There is bad news for heavy coffee drinkers from the realm of medical research, and Americans love their coffee -- 64% are regular coffee drinkers. The average coffee drinker chugs 3.1 cups of java a day. But new research shows that men and women under the age of 55 who drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day had a higher risk of dying than their non-coffee-drinking peers.

Researchers looked at over 43,000 adults from 1971 to 2002, and analyzed their coffee consumption, in addition to dozens of demographic and health factors. They found that people under 55 who drank more than 4 cups of coffee a day had a significantly higher risk of dying than those who didn’t drink coffee -- 56% higher for men and 113% higher for women.

The exact reasons for the higher mortality in heavy coffee drinkers aren’t clear; it could be related to stress, high caffeine intake, lack of sleep, or other associated factors. But for those of us who depend on a cup of java to perk us up in the morning, this is certainly a wake-up call.

This is in contrast to a rash of reports about health benefits from coffee, such as better mood and lower risk of diabetes. The good effects of coffee have been attributed to the high antioxidant content. But, the truth is that the reason why coffee is so high in antioxidants is because coffee is a bean.  And if you other beans regularly, you can get the antioxidant benefit without the dangers and drug-like effects of coffee.

Beans are the highest antioxidant food on the planet. The top three antioxidant foods in the American diet, according to the USDA, are beans, with red kidney beans topping the list.

I make a point of eating beans regularly- almost every day. Black beans are my favorite right now, but I also like pintos, and I eat red kidney beans too, especially since I know how good they are for us.

People complain about eating beans; they attribute them to causing digestive discomfort, especially gas. But, there are products you can take to reduce that, such as Beano. We offer one called Digestive Enzymes. It’s perfectly safe and effective, and it’s inexpensive.  

If you’re not used to eating beans, perhaps you should start slowly. There is nothing wrong with that. Just start with a little scoop or two on your plat, but do it regularly. Over time, I believe you will adjust to eating beans, and you’ll be able to get away with eating more of them.  

I find beans to be very hearty and satisfying. Since I don’t eat meat, I often use beans as a substitute. I find beans to be very filling, and they deliver lasting energy. And they are not the least bit fattening. Beans are NOT a food that the body readily turns into body fat.

So, eat some beans, beans, the musical fruit.

And don’t be afraid of a little toot.

Beans will help the way that you feel

So, eat some beans at some of your meals.