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March 22, 2013
Many of us have heard about Greek coffee, but not every one understands what is it and how to make this interesting beverage. There is actually not much of a difference between traditional Turkish coffee and Greek coffee. Certainly, preparation is the key factor. Greek coffee is generally a little stronger brew which is prepared on fire with the help of traditional small size coffee pot. The main characteristics of Greek coffee is its being served with plenty of foam on the top and quite plenty of grounds on the bottom of the cup. It is believed that the foam adds unique and spacial taste to Greek coffee, and there is plenty of fans of this beverage around the world. Recently, scientists got interested in this beverage, and discovered a few very interesting things about it.
A group of medical researchers at the University of Athens Medical School conducted a research with the objective to study cardiovascular benefits linked to daily consumption of Greek coffee. The scientists were inspired by learning the fact that the elderly people who live in the Ikaria island known for very high Greek coffee consumption, have quite high longevity rates which recently became among the highest in the world. The information about very high longevity rates in Ikaria island was published recently saying that about 1 per cent of the island’s population is over 90 years old. At that, in Europe only o.1 per cent of people are lucky to live to the age of 90 and above. Moreover, it is said that most of aging Ikaria people live their life in a very good health!
Maybe, increased Greek coffee consumption can be a secret to longevity? The first closer look at nutritional values of the beverage gave the researchers good grounds to believe that their hypothesis of Greek coffee being a secret to longevity is right. According to the report prepared by Dr. Gerasimos Siasos, one of the study leaders and a specialist of the University of Athens Medical School “boiled Greek type of coffee, which is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and contains only a moderate amount of caffeine, seems to gather benefits compared to other coffee beverages.” Further studies and lab experiments were directed on determining possible links between increased Greek coffee consumption in the participants from Ikaria island and their endothelial function.
For the experiments, 673 Ikarian people aged over 65 were invited. Their blood samples were taken, and the extended data on eating habits of the participants, including detailed information about daily diet and Greek coffee consumption, as well as the information on other important issues like bad habits, the amount of sleep, etc. was collected. It turned out that about 87 per cent of the participants were avid consumers of Greek coffee reporting drinking from 2 to 4 cups of this coffee on a daily basis. Finally, the information about current health condition of the participants was collected, including the presence of serious or life threatening diseases (primarily type 2 diabetes and serious cardiovascular conditions), and the current endothelial function of every each participants was evaluated by the invited specialists in vascular medicine.
After analyzing all the factors and putting all the information together, it became apparent to the scientists that those of the participants who reported daily consumption of Greek coffee had considerably better endothelial function compared to those participants who did not have daily portion of this magic beverage. It is very interesting, but those participants who suffered from hypertension (elevated blood pressure) also seemed to have improved chances to live a longer life by consuming 1-2 cups of this type of coffee a day. Therefore Greek coffee consumption can give all of us a unique opportunity to enjoy better vascular function, benefits from reduced risks of coronary heart disease, and being less affected by numerous environmental factors which cause premature death in most of modern people. Those who want to learn more about the research and the discovered benefits of Greek coffee can check out one of the latest issues of the journal Vascular Medicine.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.