Keep drinking that comforting cup of morning Joe—it could help prevent a stroke.
A recent study published in the journal Stroke found that consuming one cup of coffee per day can decrease stroke risk by up to 20%.
Researchers followed 82,369 men and women in Japan over the course of 13 years and found those who drank coffee regularly were less likely to suffer a stroke. Similarly, drinking four cups of green tea per day also decreased stroke risk by 20%.
Related studies even suggest the more coffee, the better. Swedish researchers followed nearly 35,000 women from the ages of 49 to 83 for 10 years and found those who drank two or more cups of coffee every day decreased stroke risk by nearly a quarter.
In addition to stroke, drinking coffee regularly is also linked with preventing Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer.
Coffee hasn’t always been viewed as a benefit to health. In fact, caffeine has been linked to anxiety, insomnia, osteoporosis, and even high blood pressure. But researchers also point out that drinking caffeine is often associated with unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking and a lack of exercise, ultimately causing coffee to garner a negative reputation.
Researchers are still mystified by exactly why coffee causes a significant decrease in stroke risk. Speculation includes that coffee decreases inflammation or improves insulin resistance, both of which can help prevent strokes.
But remember that just drinking coffee isn’t enough to thwart stroke and heart attacks—maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine are the main priority. And when indulging in your morning coffee, stay away from calorie-laden additives such as sugary syrups and whole milk that are often found at coffeehouses. Stick to black or opt for a small amount of sugar and low-fat milk.