According to a study which followed female coffee drinkers for over ten years, women who consume more than one cup of coffee daily have about a 25% lower chance of having a stroke than women who do not drink as much coffee. The study could not confirm that coffee is necessarily good for the heart, but the strong correlation between a cup of joe and lower incidence of stroke shows that, at the very least, coffee isn’t bad for you.

The researchers who performed the study enrolled over 34,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83, tracking their coffee consumption and any incidence of stroke, cerebral infarction, and brain hemorrhages. At the end of the study, researchers found that the number of strokes suffered by coffee drinkers were significantly fewer.  The results were then released in a publication by the American Heart Association.

Other studies on coffee and the risk of stroke have also been performed throughout the years. A study published in 2009 found that women had a 20% lower risk of a stroke when they consumed greater than four cups of coffee daily.  Another study from 2010 found that the risk of stroke actually increased an hour after drinking coffee, but that the risk reversed itself within two hours.

Other Benefits of Coffee Consumption

More research needs to be done to determine exactly how coffee affects the heart and the body, though numerous other positive effects have been found in association with the consumption of coffee. According to WebMD, people who drink coffee are less likely than non-coffee drinkers to have Parkinson’s disease and type II diabetes.  Coffee drinkers also have fewer heart rhythm problems and fewer cases of specific types of cancer.

The research certainly points to numerous benefits, though coffee drinkers should also be aware that too much of a good thing is actually bad. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause insomnia, irritability, upset stomach, and increased heartbeat.  Most experts say that two to four cups of coffee per day is a safe level of caffeine consumption.  In 2009, the World Resources Institutes estimated that the average American consumed slightly over 400 8-ounce cups of coffee, which equates to just over a cup a day.