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Is Coffee an Antioxidant?

Coffee, a good source of antioxidants? You’ve got to be kidding! But that’s what the headlines try to lead us to believe.

The media says Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables. However, most Americans eat very few fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. So the real issue is about poor dietary choices rather than the so-called health benefits of coffee.

All plants, including coffee beans, contain antioxidants. That’s how they protect themselves from the elements. But many plants are toxic. Over 700 antioxidant containing plants cause everything from mild nausea to death. Should we eat these toxic plants for their antioxidants? Of course not! Rust-oleum is an antioxidant, but you’d be crazy to drink it.

Four out of five Americans drink coffee and over half drink more than five cups a day. One quarter drink more than ten cups a day and many are supercharged “café grandes.” Millions of other adults, adolescents and children (including toddlers) daily guzzle liters of caffeinated colas.

The reason for this is simple. Caffeine is addictive. People become emotionally and physically dependent on their “morning fix” and mid-afternoon “coffee break.” Like all addictions, over time, a tolerance develops, causing cravings for more and more caffeine. Labeling coffee as an antioxidant only supports this “junkie” habit.

Is there “research” behind the news report? Nothing significant. It was simply based on an oral presentation made at the annual meeting of The American Chemical Society. Since it was not a peer reviewed published article, any respectable scientist would consider all conclusions preliminary and questionable. But a scientist didn’t write the headlines. A reporter did – probably while sipping a Starbucks 20 ounce Grande Coffee.

And, speaking of Starbucks, the “study” was funded by a grant from the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). And who do you suppose is a major supporter of the WCF and has a conflict of interest at stake in the results of the research? You guessed it – Starbucks!

Even Dr. Joe Vinson, the author of the study, qualifies his results. “Unfortunately,” he said, “consumers are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables which are better for you from an overall nutritional point of view due to their higher content of vitamins, minerals and fiber.” And Dr. Vinson fails to point out that coffee is also a potent diuretic, which is known to cause significant loss of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, particularly vitamin C.

My advice? Keep your coffee consumption down to two cups or less a day. Better yet, switch to pure, clean water. And, for antioxidant protection against cancer and heart disease, eat 5 to 9 daily servings of a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Carotenoid antioxidant nutrients from fruits and vegetables are so important to human health that, to guarantee you get all you need, I recommend you supplement your diet with Carotenoid Complex – a supercharged fruit and vegetable supplement proven to be effective.

For detailed information about my recommendation, go to www.carotenoids.net.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.


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