What if a small change to your daily habits could really boost your health?
If you're like most people, you drink coffee on a regular basis. In fact, coffee consumption in America is now higher than it has been in two decades. With two-thirds of the country drinking coffee, this tasty beverage is more popular than ever.
However, some coffee may be better than you than others. For example, you may have heard some people discussing the benefits of antioxidant coffee.
But what is this type of coffee? What are antioxidants, and why are they so important to your health? Keep reading to discover the answers!
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are specialized molecules within your body. These molecules are responsible for helping your body fight off a number of different ailments.
What kind of ailments? These include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
How does this process work? These different ailments are caused by free radicals inside your body. The more free radicals you have inside of you, the likelier you are to develop an illness of one kind or another.
Antioxidants help to fight off these free radicals. The good news is that you get a certain number of antioxidants as part of your daily diet (such as from fruits and veggies). The bad news is that you may not get enough antioxidants to fight off all of the dangerous free radicals.
Here's more good news, though: you may be able to get more of the antioxidants you need from consuming coffee.
Coffee As a Source of Antioxidants
If you're interested in consuming more antioxidants, you may make some major changes to your diet. However, one of the simplest and best ways to consume more antioxidants would be to drink more coffee!
There are different ways you can make coffee even healthier. And there is even special antioxidant coffee you can drink for your health. But even if you stick with a plain cup of joe, you are getting plenty of antioxidants with each sip.
Part of what makes coffee so special is that it naturally contains the antioxidants that our bodies need. And even the very act of brewing the coffee may increase how many antioxidants you are drinking!
Where Do Antioxidants In Coffee Come From?
You already know that coffee is full of antioxidants. What you may not know, though, is that coffee contains a number of different antioxidants.
For example, caffeine itself is an antioxidant. Since caffeine is arguably the main reason most of us drink coffee in the first place, it is good to know that caffeine has other benefits on top of keeping us awake and alert.
Quinine is another key coffee ingredient that helps to pack the substance full of antioxidants. Quinine is one of the reasons that coffee may taste bitter. However, you can always cut the bitterness with cinnamon, salt, or creamer, while still maintaining the antioxidant benefits.
One of the antioxidant-filled ingredients you may know very well are melanoidins. Sure, you may not know this compound by name. But in addition to giving your body more antioxidants, melanoidins help give your coffee the signature aroma you love so much.
Certain kinds of coffee contain more antioxidants than others. For example, roasted coffee contains more chlorogenic acid and trigonelline. Each of these compounds helps bring out more antioxidants, and you get up to ten times as much trigonelline in roasted coffee.
Some of the antioxidants in coffee occur in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. The best example of this is cafestol. This antioxidant-rich ingredient is still around after coffee has been decaffeinated, and it confers plenty of great benefits to coffee drinkers every day.
Where We Get Most of Our Antioxidants From
As you can tell, one of the biggest benefits of coffee is that it provides many of the antioxidants your body needs. However, coffee is not the only way you get these antioxidants.
For example, antioxidants are found in berries, especially strawberries and blueberries. Raspberries and goji berries are other great sources for antioxidants.
Certain veggie-friendly sources provide plenty of antioxidants as well. This includes kale, red cabbage, and spinach.
Other healthy sources of antioxidants include beans and beets. And it is easy to include more of each of these ingredients in your regular diet!
In some cases, foods rich in antioxidants aren't the kind of foods we think of as "healthy." As an example, one of our favorite sources of antioxidants is dark chocolate. Nothing quite like dessert that's good for you!
How Does Coffee Compare to Other Antioxidant Beverages
Coffee is a great way to consume more antioxidants. But if you like the idea of getting your antioxidants through drinks, you have plenty of different beverages to choose from.
One great source of antioxidants is green tea. While many "take sides" when it comes to green tea versus coffee, it's easy to enjoy both. This gives you more options for getting your caffeine and your antioxidants.
Herbal teas also provide many antioxidants. For that matter, you can also drink juice derived from some of the foods we mentioned earlier. Both beet juice and berry juice are tasty sources of antioxidants.
Other tasty beverages will do, including V8 juice and coconut water. Before you change up your diet too much, though, you should know that coffee remains the best choice for most people. In fact, a 2010 study discovered that coffee was one of the top sources of antioxidants in the entire world!
Ways to Boost the Antioxidants In Your Coffee
As we have noted, coffee is a great source of antioxidants on its own. However, there are different things you can add to your coffee to boost the number of antioxidants.
