April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks
You already know that coffee can help you live through a long morning meeting, but it also might help you live -- period! We have the scoop on why coffee might extend your life -- and some delicious new ways to drink it up.
The National Cancer Institute (NIH) study, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tracked over 400,000 older adults for almost 14 years and found that those who drank the most coffee were the least likely to die during the study. Men and women who drank four to five cups a day were, in fact, the least likely to die.
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"Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear. We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes,'' said lead researcher Neal Freedman, PhD, of the NIH. "Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health."
In other words -- this research doesn't prove it was the coffee that kept those long-livers from keeling over, but it's certainly not hurting them. Also noteworthy: researchers said that it didn't matter if the coffee was caffeinated or not -- good news if you get the jitters after one cup!
Now, we're not knocking a good old cup of Joe, but here are some new ideas for ingesting your java:
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1. The new Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino are now available at Starbucks, but only for a limited time this summer. Definitely save these for a special treat; order a tall with skim milk and no whipped cream for the skinniest version.
(Skim, no-whip Mocha Cookie Crumble: 220 calories, 2.5 g fat, 49 g carbs for a 12 oz. "tall"; skim, no-whip Chocolate Cookie Crumble: 200 cals, 3 g fat, 41 g carbs per 12 oz.).
2. Dunkin' Donuts' new iced coffee flavor, Black Cocoa Creme, sounds like a delicious way to cool down this summer. Cookies and cream + coffee + a special pink and black straw!
(Without cream: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 70 g sodium, 26 g carbs, 23 g sugar per 12 oz.; with cream: 170 calories, 6 g fat [3.5 saturated], 80 g sodium, 27 g carbs, 23 g sugar per 12 oz.)
3. Make yourself an iced coffee and add a generous splash of Coffee-mate's new Low-Fat Vanilla NATURAL BLISS All-Natural Coffee Creamer. Made from nonfat milk, sugar, heavy cream, natural flavor and carrageenan (a natural thickener), each tablespoon only has 20 calories, 1 g fat and 3 grams of sugar.
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4. In a smoothie mood? Try SELF's Banana Coffee Crunch recipe here -- ingredients include Greek yogurt and rum extract.
5. Not in the mood for a drink? How about dessert? These warm chocolate cakes with Coffee Creme Anglaise are only 139 calories each.
6. And if you really want a special, unique treat, check out SELF's Bananas Foster With Toasted Almond Coffee Ice Cream recipe. You start by making your own ice cream with toasted almonds, Greek yogurt and coffee ... and it just gets better from there.
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