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Antioxidants and Coffee

January 07, 2010 Jim Couch

Much has been written about antioxidants, and how a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help ward off heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and other illnesses.  Antioxidants are derived from plants, and are those molecules that are capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules.  Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals that start chain reactions that can damage cells.  Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing the free radicals.

Among fruit and vegetables, the best sources include blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, beans, artichoke hearts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and in spices, cinnamon, oregano and cloves.  Research indicates it is best to include a variety of fruits and vegetables because of the different types of antioxidants present.

So….what about coffee?

Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants in the American diet, that according to researchers at the University of Scranton.  The study was 10 years in the making and also found that the number two source of antioxidants in diets was black tea, followed by bananas.

Some important things to remember:

  • In very dark roasts of coffee, the antioxidants are almost completely destroyed.  All that’s left is caffeine.  HealthWise coffees have a medium roast so there is not that problem.
  • Decaf coffees have the same antioxidant properties as regular coffee.
  • To get the most benefit, try spreading the coffee drinking out throughout the day, and if so, perhaps have decaf coffees later in the day.  HealthWise low acid decaf coffees are 99.9% caffeine free, and very importantly had no chemicals used in decaffeination, as do all other decafs which don’t use the Swiss Water Process.


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