The Ultimate Guide to Coffee and Antioxidants
People will often abstain from coffee out of a desire to avoid caffeine, but it turns out that the hidden health benefits of coffee have been largely ignored. (We here at The Coffee Network never had any doubt that the humble coffee bean was good for us!) New information has been coming to light over the last few years that if you are a coffee drinker, you have (likely) been benefiting from the (probable) cancer fighting effects of coffee without even knowing it. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world, but did you know that it is good for you too? Your morning beverage is jam packed with antioxidants! In fact, coffee shows more antioxidant activity than green tea. Due to the huge levels of antioxidants that coffee beans contain, coffee is commonly the main source of antioxidants in a person’s diet; it is certainly one of the largest sources of antioxidants for modern people.
The below discussion holds true for both decaf and regular coffee. So you can choose whichever type of coffee you like, for example, see our blends product list and know that you get to enjoy some great health benefits.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that prevent damage to the body from free radicals. Free radicals are oxidants that take electrons from molecules in your body in a process called oxidation. Oxidation is the same process that happens when metal rusts. If it is helpful, think of free radicals and oxidation as causing rust in your body (this is of course not true - it is simply an illustration to remind you that high levels of oxidation can be bad for you). Free radicals occur as a result of the normal metabolic functions of the body. However, at high concentrations free radicals can cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress plays a major part in the development of degenerative illnesses such as cancer, liver disease, and aging. So, due to the fact that antioxidants keep free radicals in check, they are desirable to include in your diet.
Antioxidants in Coffee
Coffee is rich in many different kinds of antioxidants. Coffee has over a thousand chemicals in it! But, your morning espresso shot contains two types of antioxidants that are particularly noteworthy, namely, hydroxycinnamic acids and polyphenols. These antioxidants are fantastic at neutralizing free radicals. Polyphenols in particular can also help reduce inflammation which is widely linked to many common illnesses such as heart disease and arthritis.
Here is an interesting observation: one study ranked foods by quantity against their antioxidant content: coffee ranked 11th on the list (coffee beans ranked only slightly behind some types of berries, which are renowned for being super high in antioxidants too). This means that coffee is supercharged with antioxidants in comparison to most foods.
The list of the health benefits of coffee as a result of antioxidants just keeps going on and on. Coffee beans are associated with a reduction in risk of many developing many kinds of diseases. For example, coffee drinkers (those who drink 2-4 cups of coffee per day) have a 23-50% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. There is also a correlation between coffee drinkers and less risk of liver cirrhosis. Clearly, there are many benefits to this humble bean.
Please note that while there are great antioxidant benefits from drinking coffee, coffee should not be your only source of antioxidants. Coffee does not contain some of the antioxidants that are present in wholefoods. Therefore, make sure that you have a varied and healthy diet in order to try and prevent/fight ill health.
In summary - drinking coffee can often be a good idea for your long term health. Luckily, here at The Coffee Network, we can provide you with coffee that includes these health benefits, but also tastes amazing.
Sources Corresponding with In-Text Numbers