For this study, Harvard researchers followed the diets and health status of over 200,000 adults for a 30-year period. Study subjects who reported daily consumption of moderate amounts of coffee (defined as less than five cups daily) were less likely to die of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, neurologic diseases, and suicide. And the benefits were noted in both decaf and regular coffee drinkers, suggesting that compounds in coffee other than the caffeine are likely responsible.
This comes as no surprise as we know that coffee is home to hundreds of bioactive plant compounds, including some exceedingly potent antioxidant polyphenols. In fact, relative to other polyphenol-rich foods, coffee can claim the number three position in the list of the foods with the most polyphenols per typical serving.
(Circulation, 2015 DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341)
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