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Drink Coffee for Brain, Heart and Immune Health

Drink Coffee for Brain, Heart and Immune Health

According to the Oxford Dictionary blog, three unusual words for a cuppa coffee are: Skilly—nautical slang for a too-weak brew; Sergeant-major—military slang for coffee with milk and sugar; and Coffee Biggin—a cup brewed in a filtered drip pot first invented by George Biggin around 1780. Then, there are the more down-to-earth synonyms of java, mud, jamocha and Joe.

But whatever you call it, this universal beverage improves cognitive function and heart health. And the good news keeps coming: An observational study of 500,000 people in Europe published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed drinking at least 3 cups a day—caffeinated or decaf—improved liver and immune function and, during 16 years of the study’s follow-up, reduced the chance of an untimely death.

For the 54 percent of Americans 18 and older who already drink 3.1 cups a day—enjoy the benefits! But if coffee isn’t your beverage of choice, here are some other great beverages that confer bountiful health benefits.

  • Green Tea: Helps lower lousy LDL cholesterol. A Japanese study showed 5 cups a day reduces your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, including stroke.
  • Black Tea: Although most tea studies feature green tea, drinking black tea is also a heart healthy choice.
  • Chicken Broth: While some studies show drinking this soothing liquid may help tamp down the common cold and stimulate nasal fluids that help block infections, others indicate it may be an anti-inflammatory. We say, it tastes so good, why not enjoy?

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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