Whether or not coffee is good for us has always brewed up a steamy storm of debate. Now, studies have shown drinking up to 4 cups a day can cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 23% and reduce high blood pressure too. Even decaffeinated coffee has been thought to have some health benefits. (1)
Now it seems that researchers at the Universities of Navarre, Spain, and Catania, Italy have found a link between drinking coffee and metabolic syndrome (MetS).
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a conglomeration of health conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include elevated or increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, and abnormal or bad cholesterol levels.
Having just one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a considerable risk of serious disease, and if you develop three or more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease is even greater. (2)
Diabetes and Hypertension – Facts, Figures, And Prevention
Diabetes affects almost 34 million Americans and a staggering 88 million American adults have prediabetes. Of adults diagnosed with diabetes, 89% were overweight or obese and almost 45% of adults in the United States have hypertension or high blood pressure. (3, 4)
Preventing and reducing these conditions can involve certain lifestyle changes such as:
- Exercise – even small amounts each week can make a difference to overall health.
- Diet and weight management – to reduce your body mass index and foster a healthier intake of foods.
- Quit smoking – Smoking raises blood pressure and can put you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Reducing alcohol intake – drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may increase your blood pressure.
- Sleep maintenance – A good night’s sleep helps your blood pressure to decrease during those hours of slumber.
With coffee being one of the most widely consumed beverages after water, perhaps adding its consumption to the list of lifestyle changes could also help reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and even cardiovascular disease. (5)
In a report of coffee drinking trends published by the National Coffee Association, 63% of American adults drink coffee daily. These days, it’s no longer just a morning drink… younger coffee drinkers have begun to boost sales of coffee prepared outside the home and consumed after breakfast. (6)
According to studies, coffee polyphenols, rich in antioxidants, may help prevent metabolic syndrome linked to those conditions. Estefania Toledo, of Navarre University, Spain, told reporters the analysis showed an ”association between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes’ and added that ‘long-term coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of hypertension”.
So next time you grab your favorite coffee cup, remember you may just be doing your overall health a bit of good, in more ways than one.