Have you been reading about the newest research on the benefits of antioxidants? Very interesting. Coffee connoisseurs, avid java drinkers, crazy coffee craving fans, we are, are already ahead of the game on this subject – here’s why!
Antioxidants are found in coffee!
They are also found in coffee aroma after brewing! Antioxidants help support the immune system and may lower your risk for both cancer and heart disease. Consuming coffee up until 20 minutes after brewing will deliver 300 phytochemicals that are antioxidants and will stay in the human system up to one month.
The Alliance for Aging Research, a non-profit senior citizens group in Washington DC, announced that
“a diet rich in antioxidants is effective in guarding against heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and other conditions associated with aging.”
The two most well known antioxidants are vitamin C and vitamin E.
Thousands of reports have been published all around the world about their importance to health.
Vitamin C is water-soluble and is important in protecting the “aqueous” parts of our cells and tissues, while vitamin E is oil-soluble and protects the “lipid” portions, especially cellular membranes.
During the brewing process, the antioxidants released are just as potent as vitamins C and E.
A University of California research scientist found the antioxidant level in a cup of coffee is the same as in three oranges.
The body’s trillion or so cells face formidable threats, from food shortages to virus infection. Another constant threat comes from chemicals called free radicals. They can damage cells and genetic material at very high levels. The body generates free radicals as inevitable by-products of making food energy. After cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight, free radicals are also formed.
Hundreds, probably thousands, of different substances can act as antioxidants. The most familiar are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and other related carotenoids along with selenium and manganese minerals. These are followed by glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids , phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, etc. Many exist spontaneously and are likely to resist degradation or act as a natural barrier against the surrounding climate.
Here’s how antioxidants work.
A small number of the oxygen molecules we breathe are converted within our bodies to unstable free radicals. This is known as oxidation. Free radical-caused oxidation produces premature aging, degenerative disease, cancer and heart disease. The body needs to be able to repair the oxidative damage that occurs.
The other key is to protect the body’s tissue cells from the free radicals before they cause mutations. Antioxidants significantly delay, inhibit, or prevent oxidation.
Want more science to support this information?
Well, in tests completed at Science News, scientists brewed a strong cup of coffee or tea, or they mixed cocoa powder into hot water to make hot chocolate. Then, they collected blood from healthy volunteers and filtered out the plasma containing lipoproteins (LDL) particles.
“In each run, a sample of these LDLs was incubated with a small quantity of the beverage. Then, a known oxidant was added to the mix. Compared to LDLs treated with the oxidant alone, those mixed with a beverage experienced less oxidation.”
- Coffee protected the LDLs for 5.0 to 16.0 hours.
- By contrast, cocoa protected the lipoproteins for 3.5 to 7.5 hours,
- Green tea for 3.0 to 5.5 hours,
- black tea for 1.0 to 4.5 hours,
- and herbal tea for 6 minutes to perhaps an hour.
The more concentrated the brew or cocoa, the better protection it afforded.
“Concerned that milk might bind to the antioxidant compounds in one or more of these beverages, Richelle’s group investigated whether adding dairy would compromise a drink’s antioxidant potency. The scientists mixed in enough milk to equal 10 percent of the volume for the brews and a full 66 percent of the volume for cocoa. To their surprise, they found no change in any of the drinks’ LDL protection.”
Caffeine-free decaf coffee also offered the same LDL protection in these test-tube studies.
Isn’t this great stuff? The next time someone tries to sell you on the benefits of antioxidant supplements, reach for your cup o’ java and tell them, thanks, but I’m already covered!!