It may be time to update the old adage about an apple a day, because coffee might have the real health benefits, according to a new study. (And, before you ask: No, it does not appear that Starbucks sponsored the research.) The study, published Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that "higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death in African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites."
The researchers looked at data from around 186,000 people and, when compared to non-coffee drinkers, people who drank a cup of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die from cancer, stroke, and diabetes, as well as heart, kidney, and respiratory disease. As Newsweek points out, the results were even more dramatic for people who drank up to three cups a day, with an 18% lower chance of keeling over (technical term!) due to cancer, stroke, or diabetes. Basically: You no longer need a chess game to beat death, just a cup of coffee, or two, or three.
So why does coffee have a bad reputation? Because people who drink a lot of coffee also tend to smoke and drink alcohol. Once those factors and a few others were eliminated from the data set, the researchers found that coffee drinking was "inversely associated with total mortality." In short, we'll see you in line at the coffee shop.