A cup (or, let's be honest, three cups) of coffee a day does more than just keep the cranky, groggy feelings away — it's actually proven to increase your longevity.
Not one but two recent studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirmed coffee's most important health benefit: it can help you live longer. Both studies analyzed the self-reported java habits of more than 700,000 people in both the US and 10 European countries over an average of 16 years, specifically focusing on the death rates of coffee drinkers from nonwhite populations. Each separate study showed that people who consumed more of that liquid energy tended to have a lower risk of dying during the study period than those who sipped on less or no coffee at all.
The study conducted in the US examined people of African American, Japanese, and Latino descent and discovered that drinking four or more cups o' joe per day equated to an 18 percent lower risk of premature death during the 16-year follow-up time period. But this benefit wasn't necessarily just for coffee addicts, as it was also found that those who simply drank one daily cup of coffee had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared to nondrinkers.
It's interesting to note that this advantage rang true for coffee drinkers who consumed either caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages, which suggests that caffeine is not the main component of the dark beverage's health benefits. It may instead be due to the drink's various antioxidants, which have been proven to possibly help reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and certain cancers.
For the study conducted in Europe, similar benefits were found, as hardcore java advocates who drank the most coffee had a seven to 12 percent lower risk of premature death compared to people who didn't consume any coffee.
Though these findings are allowing us to justify our daily Starbucks run, they certainly don't mean you should start chugging coffee with every meal in hopes of living until you're 120 years old. Like most things in life, moderation is key!