Scientists have long believed that coffee is beneficial to our health. It helps our heart function normally and now scientists believe that we should drink four shots of espresso per day or cups of coffee containing equivalent amounts of caffeine. This idea was put forward by a group of German researchers who found that coffee affects the cells in our blood vessels, making them perform as though they were younger than they are. Older adults can this benefit from the stimulus that coffee provides to their cells.

The results of two major studies of coffee drinkers, one carried out in the US by the National Institutes of Health studied more than 400,000 people and the other conducted in Europe studied 521,330 people. Both found that people who drink coffee are less likely to die from heart disease. This particular finding debunks the old myth that people with heart problems shouldn’t drink coffee.

Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cirrhosis of the liver, a lower risk of developing some cancers, a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and are less likely to suffer from depression than people who don’t drink the brew.

But what if you don’t like the taste of coffee? Green tea might be the answer to this question as it contains similar amounts of caffeine.

A word of warning though before you overdo your intake of caffeine. Too much caffeine can make your heart beat faster, and cause other health problems. Different people have different reactions to caffeine. One person might easily be able to drink four or five cups of coffee a day, while another person might suffer adverse effects. Scientists have also said that as caffeine can be responsible for making blood vessels grow, this can have the effect of giving more oxygen to boost cancerous tumors. So if you have been diagnosed with cancer, stay away from coffee.

Cardiologists say that coffee may (it hasn’t yet been proven) reduce arrhythmias in those who have irregular heartbeats. Coffee is not the answer, in itself, to living a long life. Everyone should exercise regularly and eat healthy food. Avoid additives and preservatives as well as food that has been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. Eat organic produce, even if it is more expensive, if you want to improve your chances of living to a ripe old age.

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