Go ahead and grab that cup of coffee or two: it’s good for lowering your blood pressure.

In a recent study published in the journal Nutrients, researchers found that drinking two to three cups of coffee every day helped maintain low blood pressure.

The study found regular coffee drinkers had significantly lower blood pressure, both on peripheral and central levels, than those who do not drink it, according to Dr. Arrigo F.G. Cicero, an associate professor in the department of medical and surgical sciences with the University of Bologna in Italy.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in Italy and in the world, and its consumption has already been associated with a positive impact on human health, particularly regarding CVD (cardiovascular disease), Type 2 diabetes and a number of neurodegenerative and liver diseases,” Cicero and colleagues wrote in a news release.

Researchers looked at the Brisighella Heart Study to compare both peripheral and central blood pressure values in 783 women and 720 men who reported drinking varying amounts of coffee every day.

They found that heavy coffee drinkers had the lowest systolic blood pressure, followed by moderate coffee drinkers.

Compared with those who didn’t drink coffee, people who drank two cups per day and those who drank more than three cups a day had lower systolic blood pressure.

Researchers found similar trends for aortic blood pressure, aortic pulse pressure and peripheral pulse pressure.

“The results are very clear: peripheral blood pressure was significantly lower in individuals consuming one to three cups of coffee a day than in noncoffee drinkers,” Cicero said in the release.

“And for the first time, we were also able to confirm these effects with regard to the central aortic pressure, the one close to the heart, where we observe an almost identical phenomenon with entirely similar values for habitual coffee drinkers compared to noncoffee drinkers.”

The study found both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee gave the same results, suggesting that caffeine isn’t the main determinant of the effect of coffee on blood pressure.

“Caffeine is only one of the several coffee components and certainly not the only one with an active role,” Cicero said in the release. “Positive effects on human health have indeed been recorded even among those who consume decaffeinated coffee.

“We know that caffeine can increase blood pressure, but other bioactive components in coffee seem to counterbalance this effect with a positive end result on blood pressure levels.”


Q: Are microgreens healthy?

A: Microgreens are the mini versions of vegetables and herbs at an early stage. The microgreens are more nutrient- and antioxidant-dense than mature vegetables.

Microgreens are harvested when immature, so they are more abundant in the nutrients.

It’s best to use microgreens as a nutritious complement to other vegetables, as a garnish for sandwiches, soups, salad or blended into dressings and pesto.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts have always been a go-to for a quick, easy dinner. Try these Parmesan-crusted chicken breasts for a new take on an old favorite. Serve it with broccoli or a salad.

It’s from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger.


  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ cup grated)
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray


Coarsely grate the Parmesan cheese. Put the chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound it out to an even thickness of about ½ inch.

Rub the top side of the chicken pieces with half the mustard, then sprinkle with half the cheese, pressing lightly so it adheres, and season with half the pepper. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the other side.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, without moving it, until the cheese on the bottom forms a deep brown crust that releases fairly easily from the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

Flip and repeat on the other side, cooking until the chicken is cooked thought, about 3 minutes more.


Serves 4; serving size: 1 chicken breast

Per serving: 250 calories; 41 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrate; 8 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated); 120 milligrams cholesterol; 0 grams fiber; 510 milligrams sodium

Charlyn Fargo Ware

Charlyn Fargo Ware

Charlyn Fargo Ware is a registered dietitian with SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois. Contact her at charfarg@aol.com, and follow her on Twitter: @NutritionRd. The opinions expressed are her own.