and death.

Coffee vs. Diabetes

Not only does coffee help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease but there's strong evidence suggesting that drinking black coffee can reduce your risk of developing diabetes as well.

Curiously, this benefit is almost exclusive to women as those who drink 3 or more cups of black coffee daily present 34% less risks of developing diabetes. The same can’t be said for men, who only present a marginal decrease in diabetes risk.

Caffeinated coffee, however, can help reduce the after-meal glucose levels of both men and women, which in turn can lower blood glucose levels and insulin concentrations.

It's important to mention that these benefits are only present if the next two conditions are met:

  • The coffee is black, without any sugar or sweeteners to alter people's blood glucose levels.
  • The coffee is caffeinated.

 

Coffee Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural part of your immune response. However, when it’s out of control it can be harmful for your body in various ways. This includes your blood vessels.

One of coffee’s less known properties comes from the compounds in coffee beans. These contain phytochemicals that can help reduce inflammation which translates to good news for your blood vessels and your heart.

Some of the causes behind heart failure seem to have an inflammatory component which is why coffee can contribute to long-term benefits in terms of preventing cardiovascular disease.

Why Is Coffee Bad for Your Heart? Myths Debunked

1. Coffee Raises Your Blood Pressure

It's true that coffee causes a small spike in your blood pressure but this is mostly on people who aren't used to it. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee develop a tolerance to caffeine, which means that coffee drinkers aren't any more likely to develop high blood pressure than people who don't drink coffee at all.

There is, however, a genetic component to the way people react to coffee. Some are simply more sensitive to caffeine than others which can alter the way your blood pressure reacts to your coffee intake.

2. Coffee Doesn't Raise Most People's Heart Rhythm

Simply put, there's no relationship between drinking coffee and increasing your heart rhythm if you don't suffer from arrhythmia or similar disorders.

While it's true that excessive coffee might have a negative reaction in people with heart arrhythmias, a personalized approach is advised.

If you can drink one or two cups of coffee a day without worsening your condition, then do so or simply switch to decaf coffee and drink moderately.

3. Coffee Helps Control Your Blood Sugar

The antioxidants found in coffee can help regulate your blood sugar levels which can reduce your risks for type two diabetes.

It’s important to mention, though, that this refers to black coffee. Milk, sweeteners and creamers should be used smartly as they can have sugars.

How to Make Your Coffee Healthier

Is coffee bad for your heart? Not really; and there are some tips that will make your coffee experience overall healthier:

  • Drink organic coffee to avoid insecticides.
  • Avoid flavored coffee beans which are full of chemicals.
  • Don't use sugar or flavored creamers.
  • Grind your beans at home for better taste and preserve coffee's antioxidant properties.
  • Drink coffee after your meals which will help regulate the way your body reacts to caffeine.
 
 
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