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!
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No Cuban meal is complete without a café cubano (Cuban coffee). A well-made café cubano has a thick layer of sweet crema (cream) floating over strong espresso. To get the crema right, whisk about 1 tablespoon of the espresso with sugar until it turns foamy, then pour the pot of espresso over it.
If you lust after those frothy frozen coffee drinks at your local coffee shop, then this mochaccino recipe is for you. This easy homemade version uses low-fat milk, cocoa powder, coffee and just a little bit of maple syrup, so it has a fraction of the calories of a traditional version.
Get an afternoon pick-me-up with these mocha-flavored frozen treats. A little of the cocoa settles at the bottom as they freeze, making a special chocolaty surprise on the top once the pop is unmolded.
Vietnamese Coffee Sundaes with Crush Peanut Brittle
The Vietnamese love drinking superstrong iced coffee combined with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk. Joanne Chang created this simple ice cream sundae as a way to enjoy the same flavors. Shards of peanut brittle made with a generous pinch of cinnamon add great flavor and crunch.
Some molten-cake recipes call for simply underbaking the batter so the middles stay lava-like, but mini cakes get done so quickly it's best to give them a filling that won't set up. These rich, mocha-flavored morsels are guaranteed to stay moist and gooey, owing to a simple mocha ganache in the middle.
"Like all great desserts," says Anne Quatrano , "these brownies have only three pertinent flavors: chocolate, butter and walnuts." Quatrano, an F&W Best New Chef 1995, is the chef of a small empire of restaurants in Atlanta.
Patti Anderson, a professional quilter, had never entered a cooking contest before she took our challenge. This quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookie is made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
In this high-contrast, elegant presentation, chocolate mousse is served in punch cups alongside Crème Chantilly. Reprinted with permission from Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist by Heather Baird, 2012.