The human body yearns for coffee. It helps us wake up, keeps us energized throughout the day, and is delicious when properly prepared or mixed with a ton of cream and sugar! What is it that we love about this mean bean? Is it the caffeine? As the world’s most widely used drug, our body may be physically and psychologically attached to our favorite morning drink on a molecular level. Other than acting as a stimulant, coffee (in it’s fully caffeinated form) offers several additional health pros: it increases memory, decreases muscle pain/fatigue, keeps Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at bay, increases stamina and aids in weight loss… just to name a few. Now, thanks new evidence presented at last month’s 2013 Scientific Sessions by the American Heart Association, caffeinated coffee is adding another major health benefit to its repertoire: decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. How? By increasing small blood vessel function. A small study’s results showed a 30% increase in blood flow for 75 minutes after consumption of caffeinated coffee.
As a consumer, why should we care? Blood vessels transport blood throughout the entire body in an intricate web. Increased blood vessel function means improved circulation. Oxygen-rich blood needs to reach all parts of the body, or lethargy, dizziness, and delayed mental reaction will present themselves upon onset. Memory retention is also negatively impacted by poor blood flow. Eventually, if left untreated, your chances of suffering kidney damage, a heart attack, or a stroke increases significantly. Poor blood flow is also the culprit for unsightly varicose veins. This is all great news for the world’s most popular beverage and its consumers. The study does not reveal exactly why this occurs, however, lead researcher Masato Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D., believes it most likely results from reduced inflammation combined with actual widening of vessels.