Why Dan Buettner Loves Ikaria Coffee For Longevity

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What’s the healthiest way to brew your morning coffee? Many experts recommend a French press or pour-over method, as it requires the least processing and retains the coffee’s flavor and antioxidants. Others love a rich cup spiked with a healthy source of fat (like coconut oil or grass-fed butter) to nourish your brain health and support energy levels throughout the day. 

And then we have Dan Buettner: The longevity expert, National Geographic fellow, and founder of Blue Zones shares his top foods for living longer on the mindbodygreen podcast, one of which happens to be a very specific type of coffee. Here, his all-time favorite brew. 

The best type of coffee for longevity.

Regular coffee consumption itself has been associated with an improved life span, thanks to the brew’s fair share of antioxidants, as well as caffeine and trigonelline, which can support cognitive functioning. But Buettner specifically touts Ikaria coffee, or commonly referred to as "Turkish coffee."  

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“It's ground very finely and then boiled, and that process seems to bring out these oils, these polyphenols that are good for your heart," he says. In fact, a 2013 study in the journal Vascular Medicine found that elderly participants who drank boiled, Ikaria coffee had improved endothelial function (which plays a role in blood clotting and overall heart health). And on the subject of polyphenols, one large study in Europe reported that a higher intake of these powerful antioxidants was associated with a longer life span.

If you can’t get your hands on this special type of coffee, don’t fret: Buettner asserts that the drink itself is a Blue Zones staple. "Coffee is also common in Sardinia; it's common among the Nicoya," he adds. "I just think it's one of those beverages that you can enjoy with impunity, and it's probably good for you as well." 

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The takeaway. 

Due to its sky-high polyphenol content, Buettner is partial to Ikaria coffee when it comes to supporting longevity. However, most brews will boast antioxidant polyphenols—Ikaria coffee just has a lot of ‘em!. And of course, know your own body and coffee consumption sweet-spot: It is possible to go overboard on caffeine.

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