Coffee as an Antioxidant?

Results of a study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that coffee is a leading source of antioxidants in the diet of many Americans. Health reporters – most of whom likely have a morning cup of coffee – used this to write articles showcasing coffee as a “healthy drink” when consumed in moderation.

However, there is more to this story than most newspapers are reporting

It may, in fact, be true that coffee is a primary source of antioxidants in the American diet. After all, around half of all people drink at least a cup of coffee every day, and the average is over 3 cups daily.

Coffee’s high ranking among antioxidant sources does not mean that coffee contains high levels of antioxidants. Rather, it’s high ranking is due to the fact that the typical American diet is sorely lacking in fruits and vegetables, both of which contain far more antioxidants per serving than coffee.

But there’s still more to this story. Caffeine – and coffee is the primary source of caffeine in the American diet – is associated with a large number of health problems. Migraines, hypertension, heart ahrrythmias (irregular heartbeat), fatigue, tremors, insomnia, mood changes and a host of other symptoms are all linked to caffeine intake.

Caffeine gives the body a false sense of energy. It causes the adrenal grands to produce excess cortisol and adrenaline. However, over time, the adrenal glands wear down and are unable to produce as much of thse hormones. As a result, more caffeine is needed to achieve the same “lift.” Even if there is no increase in coffee intake over time, the elevated cortisol and blood glucose induced by caffeine intake can lead to a number of additional health risks, including osteoporosis, diabetes and others.

Drinking coffee for the antioxidants is like eating French fries for the vitamin C: there are much better ways to get both nutrients. If you or someone you know would like a comprehensive dietary and supplement plan to optimize your health, visit one of the physicians at Nature Cures Clinic by filling out our New Appointment Form.

Sure, coffee contains some antioxidants, but it is a long, long way from being a health drink.