In a bid to stay healthy and live longer, many people are consuming a minimum of their five a day fruit and vegetable portions, exercising vigorously and taking mineral supplements that could keep an army on the move. However, living longer might only mean drinking the right coffee every morning to help improve the way that your heart pumps blood around your system and fights the free radicals on your behalf.
Moving to Ikaria
At just under 100 miles square and with a population of around 8500 people, Ikaria is a small Greek island just off the western coast of Turkey. The residents are noted for having the longest lifespan in the world. In comparison to the European average of 0.1% of people living to be older than the age of 90, Ikaria can claim that over 1% of its population is over that age; that’s 10 times more than the regular average.
A professor and medical doctor, Gerasimos Siasos, from the University of Athens Medical School, decided to investigate the relationship between the population’s coffee drinking habits and their health.
Knowing that other research has shown that drinking a moderate amount of coffee every day reduces the risks of heart disease, the scientists decided to concentrate on the endothelium, which is the layer of cells that line the blood vessels and is often cited as being able to show the differences between people’s lifestyles, habits and their age.
Greek coffee is made by boiling the water and coffee in a pot and then serving it up in a cup so that the grounds settle at the bottom. This is different to the way most people prepare their coffee around the world and may or may not be a deciding factor.
The research data
Exactly 71 females and 71 males all over 65 were chosen for the experiment. They had also lived all of their lives on Ikaria. The study compared their lifestyles, coffee consumption habit, along with checking their medical health by paying particular attention to diabetes and high blood pressure. Each person was tested to study how their endothelium worked.
After analysing the different ways that they all consumed their coffee, the data showed that more than 87% of the people drank coffee prepared Greek style every day and most of those showed a better endothelial function than the people who drank coffee prepared in other ways. It was the same for hypertension sufferers.
The study shows additional proof linking cardiovascular health with nutritional health, which may be because the Greek coffee is polyphenol and antioxidant rich.
The consumption of boiled Greek coffee may not be the only reason that people live longer on the island than anywhere else in the world, on average, but in trying to find ways to live healthier and longer, any advantage should be considered. It’s time for a much bigger experiment to find out if boiled Greek coffee is the only reason that people are living longer on the island.
Damien Higgins writes for Eden Springs who supply coffee machines for offices.