A cup of coffee a day may keep a stroke away

Rita Hason never leaves home without her morning coffee.  “People probably think this mug of coffee is permanently attached to my hand,” she said as she walked into work.  This Minneapolis receptionists, who takes her coffee with two creams and a sugar, says it’s always been part of her wake-up routine.  “I have to have coffee or my brain just doesn’t function.”

Little did Hason know, that cup of joe isn’t just helping her get through her workday, it may actually be keeping her healthy too.  A new study published by the American Health Association shows female coffee drinkers have a lower risk of stroke.

The Swedish study tracked a group of women aged 49 to 83 for ten years.  About 35,000 women participated in a survey about their coffee consumption.  Researchers analyzed that information along with stroke cases from hospitals and found surprising results.  The study shows women that drank more than one cup of coffee a day had up to a 25% lowered risk of stroke.

So what is it about your morning pick me up that’s so healthy?  Doctors aren’t 100% certain they have the answer, but some believe antioxidants may play a role.  Researchers say these disease fighting chemicals are found in the coffee bean, and may help our body stay healthy.

We’ve all heard about the positive effects of green tea, but this is the first study that lists coffee as a healthy drink.  In the past, doctors and scientists have linked coffee to hyperactivity and heart problems.  Swedish researchers say they aren’t encouraging everyone to start brewing coffee, but they hope their work shows coffee may not be as harmful as once predicted.

For caffeine junkies like Hason, the study is good news.  “I had no idea my coffee had positive health effects,” she said.  “What a great bonus!”

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