Coffee is one of the few things we love that is actually good for us. Scientists found that coffee has more antioxidants than any other food. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can help us prevent cancer, heart disease, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, and many other conditions.
We normally take one to two grams of antioxidants daily, usually from some fruits, vegetables, berries, honey, tea, vegetable oils, juices, cocoa, wine, and sprouted grains, but mostly from coffee.
Some kinds of berries have more antioxidants such as polyphenols than coffee, but it is difficult to eat that many berries to satisfy our body’s requirement for antioxidants.
On the other hand, three cups of coffee daily will give you all antioxidants you desire. Some Finnish and Norwegian researchers found that about four cups of coffee provide almost 64 percent of the necessary antioxidant intake.
What are these antioxidants that are so important? Antioxidants are chemical compounds such as vitamins E and C, selenium, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, which slow down or prevent oxidation.
Our bodies create oxidation when stressed for various reasons and in the process produce unstable molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants ‘gobble up’ those nasty free radicals, so they are, for a good reason, called “free-radical scavengers.”
If we do not get rid of free radicals, oxidative stress can cause a range of diseases including cancer and heart disease.
There is more good news for passionate coffee drinkers. They have about 50 percent less risk of type 2 diabetes, lower risk of stroke and heart disease, less risk of liver cirrhosis, liver and colorectal cancer, and many other conditions.
Regular coffee drinkers may also lower their risk of Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinson’s disease by up to 65 percent. Also, according to some studies, women who drink coffee every day are less in danger of being depressed.
So, listen to your doctor and enjoy your two-three cups of coffee every day.
If you thought that you can just drink your coffee and ignore your veggies and fruits, you would be wrong! The oxidants in coffee are not the same antioxidants you can get from fruits and vegetables. Different antioxidants play different roles in our bodies, so a balanced diet with plenty of fresh produce should go together with your favorite java.
There is one role of coffee scientists and our doctors do not have to tell us about: coffee makes us happy! Whether we like our brew hot, cold, with milk or honey, dark and strong or mild and fragrant, coffee puts a smile on our faces! We love to wake up to the sound of our coffee maker gurgling and the fragrant aroma of rich coffee coming from the kitchen. One or two cups of java, maybe with a couple of oatmeal cookies, and we are ready to face the day.