Daily jolt lowers blood pressure.
Your daily cup of joe may prevent strokes and help you live longer, according to two new studies. A look at more than 80,000 Japanese adults found that those who drank at least one cup of coffee per day had 20 percent lower stroke risk than people who abstained. A second study of residents of the Greek island Ikaria – which boasts some of the longest life-spans in the world – determined that coffee drinkers had better-functioning blood vessels, a key marker of heart health, than nondrinkers. "Studies like these suggest that coffee can lower blood pressure," says Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. To reap coffee's heart benefits, Goldberg approves of having a couple cups a day – but not multiple Starbucks Ventis: "Too much caffeine can cause a racing heartbeat or gastrointestinal problems."