One of the best things about the ingredients we are going to review is that they also change the taste of the coffee. With a bit of experimentation, you can discover an ingredient that makes your coffee taste perfect. As a bonus, your coffee will be healthier than it's ever been.
What are the different ingredients you can add, and how do the added antioxidant benefits work? Let's take a closer look and find out.
Few combinations are quite as sweet as chocolate and coffee. Why do you think the mocha is so popular? Of course, adding cacao to your coffee does more than help it taste better.
For one thing, cacao has many antioxidants. By adding a pinch of cacao to your coffee every morning, you can boost your antioxidant consumption in the sweetest possible way.
Cacao also brings a number of its own health benefits to the table. This includes boosting good cholesterol, lowering bad cholesterol, lowering your blood pressure, and more. When you combine the benefits of coffee with the benefits of cacao, you end up with two great tastes that taste great together!
Not a fan of cacao, or maybe you want to change things up a bit? In that case, a sweet alternative is to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon into your coffee each day.
Like cacao, cinnamon is full of antioxidants. In total, there are 41 different protective compounds inside cinnamon, making it a great way to protect your body.
The usefulness of cinnamon shouldn't be so surprising, though. This spice has been used for different medical purposes for millennia. And it can continue to do so as part of your morning health regimen.
If you know about maca at all, it's probably from seeing supplements at your local health store. But once you add maca to your coffee, you may not need to take these supplements to get your antioxidants.
The reason maca is sold at health stores is that it's so healthy. It's full of protein, Vitamin C, and both amino acids and helpful free-form fatty acids.
Aside from the antioxidants, some enjoy maca because it can help to balance hormones inside the body. It serves to naturally boost your energy and your sex drive. And like plain coffee, maca helps to improve your athletic performance, which is really helpful for everything from workouts to major competitions.
Turmeric as an addition to coffee may not seem as strange as it once did. In fact, many people around the world have spent the last few years perfecting their different turmeric coffee recipes.
Why add turmeric in the first place, though? First, like the other ingredients we have been reviewing, turmeric is a powerful source of antioxidants. But this is only the beginning of the unique health benefits.
For instance, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps to detox your liver. It can also help with digestion, which is great if you suffer from tummy troubles. Finally, turmeric can help to fight off depression, serving as a natural way to enhance your mood each day.
What Is Antioxidant Coffee?
We have reviewed how coffee contains many antioxidants on its own. Additionally, you can boost the antioxidant content of your coffee by adding certain ingredients.
However, you may have heard some coffee lovers referring to "antioxidant coffee." What is this term, and how is it different than other kinds of coffee?
In short, "antioxidant coffee" is standard coffee that has been optimized for antioxidant content. In many cases, this comes down to how, exactly, the coffee beans have been roasted. Different blends may have more antioxidants than others.
A good example of this is our own antioxidant coffee blend. We make sure these coffee beans are medium-roasted using a unique technique that maintains a high level of antioxidants.
The final result is tasty coffee that has as many antioxidants as we can possibly include. And you can use any of the techniques we outlined above to help you boost this antioxidant content even higher.
The Many Benefits of Antioxidants
So far, we've touched a bit on what antioxidants are and the importance of them fighting the free radicals in your body. However, if you're on the fence about increasing your antioxidant intake, we need to take a closer look at the direct health benefits of antioxidants.
Ready to discover what antioxidants can do for your heart, your brain, and your overall peace of mind? Let's find out!
Antioxidants Are Good For Your Heart
One of the biggest benefits of coffee is that drinking it is good for your heart in many ways. And we mostly have antioxidants inside the coffee to thank for this.
Previous studies have shown that consuming more antioxidants can lower your risk of developing heart disease. By drinking more coffee, you can boost your heart health without having to take antioxidant supplements (which don't have as much of a positive impact on your health).
In addition, regularly drinking coffee can help out your heart in other ways. Drinking coffee can help reduce your risk of stroke as well as your risk of heart failure. If you have existing heart issues, though, be sure to consult with your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake.
Boost Your Brain Health
It's easy to overlook the importance of brain health until you begin to get older. Once those in your life begin developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, you'll see why you need to take steps early on to protect your mind.
Drinking coffee rich in antioxidants is one of the best steps you can take. Previous studies have revealed that many who suffer from Alzheimer's and are over the age of 65 experience less cognitive decline when they get more antioxidants.
