There are a number of ways to get antioxidants, the ingredients that make up a healthy diet. You can eat fruits and vegetables; take supplements. But I just found my favorite way. Drink coffee!
Coffee is one of those things with which many of us have had a love-hate relationship. Caffeine perks us up. Too much makes us jittery. Too much can even raise cholesterol so maybe it really isn't good for us.
Coffee lovers relax. A research team in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has found that coffee is the very best source of antioxidants in our diet. Dr. Joe A. Vinton a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton tested 100 food items for their antioxidant level including fruits and vegetables, nuts, oils, spices, and beverages such as cocoa.
Vinton then compared his data to information from the Department of Agriculture on US food consumption. The average American coffee drinker gets 1,299 mgs of antioxidants from his daily consumption of coffee. The next best source was tea at 294 mgs. Most Americans drink about a cup and a half of coffee every day.
Americans still don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to Vinton. And coffee is no substitute for them. Vegetables contain so many other healthful components such as fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These findings seem to support the research of Japanese researchers who found that people who drank coffee every day or almost every day had half the risk of liver cancer.
Last year researchers at Harvard reported that people who drank coffee had a lower risk of developing diabetes. But nutritionists warn that good nutrition is more than just antioxidants. It is the mixture and the interrelationships of all the ingredients in fruits and vegetables that are important.
But for now, we coffee drinkers can chill out and enjoy our iced latte. Or maybe we should take it straight. Those flavorful coffee concoctions contain a lot of fat and calories.
This report was made at the meeting of the American Chemical society and reported through the Associated Press.