People often like to tell coffee drinkers that drinking a cup of Joe or two a day is still a vice.
But, if you're a member of the I-love-coffee club, you can tell those people that, unlike smoking and drinking, consuming caffeine has been shown to extend life.
New research from Stanford's School of Medicine may have figured out why this is.
The study, published in Nature Medicine, claims caffeine may be able to stave off chronic inflammation, which the lead author says is associated with "more than 90% of all noncommunicable diseases of aging."
The study of more than 100 subjects suggests caffeine may help fight it.
Researchers studied participants' blood for caffeine and its metabolites, which are found in tea and chocolate as well.
Those who consumed more caffeine tended to fall into the "low" group for the activation of inflammatory gene clusters.
The "low" group was also 8 times as likely to have a minimum of one close relative to live to age 90 than those in the "high" group.
Which is good, because there's no way you can make it to 90 years without a cup of coffee!
RELATED: Strangely delicious things to add to your coffee
Strangely delicious things to add to your coffee
Strangely delicious things to add to your coffee
Butter in coffee is actually becoming a very popular trend, among celebrities like Shailene Woodley and college students alike. The mixture, termed "Bulletproof Coffee," is made by blending together coffee with a pat of butter and some coconut oil.
The nutritional benefits behind this seemingly odd drink include improved work performance, higher and prolonged energy levels, and weight loss. Use grass-fed butter, which is a heart-healthy superfood rich in antioxidants and body fat-burning vitamins. Who said butter wasn't good for you?
No, I don't mean sugar. Some people claim that adding sugar to coffee decreases its bitterness (we're looking at you, dining hall coffee). If you make your own coffee at home, try adding it to your coffee grounds before brewing, or to your cold brew to really maximize the flavor.
Make your morning coffee exotic by adding this Middle Eastern spice to your cup, which also acts as a neutralizer for the effects of caffeine. If you're one of those people who gets the jitters from coffee, I'm talking to you. Cardamom was also commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to lift spirits, reduce pain, and induce a calm state of mind. As a bonus, it can also help stimulate your appetite and settle your stomach. This might just be the miracle spice you've been dreaming of.
And you thought the butter was weird. Scandanavian egg coffee is a traditional drink in parts of Scandinavia, Norway, and even the American Midwest. It's made by mixing a whole raw egg into coffee grounds, then boiling it in water. It results in a separation of the coffee grounds and the water, free of sediment or cloudiness. Straining it results in an amber-colored coffee that is only mildly bitter and that still contains the essential oils from the coffee beans. It's definitely an experiment worth trying.
Because why not? I can personally say that ice cream is probably the greatest addition to coffee that's ever happened. It's the perfect substitute for cream and sugar, making your coffee that much sweeter and easier to drink if you actually hate coffee, but drink it anyway to stay awake. If your college dining hall has an ice cream machine, I would recommend topping off your cup of joe with a scoop of your flavor of choice, and revel in the luxury of your new favorite drink.
Coconut oil is used in pretty much everything these days, so why not add it to your coffee too? Advocates maintain that coconut oil enhances coffee, making it taste better and providing a whole lot of health benefits. A spoonful of the stuff will help speed up your metabolism, boost your immune system, and leave you feeling more satisfied.
Breakfast and coffee in one? Yes, please. Decrease your morning routine by adding raw oatmeal into your hot cup of coffee until the oatmeal is cooked through. Add cinnamon, honey, or sugar for extra flavor and sweetness. As a bonus, there's one less set of dishes you have to do. It's a win-win.
Bubbly iced coffee sounds weird but also somewhat appealing, right? This combination, popular in places like Sweden, is made by pouring cold brew or espresso over tonic water and ice. The resulting drink is said to be citrusy, crisp, and refreshing (especially on those hot summer days), with an additional caffeinated kick you'll probably need once exams start. By night, turn this drink into a cold brew gin and tonic, because you deserve it.
Lemon or Lime
First there was lemon in water, now there's lemon in coffee. Give your morning brew a citrusy kick by throwing in a fresh lemon or lime peel (but be careful not to swallow it). The peel will get rid of the bitter flavors of your coffee and enhance its sweetness. Another myth suggests that a lemon peel can clean your teeth after drinking coffee or espresso. Unfortunately, however, it can't prevent coffee breath.
The more caffeine the merrier. For the ultimate pick-me-up, pour some Coca-Cola into your iced coffee, making a drink that's said to be similar to vanilla Coke. The mixture results in a refreshing fizz that's bubbly and sure to keep you awake throughout most of the day. Be sure to use a medium to dark roast coffee in order to decrease dilution and counteract the sweetness of the soda.
Pure vanilla extract is a great replacement for any artificial sweeteners or sugars that you would typically use in your coffee. Just a few drops of the stuff will sweeten your brew and add additional flavor minus all the fake preservatives in traditional flavor syrups. You could also try adding almond extract to experiment with flavor profiles.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
You're never going to want to put regular milk in your coffee again after you try it with this stuff. Sweetened condensed milk added to your coffee will make it sweeter and creamier, requiring no extra sugar. A traditional drink in Vietnam, it's super easy to make and way cheaper than any of the lattes at Starbucks you usually get.
This was actually an experiment of my own, as I have a slight huge obsession with peanut butter and would try to eat it with everything if I could. Peanut butter will give your hot coffee a nutty, creamy taste, and provide all the benefits that come with eating it. This includes added protein to help make you feel fuller longer, healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. You could even blend coffee and peanut butter with some other ingredients to create a satisfying morning coffee smoothie.