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Red, White, and Brew: Coffee may have a variety of health benefits, says the American Heart Association

Surprise! Your coffee addiction may not be as bad for you as you think. In fact, the American Heart Association has published findings that drinking coffee in moderate amounts is associated with lower risk for heart failure, among other things.

Coffee is a complex beverage comprising about 200 different molecules, some of which are flavonoids. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant that may have heart-healthy or immune-protective properties, so it is not a complete surprise that coffee would have certain health benefits.

Recently more studies than ever have focused on the health benefits of coffee, finding that consuming coffee may decrease mortality, reduce risk for prostate cancer, and benefit athletic performance. However, it is important to note that these associations are not to be confused with causality, as research on several these findings is still ongoing.

But before you head over to Starbucks to grab that high-calorie, high-sugar Frappuccino, there is a catch. The studies touting these health benefits usually refer to “black” coffee with no added cream, sugar, or syrups. Furthermore, those with existing heart problems should exercise caution when consuming any types of caffeine. As with most things, it is acceptable to enjoy coffee in moderation for a heart-healthy lifestyle, and maybe even a health-promoting lifestyle.

Just make sure to keep hydrated!

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