It seems that the answer to longer life may be found on the Greek Island of Ikaria, which boasts one of the highest rates of longevity in the world. According to current records, only 0.1% of Europeans live to be over 90 years of age, yet in Ikaria that figure is 1%. While you may not think that this seems like a significant figure, it is ten times higher than the average for Europe. Not only are the inhabitants of Ikaria living longer, they are doing so in good health...so what is their secret?
As many of the Island’s inhabitants drink coffee on a daily basis, researchers set about finding a possible link between drinking coffee and cardiovascular health and longevity, more specifically, endothelial function. The endothelium is a layer of cells lining the blood vessels which are usually affected by aging and lifestyle habits, for example, smoking. Recent studies have suggested that moderate coffee consumption may slightly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and have a positive impact on endothelial health.
More than 87% of those taking part in the Ikaria study consumed boiled Greek coffee on a daily basis. More importantly, those who did so had better endothelial function than subjects who did not drink boiled Greek coffee. Even in those with high blood pressure, boiled Greek coffee consumption was associated with improving endothelial function without having worrying impacts on blood pressure or overall health.
Boiled Greek coffee is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and contains just a moderate amount of caffeine. It seems that this type of coffee is able to offer cardiovascular health benefits which may in turn lead to a longer and healthy life, something which was not found for other types of coffee.
Siasos G, Oikonomou E, Chrysohoou C, Tousoulis D, Panagiotakos D, Zaramitidou M, Zisimos K, Kokkou E, Marinos G, Papavassilou AG, Pitsavos C, Stefanadis C, Consumption of a Boiled Greek Type of Coffee is Associated with Improved Endothelial Function: The Ikaria Study, Vascular Medicine, 2013.