While in the past coffee has been generally considered bad for heart health, researchers have started looking beyond caffeine and found that coffee contains many other compounds which make it less bad for you than previously thought, and may even promote heart health. While caffeine can exacerbate the symptoms of people who suffer from an irregular heartbeat, there doesn’t seem to be evidence that caffeine will actually cause arrhythmia. The old belief that coffee can cause high blood pressure is also not true. While it doesn’t cause high blood pressure, coffee can still worsen symptoms for people who suffer from it. In fact, population studies have shown that coffee drinkers enjoy a lower risk of heart-related problems than the general population. However, notwithstanding these health benefits, too much coffee can be a problem.
As with all the foods listed here, coffee boasts a high concentration of polyphenols—the antioxidants which help offset inflammatory mediators in the blood and which help protect the whole body from a wide range of illnesses, not just heart disease. It seems that coffee supports the endothelial cells which line the arteries and thus allow better blood flow so that the heart has less strain and thus reduces the likelihood of heart issues. There is also broad evidence that coffee intake has other general health benefits and that it can help ward off Alzheimer’s and cancer. Just remember that the sugar you add to your coffee is still bad for your health. Experiment with different types of coffee and ways of brewing coffee to find one which you might enjoy without milk or sugar. With a little determination, you might find that you enjoy black coffee with no sugar.