Coffee provides an easy and convenient way to increase your antioxidants each day. This may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's or similar issues later in life. And even if you develop Alzheimer's, increasing your antioxidants can help reduce its effects on your mind and body.
Protect Your Eyes As You Age
Alzheimer's isn't the only thing you have to watch out for as you get older. For those who are 50 years or older, the leading cause of vision loss is an age-related eye disease. And as our vision suffers, it can become more difficult to do everything from driving to the store to recognizing friends and family members.
As you might expect, coffee provides a natural way to reduce your risk of developing this eye disease. This means you can help take control of your eye health with nothing more than a change in diet.
Even if you already suffer from this eye disease or other forms of macular degeneration, drinking more coffee may help. That's because the antioxidants in coffee can help protect your vision even after the onset of this disease.
Less Oxidative Stress
If you're not in a medical or scientific field, you may not know much about oxidative stress. However, this kind of stress can cause major damage to both mind and body.
For example, having more oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It also increases your risk of developing an eye disease, depression, memory loss, cancer, diabetes, and more.
Oxidative stress also has a close relationship with free radicals. When this stress increases inflammation in your body, that inflammation leads to more free radicals. And more free radicals mean more unseen damage deep within your body.
Antioxidants present your first line of defense against this damage. However, there are limits to how many antioxidants your body can produce on its own. By getting more antioxidants every day, you can reduce your oxidative stress and give your body a better fighting chance.
Help Prevent Cancer
Oxidative stress causes many dangerous diseases out there. But few of those diseases are as dangerous or as devastating as cancer. Fortunately, the antioxidants in coffee may be able to help you prevent the onset of cancer.
We say "may" because science is still exploring the exact relationship between antioxidants and cancer. Because antioxidants are so effective at fighting off free radicals, some researchers think they help fight off cancer. Other researchers believe we need to conduct more tests to get a more definitive answer.
Regardless of that answer, the antioxidants in coffee provide a number of other awesome health benefits that keep us sipping. And if our morning coffee can help prevent cancer, then we are all for drinking even more!
Boost Your Mental Health
Earlier, we touched on how antioxidants can help to protect your brain's physical health. However, on a related note, these antioxidants can help to improve your mental health as well.
That's because when free radicals damage brain cells, they do more than encourage the development of things like Alzheimer's. The cell damage can also lead to mood disorders, and that includes depression and anxiety.
If you're worried about your mental health, though, coffee may provide the protection you are looking for. Many researchers have begun exploring a link between higher antioxidant intake and a lower risk of developing mood disorders.
Obviously, just drinking more coffee is no substitute for seeing a mental health expert if you are worried about your mental health. But it's great to know that coffee is doing its part to help you out.
Age Gracefully Over Time
Ever noticed how many people age so differently? Some people seem very frail as they get older. Others remain surprisingly healthy and robust.
There are many reasons this happens, and one of them includes how well people fight off free radicals as they grow older. Those with plenty of oxidative stress develop more inflammation. Over time, this turns into a chronic inflammation that releases more free radicals that cause intense damage throughout the body.
By fighting off those free radicals, antioxidants can help you to age more gracefully over time. And these antioxidants also help protect you on a molecular level!
How does that work? Inside your body, chromosomes containing your DNA are protected by telomeres. The shorter your telomeres are, the more likely you are to age poorly and develop many different health conditions.
Among their many different functions, antioxidants help to protect the telomeres inside your body. And that may be the difference between aging gracefully or growing very frail over time.
Fighting Off Free Radicals
We have discussed again and again how antioxidants help to fight off free radicals inside your body. How, though, does this process really work?
Free radicals are unstable molecules that are a danger to other molecules. That's because free radicals steal electrons from other molecules. The electron that was stolen from becomes another free radical, and the chain of devastation continues.
It's impossible to reverse the process and turn a free radical back into a normal molecule. However, antioxidants stop the chain of free radical development. By slowing down the spread of these free radicals, you can slow down and even prevent much of the damage they are trying to cause inside of you.
It's good to get more antioxidants via food and drink. And for coffee lovers, the best way to get these antioxidants is via their favorite beverage!
Get Your Antioxidant Coffee Today!
Now you know more about what antioxidants are and how they keep your body safe. But do you know where to get the best coffee blend to maximize your antioxidants every day?