“Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close,” says study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the university. The new finding is surprising because it represents the first time that coffee has been shown to be the primary source from which most Americans get their antioxidants, Vinson says. Both caffeinated and decaf versions appear to provide similar antioxidant levels, he adds.
The news follows a growing number of reports touting the potential health benefits of drinking coffee. It also comes at an appropriate time: Coffee consumption is on the rise in the United States and over half of Americans drink it everyday, according to the National Coffee Association.
For the current study, Vinson and his associates analysed the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and common beverages.
Coffee came out on top, on the combined basis of both antioxidants per serving size and frequency of consumption, Vinson says. Java easily outranked such popular antioxidant sources as tea, milk, chocolate and cranberries, he says. Of all the foods and beverages studied, dates actually have the most antioxidants of all based solely on serving size, according to Vinson. But since dates are not consumed at anywhere near the level of coffee, the blue ribbon goes to our favourite morning pick-me-up as the number one source of antioxidants, he says.
Besides keeping you alert and awake, coffee has been linked to an increasing number of potential health benefits, including protection against liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, according to some recently published studies. But there’s also a downside: Java can make you jittery and cause stomach pains, while some studies have tied it to elevated blood pressure and heart rates, Vinson says.
MEDICA.de; Source: American Chemical Society (ACS)